Eaton, Fernandez, and Rupp Named Men’s Bowerman Finalists
By Keith Nunez, USTFCCCA
October 6, 2009
NEW ORLEANS (USTFCCCA.org) – Oregon’s Ashton Eaton and Galen Rupp and Oklahoma State’s German Fernandez have all been named finalists for the inaugural The Bowerman, which will recognize annually the most outstanding collegiate men’s track and field athlete, The Bowerman Advisory Board announced on Tuesday. The Bowerman is administered by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The three men’s finalists for the 2009 award were selected by The Bowerman Advisory Board, which is comprised of NCAA collegiate administrators, national and regional media personnel, and track & field statisticians.
“On behalf of the entire Bowerman Advisory Board, we are very pleased with the work of the Bowerman Watch Committees and the athletes they have identified for our Inaugural Awards. Each of these athletes boasts outstanding qualifications, and they are truly the ‘cream of the crop’ in collegiate track & field,” said Herman Frazier, Chairman of the Bowerman Advisory Board and Senior Associate Athletic Director at Temple University.
The 2009 announcement and presentation of The Bowerman will be held on December 16th in conjunction with the 2009 USTFCCCA Convention at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Florida. The three men’s finalists will be invited for the announcement and presentation of The Bowerman.
“I would also like to thank the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for having the foresight to create such a prestigious award for collegiate track & field athletes. The Bowerman is an excellent way to recognize the talented young men and women who participate in track & field, as well as to honor one of the all-time great track & field coaches, Bill Bowerman,” added Frazier.
The Bowerman is named in honor of track and field pioneer Bill Bowerman, who served the sport of track and field in numerous ways, including his leadership in the USTFCCCA predecessor organization the National Collegiate Track Coaches Association, and his contributions to NCAA track and field and the running community as a whole.
“Our family is greatly honored by this distinguished award that gives recognition to a student-athlete for their abilities and performance in track and field,” said Barbara Bowerman, wife of the late Bill Bowerman. “Bill always felt that the achievements of the athletes on the athletic fields should be recognized in a most meaningful way.”
A ballot consisting of the three finalists will be sent in early November to The Bowerman Voters who will rank their selections for The Bowerman. Fans and USTFCCCA members also will be able to vote online as part of the national voting process.
An independent firm will collect and tabulate the votes to determine the men’s 2009 winner of The Bowerman.
ABOUT THE MEN’S FINALISTS
ASHTON EATON – UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
Eaton, a junior from Bend, Ore., was undefeated in the combined events during the 2009 NCAA indoor and outdoor track & field seasons. The Duck standout won two NCAA titles, took the Pac-10 outdoor decathlon title and finished second in the men’s long jump at the Pac-10 outdoor championships. Eaton cracked the 8,000 point barrier in all three collegiate decathlon competitions during the outdoor season, with a season-best total of 8,214 points (wind-aided) at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships. He also posted a season-best of 6,174 points in the indoor heptathlon. Eaton was honored as the 2009 USTFCCCA Men’s Division I Indoor National Field Athlete of the Year and the 2009 USTFCCCA Men’s Division I Outdoor National Field Athlete of the Year.
GERMAN FERNANDEZ – OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY
Freshman German Fernandez made a name for himself on the collegiate track & field scene as he went undefeated at distances of 3,000 meters or less during the 2009 indoor and outdoor seasons, winning the NCAA Division I outdoor national title in the 1,500 meters with a season-best time of 3:39.00. Fernandez won Big 12 Conference indoor titles in the one mile and 3,000 meter races, setting a new indoor collegiate record and a new junior world record of 3:55.02 in the one mile race. He added two more Big 12 titles to his name when he won outdoor conference titles in the 1,500 meters and 5,000 meters. The Riverbank, Calif. native was named the 2009 USTFCCCA Men’s Division I Indoor Midwest Region Track Athlete of the Year and the 2009 USTFCCCA Men’s Division I Outdoor Midwest Region Track Athlete of the Year.
GALEN RUPP – UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
Rupp, the 2009 USTFCCCA Men’s Division I Indoor National Track Athlete of the Year and the 2009 USTFCCCA Men’s Division I Outdoor National Track Athlete of the Year, won NCAA Division I Indoor national titles in the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters. Rupp earned a third indoor national title when he anchored the winning Distance Medley Relay squad to lead the Ducks to their first-ever indoor national team title. Rupp was at it again during the outdoor campaign, winning NCAA Division I Outdoor national titles in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. The most decorated athlete in Oregon history, Rupp won the Pac-10 outdoor title in the 10,000 meters and finished second in the 1,500. Rupp set a new American and collegiate record in the indoor 5,000 meters this season with a time of 13:18.12. He also anchored Oregon’s 4xMile relay squad to a new collegiate record at the Oregon Twilight meet.
About the USTFCCCA
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) is the non-profit professional organization that represents men’s and women’s cross country and track and field coaches in the United States. The organization represents over 8,000 coaching members, including 91% of NCAA track and field coaches. USTFCCCA serves as an advocate for cross country and track and field coaches, providing a leadership structure to assist the needs of a diverse membership, serving as a representative for coaches’ interests, and working as a liaison between the various stakeholders in the sports of cross country and track and field.