While the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District has many great athletes pass through its campuses' halls, many might put Olympic Gold Medalist and Newman Smith High School graduate Courtney Okolo at the top of the list as most successful. A 2012 graduate of Newman Smith, Okolo won multiple individual state championships in high school and ran for four seasons at the University of Texas, shattering collegiate records. Okolo also won a gold medal for the 4X400 relay at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The United States team runner got her start in CFBISD. Okolo was a standout star on the Newman Smith Track Team, crushing school records and state records during her four years. After becoming a track superstar for her performances in the 400-meter race, Okolo attended the University of Texas in Austin and continued her winning ways.
As a Longhorn Girls Track Team member, Okolo set a collegiate record in the 400 meters in 2014 by winning the Big 12 Outdoor Championships running 50.03 seconds. In 2016, Okolo broke her own record at the 2016 LSU Gold Meet, running 49.71 seconds. That same year, she won the 400 meters and 4X400 meter relay titles at both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
After graduating from the University of Texas, Okolo earned spots on the United States National Team. She helped the team win gold medals at both the World Indoor Championships and the 2016 Summer Olympics. Since her gold medal win, Okolo has been competing at many international events earning medals for her runs. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 Summer Olympics was postponed. Okolo hopes to help the United States Team win gold again when the Olympics resume this summer.