The Bowerman Update: A Busy Weekend Upcoming for The Watch List

January 24, 2014   

NEW ORLEANS – With just two weekends of competition remaining before the February edition of The Bowerman Watch Lists are announced and nearly all of the current Watch-Listers in action over the course of the next three days, this could be a prime weekend for some moving and shaking on the Lists with head-to-head competitions on the schedule.

Eight of the ten women and eight of the ten men comprising the Watch Lists are scheduled to compete over the next couple days, with seven additional women receiving votes and four additional men also suiting up.

The f irst head-to-head The Bowerman Watch List battle of 2014 will kick off at 2:05pm ET/1:05pm CT as Texas A&M’s Kamaria Brown and Texas Tech’s Cierra White (also receiving votes) will see who can finish a 200-meter lap quicker at the Texas A&M Triangular. The two could also face off in the 4×400 and will race against one another’s times over 60 meters.

Potentially just minutes later across the country, Arman Hall of Florida will square off with Mike Berry of Oregon (also receiving votes) over 400 meters at 2:35pm ET at the Kentucky Rod McCravy Memorial Invitational — the Division I USTFCCCA National Meet of the Week.

More than just that men’s match-up, Kentucky along with New Mexico’s Cherry & Silver Invitational will play host to a majority of The Bowerman action this weekend with seven members of the Watch List at each meet.

The women’s action this weekend is headlined by 2013 The Bowerman semifinalist Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth going head-to-head with high school phenom Mary Cain and a host of Nike Oregon Project professionals in the mile at the Boston U. Terrier Invitational Friday night as the pack potentially chases the American indoor mile record of 4:20.5 set in 1982 by Mary Slaney. Though it is not her primary event, D’Agostino is the sixth-fastest collegian of all time over the distance with her 4:30.03 at last year’s Millrose Games.

Even if the pack doesn’t reach the longest-standing women’s American indoor record on the books, D’Agostino could still approach the collegiate record of 4:25.91 set in 2009 by, coincidentally enough, the lone women’s distance runner to win The Bowerman: Jenny (Barringer) Simpson.

It’ll be live on Flotrack Pro (subscription necessary) at approximately 5:40pm ET.

Kentucky Rod McCravy Memorial Invitational

Follow LiveStreaming Video ($) | Results | Heat Sheets | Meet Schedule

Among the seven total members of the Watch Lists who will run in Lexington, Ky., are three of the top-10 women and two of the top-10 men, along with a male and female also receiving votes.

The headliner of the meet, in terms of The Bowerman involvement, will likely be the men’s 400 where Florida’s Hall and Oregon’s Berry (also receiving votes) will go head-to-head in both of their 2014 debuts. Hall, who burst onto the scene last year as a freshman with a third-place finish at NCAAs outdoors leading up to a semifinalist showing at the IAAF World Championships at 400 meters, will take on the well-established Berry, who has been a perennial top-three finisher at the NCAA Championships both indoors and out since his collegiate debut in 2011.

Kentucky will also serve as the 2014 debut at 400 meters for Phyllis Francis of Oregon, a member of the Women’s Watch List.

Francis’ teammate Laura Roesler will take her first shot in 2014 at her signature event, the 800 meters, in Lexington, and the duo could potentially pair up for the Ducks’ 4×400 relay.

Though not up against any competition from the current members of the Watch List, Kentucky’s Dezarea Bryant (also receiving votes), who currently leads the nation at 60 meters, will take on a loaded field in that same event. Oregon’s duo of first-year collegian Jasmine Todd and Jenna Prandini are No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, behind Bryant on the national descending order list, and they will both be aside her in the starting blocks on Saturday.

Currently the collegiate leader at Roesler’s 800 meters event, Florida’s Cory McGee – a member of team USA at the 2013 World Championships at 1500 meters — will take a couple steps up in distance as she competes at 3000 meters at Kentucky.

Florida’s defending indoor long jump champion Marquis Dendy will again compete at 60 meters, having not yet debuted in his signature horizontal jumping event.

New Mexico Cherry & Silver Collegiate Invitational

Follow Live: Live Results | Heat Sheets | Meet Schedule

With as many as eight members of the Watch Lists suiting up in Albuquerque, N.M. — site of the 2014 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships — the Cherry & Silver Collegiate Invitational is the West’s answer to Kentucky this weekend. Three members of the men’s Watch List’s top 10 and another from the women’s List, along with two women and two men who are also receiving votes, are scheduled to compete throughout the two-day meet.

While a showdown between Arizona’s Lawi Lalang (2013 The Bowerman finalist) and UTEP’s Anthony Rotich appeared to be in the cards earlier in the week, it has since been announced that Lalang will compete at 800 meters and Rotich in the mile.

Lalang is defending mile and 3000 meters titles indoors and 5000 and 10,000 meters crowns outdoors, while Rotich is prepping for the defense of his 3000-meter steeplechase title. Rotich will also contest the 3000 meters distance Friday evening. Both men are scheduled to be up against Nike professionals Lopez Lomong, Ryan Hill and Andy Bayer in their respective events.

Texas’ Ryan Crouser, coming off an outdoor shot put national win in 2013, will compete indoors in collegiate competition for the first time since 2012.

Nick Ross of Arizona (also receiving votes) — the 2012 indoor high jump champ — competed indoors collegiately for the first time since 2012 a week ago, posting a season-debut height of 7-6.5 (2.30m) that surpassed last year’s opening performance by 2013 men’s The Bowerman winner Derek Drouin of Indiana by a half of an inch. He’s back in action this weekend in New Mexico looking to build off his impressive start to 2014.

A pair of Watch Listers from Florida State will take to the track at the Albuquerque Convention Center this weekend as men’s sprinter Dentarius Locke (also receiving votes) and women’s distance runner Colleen Quigley are scheduled to compete. This will be Locke’s season debut, while Quigley is currently ranked fourth in the nation at 3000 meters.

Rounding out the competitors from The Bowerman Watch List is Georgia pole vaulter Morgann Leleux (also receiving votes). She is currently ranked third in the nation.

Texas A&M Triangular

Follow Live: Watch Live | Live Results | Entry List | Meet Schedule

As the lone dual-meet action including The Bowerman this weekend, Saturday’s Texas A&M Triangular with the host Aggies, Texas Tech and LSU will feature four members of the Preseason Watch Lists.

One hour before Hall and Berry square off at 400 meters in Lexington, Texas A&M’s Deon Lendore will make his 2014 debut at 400 meters in College Station. He will also likely run anchor on Texas A&M’s 4×400 relay squad to cap the day.

Teammate and fellow men’s Watch Lister Wayne Davis II will compete in the 60-meter hurdles for the first time in 2014 after putting up a 7.85 at the beginning of December 2013.

An even busier day is in store for the Aggies’ Kamaria Brown and Texas Tech’s Cierra White (also receiving votes), who are both competing at 60 meters and 200 meters, as well as the 4×400 relay. The two will face each other at 200 meters for the first head-to-head The Bowerman showdown of the 2014 season and potentially in the 4×400 relay, but are in separate sections of the 60.

Brown is the current collegiate leader at 200 meters, while White currently sits at 11th.

Elsewhere Around the Country

Arizona State’s Anna Jelmini will be at Northern Arizona for the second consecutive weekend competing in the shot put.

Kansas’ Watch List members will remain busy as they have throughout 2014 to this point, competing in front of the home crowd at the Jayhawk Classic. Combined-events athlete Lindsay Vollmer is schedule to compete in her first pentathlon of the season — an event in which she finished ninth at NCAAs a year ago before winning the outdoor heptathlon title. She enters on a hot streak having recorded personal bests in the 60-meter hurdles and high jump, as well as the indoor shot put.

Teammate Natalia Bartnovskaya (also receiving votes) will continue the journey toward a defense of her 2013 indoor pole vault title, while Michael Stigler (also receiving votes) will suit up for the 4×400 relay.

Among those looking to dethrone Bartnovskaya this winter will be outdoor national pole vault champion Bethany (Buell) Firsick of South Dakota (also receiving votes), who will be competing at the Minnesota Jack Johnson Invitational.

Continuing the pole vault theme, Sam Kendricks of Mississippi — the current collegiate leader for the men — will take flight at the Vanderbilt indoor Invitational seeking his third 18-0 or higher winning mark in a row.

Last but not least, Boise State’s Emma Bates (also receiving votes) will compete in the mile at her home Jacksons Invitational/New Balance Boise Indoor.

The Bowerman Alumni in the News

After breaking the indoor 5000 meters American record and running the fastest-ever 5000 meters in the month of January, 2009 men’s The Bowerman winner Galen Rupp was awarded USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week award.

He may repeat the award next week should he attain the American indoor two-mile record he is seeking at this Saturday’s Boston U. Terrier Invitational. He previously held the record before Bernard Lagat claimed it last winter at the Millrose Games in 8:09.49. A record would be the 21st national record currently held by former winners of and finalists for The Bowerman.

Rupp’s record attempt and the entirety of the Terrier Invitational (Friday women/Saturday men) can be streamed live on FlotrackPro with a subscription.

Rupp’s female counterpart in 2009, women’s winner Jenny (Barringer) Simpson, was announced this week as part of the elite field at the CinqueMulini cross country race on Sunday, Jannuary 26. The race, which will take place in San Vittore Olona, Italy, is part of the IAAF Cross Country Permit Series.

White not necessarily news, per se, 2010 men’s winner Ashton Eaton — decathlon world record holder, world champion and Olympic champion extraordinaire — chatted with Bruce Ferrington of the Maths in Sports project to discuss what role mathematics play in a decathlon competition.

Eaton also appeared this week in a new commercial for the Nike FlyKnit line of athletic shoes alongside Kobe Bryant, Richard Sherman of the Super Bowl-bound Seattle Seahawks, Mo Farah and Allyson Felix. You can watch it below or by clicking here.