American, World Junior & Collegiate Records Fall to the Newest The Bowerman Women’s Watch List

March 20, 2014   

NEW ORLEANS – "Records are meant to be broken," so the old adage goes, and the members of the post-NCAA Indoor Championships edition of The Bowerman Women’s Watch List announced Thursday certainly obliged.

Among the all-time marks that fell to the latest contenders for collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor were an American record, a World Junior record, and four collegiate records – not to mention others who climbed near the top of the all-time top 10 performers list and accomplished unique NCAA Championships feats.

The Bowerman Women’s Watch List -
Post-NCAA Indoor Championships 2014

(Click student-athletes’ names for biographies)

NAME YEAR SCHOOL EVENTS HOMETOWN
Kamaria Brown JR Texas A&M Sprints Baton Rouge, La.
Dezerea Bryant JR Kentucky Sprints Milwaukee, Wis.
Remona Burchell JR Alabama Sprints Montego Bay, Jamaica
Abbey D’Agostino SR Dartmouth Distance Topsfield, Mass.
Phyllis Francis SR Oregon Mid-Distance Queens, N.Y.
Anna Jelmini RS SR Arizona State Throws Bakersfield, Calif.
Kaitlin Petrillose SO Texas Pole Vault Round Rock, Texas
Laura Roesler SR Oregon Mid-Distance Fargo, N.D.
Shanieka Thomas SR San Diego State Sprints/Jumps Clarendon, Jamaica
Kendell Williams FR Georgia Combined Events Marietta, Ga.
 
Also Receiving Votes: Sharika Nelvis (Arkansas State); Sami Spenner (Omaha); Barbara Szabo (Western State); Lorraine Ugen (TCU)

 

Chief among that group was Oregon’s Phyllis Francis Absent from the prior Watch List for the first time this season after a quiet stretch in late February, she made her presence known with American and collegiate records at 400 meters in 50.46 and as the anchor of the collegiate-record, NCAA-team-championship-winning 4×400 relay in one of the most spectacular finishes in collegiate history.

With Oregon’s fifth consecutive national team title hanging ever-so-delicately in the balance, she chased down two-time defending outdoor 400 meters champion Ashley Spencer of Texas – herself a two-time The Bowerman Semifinalist – and leaned past her for a .02 victory in 3:27.40.

Also running a leg of that relay was teammate and fellow Watch List member Laura Roesler, who added the relay title to her individual 800 meters crown.

Frosh Kendell Williams of Georgia also snared a pair of records with her pentathlon national title, scoring 4635 to topple the World Junior and collegiate records in the events. All while having to take down defending NCAA champion Erica Bougard of Mississippi State – who also surpassed the previous collegiate record – to make it happen.

Kicking off the assault on the record books Friday night was Texas’ Kaitlin Petrillose, who vaulted into rarified air – literally and figuratively – as the only woman in Division I indoor history to clear 15 feet with a collegiate record 15-1 (4.60m) winning height.

Joining Francis in returning to the Watch List was San Diego State’s champion triple jumper Shanieka Thomas.

Williams and Petrillose were joined as new additions to the Watch List by Alabama’s Remona Burchell, who claimed the 60 meters title over rival Watch List member Dezerea Bryant of Kentucky – who went on to claim the title at 200 meters.

Though she didn’t set any collegiate records, Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino, who leads all active women with nine career Watch List appearances, nevertheless made history as the first woman in Division I indoor history to sweep both the 3000 and 5000 meters titles in two consecutive seasons.

Rounding out the Watch List were world-leading 200 meters sprinter Kamaria Brown of Texas A&M and Arizona State’s Anna Jelmini, who is still awaiting her outdoor debut in her signature discus event.

Brown’s championships were disappointingly cut short with an injury in the 200 meters final.

Others who received votes but did not ultimately make the top 10 were 60-meter hurdles champion Shakira Nelvis of Arkansas State, long jump champion Lorraine Ugen of TCU, Omaha’s Sami Spenner and the collegiate-leading Division II high jump champion Barbara Szabo of Western State.

The SEC led the way with four representatives, followed by the Pac-12 with three.

Biographies on each of the members of the Watch List can be found here.

 

ABOUT THE BOWERMAN

The Bowerman Trophy, which was first awarded in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.

Indiana’s Derek Drouin and Clemson’s Brianna Rollins are the reigning winners of The Bowerman, which is named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman. In addition to their collegiate achievements, Rollins is the reigning World Champion in the 100 meter hurdles — an event for which she also holds the American Record — while Drouin has won bronze medals at both the 2012 Olympics and 2013 IAAF World Championships.

Past winners include Olympic gold medalist, World Champion and decathlon world-record holder Ashton Eaton (2010); 10,000-meter Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp (2009); and 2011 IAAF World Champion at 1500 meters, Jenny Simpson (2009).

In total, the winners from the award’s first four years have won three Olympic Medals, six World Championships (one relay, two indoor) and 11 World Championships medals (two relay, one indoor). When considering finalists for the award, 13 individuals have earned a combined six Olympic medals, eight World Championships (one relay, four indoor) and 23 World Championships medals (three realy, six indoor).

Former winners of and finalists for The Bowerman currently hold 21 national records. Each former winner of the men’s Bowerman Trophy holds at least two national records, while two of the five women’s winners are current national record-holders.

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.