Women’s Semifinalists for 2012 Awarding of The Bowerman Revealed

June 19, 2012   

NEW ORLEANS – The awarding of The Bowerman – collegiate track & field’s top award – is entering its final stages for the 2012 season. On Tuesday, the award’s Women’s Watch List committee announced this year’s semifinalists – they are: Arizona’s Brigetta Barrett, Oklahoma’s Tia Brooks, Southern Miss’ Ganna Demydova, LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan, Oregon’s English Gardner, TCU’s Whitney Gipson, Ohio State’s Christina Manning, Southern Illinois’ Jeneva McCall, Illinois’ Ashley Spencer, and Oregon’s Brianne Theisen.

With the collegiate season complete, the semifinalists will be evaluated by the ten-person Bowerman Advisory Board and three finalists will be named from the semifinalist group on Friday, June 29. The winner of The Bowerman will be announced 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.

Three on this year’s list are semifinalist veterans. Oregon’s Brianne Theisen has made Bowerman history in becoming the first person to be listed as a semifinalist three times. LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan and Arizona’s Brigetta Barrett are making their second-straight appearance as a semifinalist. Duncan was a finalist for the award in 2011.

Illinois’ Ashley Spencer is the first women in award history to be named a semifinalist as a freshman. Spencer won the 400 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, becoming the first frosh to do so since Texas’ Sanya Richards (2003).

Arizona’s Barrett and Oregon’s Gardner and Theisen helped the Pac-12 lead all leagues with three semifinalists, the Big Ten followed with two (Illinois’ Spencer and Ohio State’s Manning). Seven leagues are represented on the women’s semifinalist list. The Pac-12 leads in all-time women’s semifinalist appearances with nine and are followed by the SEC (5) and Big 12 (5). TCU’s Gipson gives the Mountain West Conference their first-ever showing on the women’s semifinalist list.

Oregon leads in all-time semifinalists with five.

THE BOWERMAN SEMIFINALISTS, 2012 WOMEN

(listed in alphabetical order) 

NAME YEAR SCHOOL EVENTS HOMETOWN
Brigetta Barrett JR Arizona Jumps Duncanville, Texas
Tia Brooks RS JR Oklahoma Throws Grand Rapids, Mich.
Ganna Demydova SR Southern Miss Jumps Nikolayev, Ukraine
Kimberlyn Duncan JR LSU Sprints Katy, Texas
English Gardner SO Oregon Sprints Voorhees, N.J.
Whitney Gipson SR TCU Sprints/Jumps Newark, Texas
Christina Manning SR Ohio State Sprints/Hurdles Waldorf, Md.
Jeneva McCall SR Southern Illinois Throws Dolton, Ill.
Ashley Spencer FR Illinois Sprints/Hurdles Indianapolis, Ind.
Brianne Theisen SR Oregon Combined Events Humboldt, Sask.

QUICKLY, THE SEMIFINALISTS IN 2012

Brigetta Barrett, Arizona
With sweeps of NCAA high jump crowns in the indoor and outdoor seasons, Barrett became the first in woman in DI history to earn dual-season titles in back-to-back years, a combination of four consecutive national titles between the seasons.

For the indoor NCAA meet, Barrett cleared 6-5 (1.96m) – tied for the seventh-best mark in collegiate history – to take the crown and was one of only two to clear a bar at more than six feet that day. At the outdoor national championships, Barrett won with a clearance of 6-4 (1.93m).

Barrett cleared 6-5½ (1.97m) at the indoor Razorback Invitational in January. That leap tied Barrett for the second-best mark in indoor collegiate history and was the best among the collegiate ranks since 2009 when The Bowerman finalist Destinee Hooker cleared 6-6 (1.98m) to win the NCAA title.

Barrett was undefeated in both seasons with five indoor wins and seven outdoor victories. In nine of those meets, Barrett cleared 6-4 (1.93m) or better to win.

Dating back to 2011, Barrett has won 17-straight competitions versus collegiate competition. Her last loss in the collegiate season was to Washington State’s Holly Parent, based on misses, at the Jim Click Shootout on April 2, 2011. In both 2011 and 2012, no one has cleared a bar higher than Barrett in a competition. She was the Pac-12 Champion for the second-consecutive season as well.

Barrett is only the third woman in award history to make a second semifinalist appearance.

Tia Brooks, Oklahoma
Brooks claimed a sweep of NCAA shot put titles in 2012.  At the national indoor championships, Brooks won with the collegiate-season’s best and overall collegiate best since 2004, 62-4 (19.00m). On the all-time indoor collegiate list, Brooks is now the second-best performer in history, only behind collegiate record holder Laura Gerraughty.

The outdoor title was won with the national-championships’ best marks since 1998. Brooks’ best mark in the meet was 60-6 (18.44m). In the series of six throws, Brooks claimed four that traveled more 18 meters (59-¾) – all of which would have won the competition. In the two rounds of NCAA competition, Brooks had seven such throws – the rest of the field had none.

Brooks swept Big 12 crowns with the shot and won the Drake Relays title with an outdoor season best of 60-7¼ (18.47m).

Brooks is the first in Oklahoma history to be named a Bowerman semifinalist.

Ganna Demydova, Southern Miss
Demydova won NCAA and Conference USA outdoor titles in the triple jump this year. On her first attempt at the NCAA outdoor meet, Demydova sailed to 46-7¼ (14.20m), marking a new personal best, the collegiate best of the season, and the third-best mark in outdoor collegiate history. Demydova’s second attempt was a wind-aided jump of 46-4 (14.12m) and she went on to record two additional jumps over 45 feet (one wind-aided).

She won her second-straight outdoor Conference USA crown with a wind-aided best of 46-½ (14.03m). She was named the league’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year and was awarded with the conference championship’s Performance of the Meet.

Demydova qualified for the NCAA outdoor prelims in the long jump and placed fourth in the conference championships in the event.

As a semifinalist, she is the first in Southern Miss history and the second in Conference USA history, joining 2010 finalist, UTEP’s Blessing Okagbare.

Kimberlyn Duncan, LSU
After the 2012 year, Duncan is the first woman in NCAA Division I to win back-to-back indoor and outdoor national titles in the 200 meters. That’s four straight national crowns in the event for Duncan who still has senior eligibility remaining in 2013.

All told, Duncan now has six NCAA titles to her credit – four with the 200 meters and two with the 4×100 relay.

This season, Duncan contributed 20½ points to LSU’s claim of the NCAA outdoor team title, winning the 200 meters, finishing runner-up in the 100, and anchoring the Lady Tigers to victory in the 4×100 relay. She crushed the field in each of the NCAA’s four rounds in the 200 meters, winning each race by at least three tenths of a second. In the event’s final, Duncan clocked 22.86 despite a 2.3 meters-per-second headwind. In the national semifinal Duncan claimed a new low-altitude all-time collegiate best time of 22.19 seconds — a time that is dubbed as the second-fastest time in collegiate history and is the world-leading mark so far this 2012 season.

In anchoring LSU to their second-straight 4×100 relay national crown, the squad claimed the collegiate-best time of the year and seventh fastest in collegiate history with a 42.68-second readout in the semifinals. The finals time of 42.75 is now the eighth-fastest time in collegiate history.

Indoors, Duncan notched her second-consecutive 200-meter title with a 2012 world-best time of 22.74. Duncan became the first to win back-to-back national indoor crowns in the event since LSU’s Muna Lee (2002-03). Duncan also claimed an eighth-place finish at the national championships in the 60 meters.

Duncan had a full season – 65 races in all, including 40 during the outdoor campaign. She was undefeated against collegiate competition in the 200, winning six finals indoors and four outdoors. She ran in 13 of LSU’s 4x100s, anchored 12, and lost just once. Combining all finals in individual events and relays during the outdoor season, Duncan went 20-for-24. She only lost once in the 100 meters and that was for second in the national final, once in the 4×400, once in the 4×100 and in the sprint medley relay – both for second place at the Penn Relays.

At the Texas Relays, Duncan won the 100 meters in with a wind-aided time of 10.94.  In addition, Duncan helped LSU to a Texas Relays sweep of the 4×100, 4×200, and sprint medley relay and was named the Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet for her efforts. At the Penn Relays, Duncan and LSU won the 4×200 relay and finished runner up in the 4×100 and sprint medley.

She named the SEC’s Outdoor Co-Women’s Runner of the Year, claiming conference crowns in the 100, 200, and as anchor of the 4×100. Indoors, she was the league champ in the 200 and was runner-up in the 60.

Duncan was named the Honda Sport Award Winner for women’s track & field for the 2012 season and was the coaches’ choice for USTFCCCA Outdoor National Track Athlete of the Year.

Duncan, a finalist for The Bowerman in 2011, is only the third woman to make a second semifinalist appearance in award history. She also extends the SEC’s lead in all-time semifinalist appearances to nine.

English Gardner, Oregon
Gardner, the Pac-12 Track Athlete of the Year, was a double winner in 2012, claiming NCAA titles in the indoor 60 meters and outdoor 100 meters. The last to complete such a double was UTEP’s Blessing Okagbare, a 2010 finalist for The Bowerman. In addition, Gardner grabbed an additional national crown as she led off the Ducks’ victorious 4×400 at the NCAA outdoor meet with a 51.1 split.

As part of an undefeated season in finals for the 100, Duncan claimed the NCAA title in a season’s best 11.10, six hundredths of a second ahead of LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan. Gardner clocked an all-conditions, wind-aided season best of 11.00 to win the Pac-12 title for the second-consecutive year.

She also led the Ducks to the 4×100 title at the Pac-12 Championship and was a member of the squad that took fourth nationally in the event at the NCAA meet.

Indoors, Gardner won the NCAA 60-meter title with a 2012 collegiate-best time of 7.12. In the meet’s preliminary, Gardner matched her then-collegiate-leading time of 7.17. Gardner’s 7.12 places her third on the all-time collegiate performers list in the event, behind only Lakya Brookins and Angela Williams (7.09). Gardner ran 7.20 or better in the 60 on four occasions during the 2012 indoor season.

Whitney Gipson, TCU
Gipson swept NCAA long jump titles in 2012 and is the third-straight person to accomplish the feat, joining Southern Miss’ Tori Bowie (2011) and 2010 Bowerman finalist Blessing Okagbare (UTEP).

Gipson had a breakthrough performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships where she won the long jump with a collegiate-record-equaling 22-8 (6.91m). Gipson tied the 2002 collegiate record set by Auburn’s Elva Goulbourne in the championships’ fifth round and finished the season No. 4 on the world’s indoor performance list. In addition, Gipson had a total of three jumps of 6.20 meters (20-8) and four over 20 feet in the series at the NCAA meet.

At the NCAA outdoor meet, she popped off a second-round wind-aided jump of 22-4½ (6.82m) that would be the best of the championship. The mark was the fifth-best all-conditions jump of all-time at the NCAA meet. In the third round, Gipson notched a wind-legal jump of 22-3¾ (6.80m) which will go down as the outdoor collegiate-season best.

Gipson, the Mountain West Indoor and Outdoor Athlete of the Year, was impressive at the league championships indoors where she won with a leap of 21-10¾ (6.67m) and notched three jumps over 6.50 meters (21-3¾).

She won the Penn Relays long jump crown and was third at the Texas Relays.

As a member of TCU’s 4×100 squad, she helped the team to the NCAA semifinals and a Mountain West title. Also at the league meet indoors, Gipson was third in the 200 meters and seventh in the triple jump.

Gipson is the first in Mountain West history and the first in TCU history to be named a semifinalist.

Christina Manning, Ohio State
Manning captured NCAA titles in the 60 hurdles indoors and 100 hurdles outdoors as part of an undefeated season against collegians in both events. The last person to accomplish that double was 2010 winner of The Bowerman – Queen Harrison. She won the national crown in the 60 hurdles in 7.91 seconds, becoming the fourth-fastest in collegiate history in that event. Outdoors, she won the title in 12.89 seconds, marking four straight rounds in which she went under the 13-second barrier.

During the indoor season, Manning also claimed fifth place nationally in the 60 meters. Outdoors, she was a member of Ohio State’s 4×100 that finished fifth at the NCAA meet.

The Big Ten Indoor and Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year, Manning swept conference titles in the 60 dash and 60 hurdles indoors and, similarly, repeated the feat outdoors with crowns in the 100 dash and 100 hurdles. For good measure, Manning also added an outdoor league title in the 4×100 and was runner-up both indoor and outdoor in the Big Ten at 200 meters.

Manning is the first in Ohio State history to be named a semifinalist.

Jeneva McCall, Southern Illinois
McCall swept NCAA titles in the indoor weight throw and outdoor hammer throw in 2012. Outdoors, the national title in the hammer was won with a throw of 225-3 (68.67m). She won the weight throw indoors with a best of 75-1¾ (22.90m) – more than four feet better than the competition.

For the NCAA finals site outdoors, McCall was a final-24 contestant in shot put, discus and hammer. She went on to take third-place nationally in the shot put and tenth with the discus. Indoors, McCall was the national runner-up in the shot put.

Her personal best with the hammer of 227-8 (69.39m) came at this year’s Vanderbilt Black and Gold meet and makes her the event’s eighth all-time performer in collegiate history. With the weight, a mark of 77-11½ (23.76m) at the Saluki Open in January moved her to No. 4 all-time in that event.

Named the Missouri Valley Conference’s Indoor and Outdoor Most Outstanding Performer of the Year, McCall won five MVC crowns throughout the year. She swept shot put titles, added a weight throw title indoors, and captured top honors with the discus and hammer outdoors.

McCall is the first in Southern Illinois history to be a semifinalist. She is the second in MVC history to be named to semifinalist list, joining Indiana State’s Kylie Hutson (2010).

Ashley Spencer, Illinois
Spencer is the first woman in The Bowerman history to be named a semifinalist as a freshman. This year, she became the first freshman to win the NCAA outdoor title at 400 meters since Texas’ Sanya Richards in 2003. She clocked the collegiate season’s best and a personal best, 50.95, to take the crown by a quarter-of-a-second. Indoors, Spencer debuted at the NCAA meet with a sixth-place showing in the 200 meters.

The Big Ten’s Indoor and Outdoor Freshman of the Year, Spencer swept the 200 and 400 meters at both conference championship meets and added a 4×400 crown and runner-up 4×100 showing outdoors. She was also named the Big Ten Outdoor Track Athlete of the Championships.

She anchored Illinois to fourth-place in the 4×200 and fifth-place in the 4×400 at the Penn Relays.  

Spencer is the first from Illinois to be named a semifinalist for the award.

Brianne Theisen, Oregon
Theisen – the first three-time semifinalist in The Bowerman history – added two more NCAA titles to her trophy case this season by again winning national crowns in the indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon. It was Theisen’s third claim to national glory in both events. Among NCAA Division I women, Theisen is now tied for fourth on the all-time championship-titles list, including relays and across both indoor and outdoor track & field. She only trails Texas’ Carlette Guidry (12), Texas’ Suziann Reid (10), and Wisconsin’s Suzy Favor (9) in career national crowns.

Indoors, Theisen won the national crown with 4,536 points, joining Arizona State’s Jacquelyn Johnson (2006-07-08) as the only other three-time champion in the event.

Outdoors, she won with a personal best and second-best score in collegiate and NCAA meet history – 6,440 points, joining Houston’s Jolanda Jones (1986-87-89) and Arizona State’s Jacquelyn Johnson (2006-07-08) as a three-time heptathlon titlists. Theisen used personal bests in the 100 hurdles (13.30), shot put (42-4¾, 12.92m), long jump (20-7¼, 6.28m), and javelin (152-2, 46.38m) to compile her winning score.

In January, at Texas A&M’s Mondo Challenge, Theisen broke her own collegiate record in the pentathlon for the third time with a tally of 4,555. In that event’s high jump portion, Theisen cleared 6-2 (1.88m) in the high jump and finished the season tied for second among all collegians with that mark. Theisen’s 4,555 also broke the Canadian record of 4,550 that was set in 1982.

The Pac-12 Field Athlete of the Year, she won the Pac-12 title in the heptathlon (6,353) for the third time.

Theisen was named the USTFCCCA Indoor and Outdoor National Field Athlete of the Year.

THE BOWERMAN SEMIFINALIST & AWARD HISTORY

2009
Winner: Jenny Barringer, Colorado
Finalist: Destinee Hooker, Texas
Finalist: Porscha Lucas, Texas A&M
(semifinalists were not named in 2009)

2010
Winner: Queen Harrison, Virginia Tech
Finalist: Lisa Koll, Iowa State
Finalist: Blessing Okagbare, UTEP
Christian Taylor, Florida
Semoy Hackett, Lincoln (Mo.)
Kylie Hutson, Indiana State
Mariam Kevkhishvili, Florida
Porscha Lucas, Texas A&M
Francena McCorory, Hampton
Brianne Theisen, Oregon
Phoebe Wright, Tennessee

2011
Winner: Jessica Beard, Texas A&M
Finalist: Kimberlyn Duncan, LSU
Finalist: Tina Sutej, Arkansas
Nia Ali, Southern California
Brigetta Barrett, Arizona
Emma Coburn, Colorado
Jordan Hasay, Oregon
Sheila Reid, Villanova
Jeneba Tarmoh, Texas A&M
Brianne Theisen, Oregon

Multiple Semifinalist Appearances by School (2010-2012)

Oregon (5): Brianne Theisen (3), English Gardner, Jordan Hasay
Texas A&M (3): Jessica Beard*, Porscha Lucas, Jeneba Tarmoh
LSU (2): Kimberlyn Duncan (2)
Arizona (2): Brigetta Barrett (2)
* Previous Winner

All-Time Semifinalist Appearances by Current Conference

WOMEN

Conference

App.

Last

Pac-12

9

2012

SEC

5

2012

Big 12

5

2012

Big Ten

2

2012

Conference USA

2

2012

Missouri Valley

2

2012

Mountain West

1

2012

Big East

1

2011

MEAC

1

2010

MIAA (DII)

1

2010

ACC

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.