Men’s Semifinalists Named for The Bowerman

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

June 18, 2012   

NEW ORLEANS – Ten men’s semifinalists for collegiate track & field’s biggest award – The Bowerman – were named on Monday. The award’s Men’s Watch List Committee named Princeton’s Donn Cabral, Arizona State’s Jordan Clarke, Illinois State’s Tim Glover, UC Irvine’s Charles Jock, Kansas State’s Erik Kynard, Southern Utah’s Cam Levins, Florida’s Tony McQuay, Florida State’s Maurice Mitchell, Illinois’ Andrew Riley, and Virginia Tech’s Alexander Ziegler as semifinalists. In 2012, several of these athletes thrilled all by winning NCAA titles and notching big performances that changed the record books.

The Bowerman Advisory Board will now deliberate who shall be the three finalists for the award to be announced on Friday, June 29.

For the first time in award history, all semifinalists are upperclassmen.

With Florida State’s Mitchell and Virginia Tech’s Ziegler, the ACC led this year’s class with two semifinalists in the mix. A total of nine conferences are represented among the semifinalists.

Mitchell was also a semifinalist in 2011 and is now only the fourth man to make a second semifinalist appearance, joining Liberty’s Sam Chelanga, Alabama’s Kirani James, and Florida’s Christian Taylor. Taylor was a finalist in 2011.

The SEC has the most men’s semifinalist appearances of all-time with nine and is followed by the Pac-12 (5) and ACC (5). Making their first-ever appearances as a league on the men’s semifinalist list are the Big 12 Conference (Kansas State’s Kynard), the Big Ten Conference (Illinois’ Riley), the Big West Conference (UC Irvine’s Jock), the Ivy League (Princeton’s Cabral), the Missouri Valley Conference (Illinois State’s Glover), and the Summit League (Southern Utah’s Levins).

The winner of The Bowerman will be presented on December 19 in conjunction with the USTFCCCA Convention in Orlando, Fla. The three finalists will be invited to take part in the award ceremony.

THE BOWERMAN SEMIFINALISTS, 2012 MEN

(listed in alphabetical order)

NAME YEAR SCHOOL EVENTS HOMETOWN
Donn Cabral SR Princeton Distance Glastonbury, Conn.
Jordan Clarke RS JR Arizona State Throws Anchorage, Alaska
Tim Glover JR Illinois State Javelin Normal, Ill.
Charles Jock SR UC Irvine Mid-Distance San Diego, Calif.
Erik Kynard JR Kansas State Jumps Toledo, Ohio
Cam Levins SR Southern Utah Distance Black Creek, B.C.
Tony McQuay JR Florida Sprints Riviera Beach, Fla.
Maurice Mitchell SR Florida State Sprints Kansas City, Mo.
Andrew Riley SR Illinois Sprints/Hurdles Kingston, Jamaica
Alexander Ziegler JR Virginia Tech Throws Dischingen, Germany

QUICKLY, THE SEMIFINALISTS IN 2012

Donn Cabral, Princeton
Cabral won the NCAA Outdoor title in the steeplechase in a time of 8:35.44, over five seconds ahead of Michigan’s Craig Forys. Cabral, as part of an undefeated season in the steeple, scorched the record books with a 8:19.14 clocking at the Oxy High Performance meet in mid-May, notching the best time by a collegian in the event since 1979. Cabral now trails only Washington State legend Henry Rono on the all-time collegiate list in the steeple.

He was named the Co-Ivy Men’s Outdoor Most Outstanding Performer of the Championships for sweeping the steeple and 10,000 meters in the league championship. Cabral won the indoor version of the league award outright with a win the 5000 and third-place showing in the 3k.

Cabral led Princeton to a Penn Relays sweep of the 4xMile relay and distance medley relay, anchoring both to victory. At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Cabral took eighth in the 5000 meters.

Cabral in the first in Princeton and Ivy League history to be named a semifinalist for The Bowerman.

Jordan Clarke, Arizona State
Clarke swept NCAA shot put titles this season. At the indoor championships, Clarke used a final toss of 68-5¼ (20.86m), a new personal best, to take the lead and the crown. Outdoors, Clarke’s best throw of the meet of 66-11¼ (20.40m) came in the third round and was enough for a two-foot victory. Clarke also qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships with the hammer, where he finished tenth.

He was named the Pac-12 Championships Athlete of the Meet after claiming the shot put title, taking second in the hammer, and third in the discus. Clarke also took the MPSF title with the shot. Outdoors, Clarke only lost to a collegian once.

Clarke is the second from Arizona State to be named a semifinalist for the award. Shot putter Ryan Whiting was a semifinalist and finalist in 2010.

Tim Glover, Illinois State
Glover won his second-straight NCAA title in the javelin this season. Glover uncorked a fourth-round throw in the national finals of 268-0 (81.69m) to take the lead and victory from Texas A&M’s Sam Humphreys. His best mark was the third-best in meet history and the best since 2009. Glover recorded a six-throw series with every throw measuring more than 235 feet and had two throws over 250 feet.

Glover entered the championships as the top-ranked thrower of the year via a best throw of 266-9 (81.31m) to take top honors at the Sea Ray Relays. Glover now stands No. 9 on the all-time collegiate performers list in the event.

He won the Missouri Valley Conference title in the javelin for the third-straight year as well and was named the conference’s Most Outstanding Field Athlete.

Glover was the USTFCCCA Outdoor National Field Athlete of the Year and is the first from Illinois State and the first to represent the Missouri Valley Conference as a Bowerman Semifinalist.

Charles Jock, UC Irvine
Jock claimed the NCAA Outdoor title in the 800 meters, leading wire-to-wire and besting the field with a 1:45.59 run. In winning the 800 meters at the Big West Championships, Jock equaled his personal best set in 2011 with a collegiate- and American-leading 1:44.75 run to best UC Santa Barbara’s Ryan Martin by two hundredths of a second. Jock ranks seventh on the all-time collegiate performers list in the event.

The Big West Conference Track Athlete of the Year, Jock is the first from UC Irvine and his league to be named a semifinalist for The Bowerman.

Erik Kynard, Kansas State
Kynard won the NCAA Outdoor high jump crown for the second-straight year and cleared 7-8 (2.34m), equaling the second-best finish in national-championship history. Kynard’s clearance of the height moved him into a tie for fifth on the all-time collegiate performers list.

Kynard was undefeated during the outdoor season and only lost once indoors. At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Kynard placed fourth. During the indoor season, Kynard twice cleared 7-7 (2.31m). Kynard was also the high jump champ at the Texas Relays.

He claimed a Big 12 sweep of the high jump and was named the conference’s Co-Indoor Outstanding Performer of the Year.

Kynard is the first in Kansas State and Big 12 history to be a semifinalist for the award.

Cam Levins, Southern Utah
Levins swept NCAA Outdoor crowns at 5000 and 10,000 meters this season, becoming the first to do so since 2009 when The Bowerman winner from that year – Oregon’s Galen Rupp – did so in Fayetteville, Ark. Using a 58.06 final lap split, he maintained his two-second lead to take the 10k title in 28:07.14, the best time in meet history since 1984. In the 5000, Levins closed in 54.28 in the final lap and 1:59.66 over the last 800 meters, to win by over a second (13:40.05).

Earlier in the season, on two consecutive weekends, Levins jumped into the record books with big runs at the Mt. SAC Relays and Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. At the Mt. SAC Relays, Levins would outrun Arizona’s Lawi Lalang in a thriller to clock the NCAA’s best time of the season, 13:18.47. The mark is fifth all-time in the collegiate ranks and the fastest by a collegian since 2008. At the Payton Jordan meet, Levins would run another winner against a stout field of pros and collegians with a 10k world-leading run of 27:27.96, topping Sam Chelanga and Stanford’s Chris Derrick among others. The time of 27:27.96 is also No. 2 on the all-time collegiate list.

Two weeks removed from the Payton Jordan meet, Levins competed in five races at the Summit League Outdoor Championships and swept the finals of the 1500, 5000, and 10k. He was named the meet’s track MVP.

Indoors, at the NCAA Championships, he placed third in the 3000 meters and fourth in the 5000 meters. He was named the Summit League’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year after taking home four conference titles with victories in the 800, Mile, 3000, and 5000. He was the top collegian in the 3000 meters at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston where he ran 7:45.75, the fastest time by a collegian since 2009 and eighth-fastest all-time. At the Millrose Games, Levins placed seventh overall in the Mile with a run of 3:57.16.

Levins is the first from Southern Utah and the Summit League to be represented as a semifinalist for The Bowerman. On Sunday, Levins announced that he will forgo his senior year and turn professional.

Tony McQuay, Florida
McQuay helped lead the Gators to the their first NCAA Outdoor team title with a national crown in the 400 meters and as anchor of the 4×400 relay team that took victory. In the 400, McQuay claimed top honors with the season’s collegiate best time of 44.58 seconds, just ahead of Oregon’s Mike Berry. In the 4×400, McQuay literally clinched the team title for the Gators. Taking the baton in second place, Florida, down two points heading into the meet’s final event, needed to win the relay to secure at least a share of the team crown. McQuay, with a 44.01 split, fired past Southern California’s Bryshon Nellum to take the tape. Because LSU finished third in the relay, the Gators managed a four-point swing, enough to place Florida on top of the point standings.

He was the winner of the 400 meters at the SEC Championships, as part of an outdoor undefeated season in the event, in 45.48 and also led Florida to the SEC crown in the 4×400. The 4×400 squad also won the Drake Relays title.

McQuay is the first since 2008 to sweep NCAA indoor and outdoor 400-meter crowns. He won the national indoor title in the season’s best by a collegian, 45.77.

McQuay extends the leads for Florida (5) and the SEC (9) on the all-time semifinalist men’s appearance list.

Maurice Mitchell, Florida State
At the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Mitchell won the 200 meters and placed third in the 100. For his second-straight crown in the 200, Mitchell clocked 20.40, winning by a quarter of a second and despite a 4.2 meters-per-second headwind. In the 100 meters, Mitchell was third in what was likely the closest finish in NCAA history. The final clocking of 10.28 (10.277) was just five thousandths of a second behind Illinois’ Andrew Riley (10.272).

At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Mitchell placed third in the 200 meters (20.66) and sixth in the 60 meters (6.62).

He won the 200 meters (20.65) and was the runner-up in the 100 meters (10.21) at the ACC Championships and was named the league’s Track Performer of the Year. He was also the ACC’s Indoor Track Performer of the Year and, at the league meet, won the 200 and was runner-up in the 60.

Mitchell was also a semifinalist in 2011 and is now only the fourth man to make a second semifinalist appearance, joining Liberty’s Sam Chelanga, Alabama’s Kirani James, and Florida’s Christian Taylor. Taylor was a finalist in 2011.

Andrew Riley, Illinois
Riley became the first in NCAA Division I history to win the 100 meters and 110 hurdles at the same outdoor national championships.

Riley, USTFCCCA’s National Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, won the 100 meters in one of the closest finishes in meet history as the top five with a winning time of 10.28 seconds. Riley forged through a headwind of 2.3 meters per second (5.14 mph) to best Auburn’s Harry by two thousandths of a second (10.272 to 10.274) and Florida State’s Maurice Mitchell by five thousands of a second (10.277). Riley entered the NCAA Championships as the 31st overall seed, out of 96 contestants, with a personal best clinched earlier in the season of 10.28. In the meet’s first round, Riley clocked 10.19 and then won his quarterfinal heat in a wind-aided 10.03 seconds. At the finals site, Riley had a real breakthrough, clocking a new personal best of 10.02 in the semifinal.

In the 110 hurdles, Riley, the 2010 NCAA champ, won each of the NCAAs four rounds and clocked 13.53 in the final, despite 3.5 meters per second headwind (7.83 mph). Riley won by seven hundredths of a second over Texas A&M’s Wayne Davis II (13.60). Earlier in the season, Riley clocked the collegiate-leading time of 13.28 at the John McDonnell Invitational, moving to No. 8 on the all-time collegiate performance list.

Riley also helped Illinois to the national final of the 4×100.

Riley was named the Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year and Athlete of the Championships after claiming three conference titles. Riley won the 100 meters, 110 hurdles, and led off the Illini’s 4×100 relay to the league crown.

Indoors, Riley was second at the NCAA meet in the 60 and fourth in the 60 hurdles. He claimed Big Ten indoor crowns in the 60 and 60 hurdles.

Riley was named Illinois’ all-sport Athlete of the Year and is a nominee for the Jesse Owens Award – the Big Ten’s all-sport Athlete of the Year award.

Alexander Ziegler, Virginia Tech
Ziegler won the hammer throw at the NCAA Outdoor Championships by more than 20 feet, unleashing a fifth-round attempt of 248-7 (75.78m) that was the best winning mark since 2000 and made him the fifth-best performer in meet history. All six of Ziegler’s throws at the NCAA finals would have won the competition as he marked no worse than 230-7 (70.29m). The 248-7 stands as Ziegler’s and the collegiate best from the season and moved him to No. 8 on the all-time collegiate performer list. With the victory, Ziegler claimed his second-straight NCAA crown in the event, becoming the first since Virginia Tech’s Spryidon Jullien who did the same in 2005 and 2006.

Ziegler was undefeated against collegiate competition with the hammer this year.

Indoors, Ziegler claimed third place at the NCAA Championships in the weight throw. Ziegler won the ACC Outdoor crown with the hammer and was second indoors at the league meet with the weight. He was named the ACC’s Outdoor Field Performer of the Year.

Ziegler is the first from Virginia Tech to be a semifinalist for The Bowerman.

THE BOWERMAN SEMIFINALIST & AWARD HISTORY

2009
Winner: Galen Rupp, Oregon
Finalist: Ashton Eaton, Oregon
Finalist: German Fernandez, Oklahoma State
(semifinalists were not named in 2009)

2010
Winner: Ashton Eaton, Oregon
Finalist: Andrew Wheating, Oregon
Finalist: Ryan Whiting, Arizona State
Sam Chelanga, Liberty
Jeff Demps, Florida
Johnny Dutch, South Carolina
Walter Henning, LSU
Kirani James, Alabama
David McNeill, Northern Arizona
Christian Taylor, Florida

2011
Winner: Ngoni Makusha, Florida State
Finalist: Jeshua Anderson, Washington State
Finalist: Christian Taylor, Florida
Robby Andrews, Virginia
Sam Chelanga, Liberty
Will Claye, Florida
Kirani James, Alabama
Leonard Korir, Iona
Maurice Mitchell, Florida State
Scott Roth, Washington

Multiple Semifinalist Appearances by School (2010-2012)

Florida (5): Christian Taylor (2), Will Claye, Jeff Demps, Tony McQuay
Florida State (3): Maurice Mitchell (2), Ngoni Makusha*
Alabama (2): Kirani James (2)
Arizona State (2): Jordan Clarke, Ryan Whiting
Liberty (2): Sam Chelanga (2)
Oregon (2): Ashton Eaton*, Andrew Wheating
* Previous Winner

All-Time Semifinalist Appearances by Current Conference

MEN

Conference

App.

Last

SEC

9

2012

Pac-12

5

2012

ACC

5

2012

Big South

2

2011

Big 12

1

2012

Big Ten

1

2012

Big West

1

2012

Ivy

1

2012

Missouri Valley

1

2012

Summit League

1

2012

Metro Atlantic

1

2011

Big Sky

1

2010

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.

Florida State’s Ngoni Makusha and Texas A&M’s Jessica Beard 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.