Women’s Finalists for The Bowerman are Beard, Duncan, Sutej

July 14, 2011   

NEW ORLEANS – The Bowerman Advisory Board in conjunction with the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Thursday the three women’s finalists for the highest honor given to collegiate track & field student-athletes – The Bowerman. Representing the best in collegiate track & field during the 2011 seasons, the finalists are Texas A&M senior Jessica Beard, LSU sophomore Kimberlyn Duncan, and Arkansas junior Tina Sutej.

Finalists were chosen by the ten-person Bowerman Advisory Board based on performances recorded during the indoor and outdoor 2011 track & field seasons. Only performances through the conclusion of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are used in consideration.

The award, in its third year of existence, will be presented in a ceremony at the USTFCCCA Convention on December 14 at the JW Marriott Hill Country, San Antonio, Texas. John Anderson, ESPN SportsCenter anchor and co-host of ABC’s Wipeout, will host the evening’s festivities for the second-straight year. The men’s finalists are Jeshua Anderson (Washington State), Ngoni Makusha (Florida State), and Christian Taylor (Florida)

THE BOWERMAN FINALISTS, 2011 WOMEN

Jessica BeardJessica Beard, Texas A&M
Senior, Sprints, Euclid, Ohio (Euclid HS)
Season Review PDF

Beard became the just the third female in NCAA Division I history, and first since 1999, to win both 400 national titles in the same year and run on both winning 4×400 relays at the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor Championships. Beard, a four-time Big 12 indoor 400-meter champ, recorded the world’s fastest time over the 400-meter distance indoors with a 50.79 clocking to win the national crown. Outdoors, Beard clocked 51.10 for the NCAA win and split 49.13 for the Aggies as anchor of the NCAA-winning 4×400 relay.

At the USATF Championships (not considered part of the collegiate season), Beard placed fourth in the 400 meters, running a season’s best 51.06 in the national final.

Beard joins Porscha Lucas (2009) as Aggies that have been named Bowerman finalists. The Big 12 has been represented by at least one women’s finalist in each of the three years of the award.

Kimberlyn DuncanKimberlyn Duncan, LSU
Sophomore, Sprints, Katy, Texas (Cypress Springs HS)
Season Review PDF

Duncan swept the NCAA’s 200-meter titles in 2011 and, in both seasons, notched world-leading times. Duncan became the sixth woman in NCAA Division I history and the first since Auburn’s Kerron Stewart in 2007 to sweep 200-meter titles in the same season. Indoors, Duncan won the SEC title in 22.78 for the world’s best time of the season. Outdoors, Duncan was undefeated in the 200 meters and clocked a low-altitude all-time collegiate best (and the third-best overall) with a 22.24 run. Duncan was also the NCAA’s 100-meter runner-up and anchored the Lady Tigers to an NCAA title in the 4×100 (42.64).

At the USATF Championships (not considered part of the collegiate season), Duncan placed fifth in the 200 meters, clocking a 22.35 in the event’s final.

Duncan is the first from LSU to be named a Bowerman finalist. Duncan, Sutej, and men’s finalist Christian Taylor compose the first class of SEC athletes to be a finalist for The Bowerman.

Tina SutejTina Šutej, Arkansas
Junior, Pole Vault, Ljubljana, Slovenia (Gimnazija Bezigrad)
Season Review PDF

Sutej set new collegiate records with the pole vault both indoors and outdoors in 2011. Indoors, Sutej would reach a best of 14-10¾ (4.54m) to set the new all-time collegiate best in winning the SEC crown and would go on to win the NCAA title. Outdoors, Sutej again won the SEC league title with a collegiate-record vault – a clearance of 15-1½ (4.61m). Overall, Sutej collected 13-straight meet victories before finishing runner-up at the NCAA outdoor meet where she tied the championship-meet record with Oregon’s Melissa Gergel who took the crown on virtue of misses.

Sutej is the first Arkansas athlete to be a finalist for The Bowerman.

WINNER SELECTION PROCESS

The next step in selecting a winner will be carried out in the next months with voting. The Bowerman Voters will receive ballots listing each of the finalists and must rank them by first, second and third choice. First-place votes will receive three points, second place will notch two, and third will receive one point. The finalist with the highest point total will be declared the winner.

The Bowerman Voters consist of:

  • The Bowerman Advisory Board, media personnel, statisticians, collegiate administrators
  • Galen Rupp, 2009 men’s winner of The Bowerman
  • Ashton Eaton, 2010 men’s winner of The Bowerman
  • Jenny (Barringer) Simpson, 2009 women’s winner of The Bowerman
  • Queen Harrison, 2010 women’s winner of The Bowerman
  • Online voting by the public will constitute one collective vote (ranking of choices will be made by order of total single votes)
  • Online voting by USTFCCCA members will constitute one collective vote (ranking of choices will be made by order of total single votes)

Paper balloting will conclude in August while online voting will begin on Monday, August 1 and will last until Tuesday, August 16. An independent accounting firm will collect, tabulate, and certify final results and will keep the result secret until the envelope is opened in December.

ABOUT THE BOWERMAN

The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation. Oregon’s Ashton Eaton and Virginia Tech’s Queen Harrison are the reigning winners of The Bowerman, which is named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman.

Bowerman served the sport of track and field in numerous ways. His leadership in the USTFCCCA’s predecessor organization, the National Collegiate Track Coaches Association, and his contributions to NCAA track and field and the running community as a whole are among his many lasting legacies.

For more information on The Bowerman, the award, the trophy, and Bill Bowerman himself, visit TheBowerman.org.

ABOUT THE USTFCCCA

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) is a non-profit professional organization representing cross country and track & field coaches of all levels. The organization represents over 8,000 coaching members encompassing 94% of all NCAA track & field programs (DI, DII, and DIII) and includes members representing the NAIA as well as a number of state high school coaches associations. The USTFCCCA serves as an advocate for cross country and track & field coaches, providing a leadership structure to assist the needs of a diverse membership, serving as a lobbyist for coaches’ interests, and working as a liaison between the various stakeholders in the sports of cross country and track & field.