From the NCAA to the World Stage: 2013 Collegians at the IAAF World Championships

From the NCAA to the World Stage: 2013 Collegians at the IAAF World Championships

NEW ORLEANS – A significant number of 2013 collegians are making their way to Moscow, Russia, for the 2013 IAAF Outdoor World Championships — the year’s premier event in the world of track & field — which begin Saturday, August 10.

A total of 78 student-athletes who were on 2013 collegiate rosters are entered in individual events or are members of a relay pool — or both — for this year’s world championships, which are held outdoors every other year. Both sexes are well-represented with 41 men and 37 women.

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Many of these athletes have already found success at the collegiate level with 29 combined NCAA indoor and outdoor track & field titles among them, and now they turn their attention to the world stage to make a name for themselves at the international level.

Four finalists for The Bowerman — the most prestigious award in collegiate track & field presented to a male and female student-athlete every year since 2009 — are slated to compete. Men’s finalists Julian Wruck of UCLA competing for Australia and Derek Drouin of Indiana competing for Canada will look to bring home medals in the discus and high jump, respectively.

Though the two obviously will not compete against one another in Moscow, they are in a heated battle — along with Arizona’s Lawi Lalang — for the fan vote for The Bowerman. However, their performances in Moscow should not be considered for voting purposes; only results from the collegiate season, which ended June 8 with the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, should be a factor.

Women’s finalists and US Team members Brigetta Barrett of Arizona and Brianna Rollins of Clemson will compete in the high jump and 100 hurdles, respectively, as the world leaders in their events. Current fan vote leader Kori Carter of Stanford did not qualify for the 400 hurdles, but missing one opportunity opens doors for another: she will now be able to attend her sister’s wedding.

Barrett, Rollins, Drouin, 2012 women’s The Bowerman winner Kimberlyn Duncan (USA, 200 meters), Oklahoma’s Tia Brooks (USA, shot put) and LSU’s Natoya Goule (Jamaica, 800 meters) each claimed two individual NCAA Division I titles in 2013 between the indoor and outdoor seasons.

Division II will also be represented by a pair of multiple-time champions in three-time winner Danielle Williams of Johnson C. Smith (Jamaica, 60 hurdles/100 meters/200 meters) and Western State’s Barbara Szabo (Hungary, high jump). Szabo cleared the second-highest height outdoors of any collegian in 2013, regardless of division, with a mark of 6-2¼ (1.89m).

The list of notable 2013 collegians extends far beyond multiple-time champions. For the men, Erik Kynard of Kansas State (USA) will renew his high jump rivalry with Drouin; Charles Silmon of TCU (USA) and Isiah Young of Ole Miss (USA) — the NCAA champions at 100 meters and 200 meters, respectively — will both chase medals; and Florida jumping standouts Omar Craddock (USA) and Marquis Dendy (USA) will take flight in the triple jump and long jump, respectively.

Among the notable 2013 collegiate women are two-time defending 100 meters champ English Gardner of Oregon (USA);  back-to-back outdoor 400 champ Ashley Spencer (USA), formerly of Illinois and now with Texas; and indoor 400 meter champ Shaunae Miller of Georgia (Bahamas) who will be competing at 200 meters. Though she was denied an NCAA title in the 400 hurdles by Stanford’s Carter, Georganne Moline of Arizona (USA) was fifth at the Olympics last year and is among the world’s fastest again in 2013. Outdoor long jump champ Lorraine Ugen of TCU (Great Britain) is also in the field.

Though they redshirted the 2013 NCAA outdoor season, collegiate indoor mile record holder Chris O’Hare of Tulsa (Great Britain) and 2012 NCAA steeplechase champ Shalaya Kipp of Colorado (USA) will also be competing.

Arizona’s and Florida’s 2013 squads will each be represented by six entries apiece between the men’s and women’s competitions, followed closely by Arkansas’ five.

Mike Holloway of Florida — fresh off an NCAA outdoor men’s title — and Beth Alford-Sullivan of Penn State are the head coaches for the men’s and women’s teams, respectively.

Assisting Holloway on the men’s team are Curtis Frye of South Carolina — who was recently announced as part of the USTFCCCA Coaches Hall of Fame Class of 2013 — Oklahoma’s Brian Blutreich, Army’s Troy Engle and Navy’s Stephen Cooksey.

Alford-Sullivan’s staff includes current collegiate coaches Delethea Quarles of South Carolina, Lance Deal of Oregon and Juli Benson of Air Force.

Johnson C. Smith’s Lennox Graham will serve as an assistant to the Jamaican team, while Indiana’s Jeff Huntoon will be an assistant for Canada.