Four New Additions Join an Ever-Younger The Bowerman Women’s Watch List

March 6, 2014   

NEW ORLEANS – With a first-year collegian and five juniors leading the way, a youth movement is taking over Women’s Watch List for The Bowerman in its pre-NCAA Indoor Championships edition, which was released Thursday.

After starting the preseason with seven seniors on the Watch List for collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor, only Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino, Arizona State’s Anna Jelmini and Laura Roesler of Oregon remain, along with new addition Sami Spenner of Omaha.

The Bowerman Women’s Watch List -
Pre-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.
Abbey D’Agostino SR Dartmouth Distance Topsfield, Mass.
Emily Grove JR South Dakota Pole Vault Pontiac, Ill.
Kendra Harrison JR Kentucky Hurdles/Sprints Clayton, N.C.
Anna Jelmini RS SR Arizona State Throws Bakersfield, Calif.
Laura Roesler SR Oregon Mid-Distance Fargo, N.D.
Ashley Spencer JR Texas Sprints Indianapolis, Ind.
Sami Spenner SR Omaha Jumps/Cmb. Events Columbus, Neb.
Jasmine Todd RS FR Oregon Jumps Chandler, Ariz.
 
Also Receiving Votes:Erica Bougard (Mississippi State); Dani Bunch (Purdue); Kearsten Peoples (Missouri); Barbara Szabo (Western State); Shanieka Thomas (San Diego State)

 

Among those five juniors is a budding rivalry between Texas A&M’s Kamaria Brown and Kentucky’s Dezerea Bryant. Brown defeated SEC newcomer Bryant in a historic 200 meters for the conference title in a final that produced two of the three fastest times of 2014.

Brown also claimed a title at 400 meters, and Bryant an individual 60 meter crown – both in collegiate-leading fashion. The two will likely square off again at 200 meters next weekend – March 14-15 – with an national title on the line in Albuquerque, N.M., at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships.

Another junior rivalry featuring Brown and two-time defending outdoor 400 meters champion Ashley Spencer of Texas will be put on hold, however. Brown did not declare at 400 meters at the NCAA meet, averting a match-up with Spencer, who is now the top qualifier at 400 meters after her Big 12 title last weekend.

The pre-NCAA Indoor Championships Watch List saw two new juniors join the ranks.

Bryant’s teammate at Kentucky, hurdler Kendra Harrison joined the all-time top-10 performers list in the 60-meter hurdles with her SEC crown, while South Dakota pole vaulter Emily Grove leapt into the all-time top 10 in her signature event at the USATF Indoor Championships.

Also new to the list was redshirted first-year student-athlete Oregon sprinter and jumper Jasmine Todd, who became the first frosh to appear on the Watch List since Georgia’s Shaunae Miller in May of 2013. In just her first collegiate campaign, she is already ranked No. 2 both at 60 meters and in the long jump.

The veteran seniors who remained on the list weren’t slouches over the past month, either.

Spenner recorded two historic pentathlon performances, including an all-time American collegiate-best 4498 to finish runner-up at the USATF Indoor Championships. She also scored 60 team points at the Summit League Championships with four individual wins.

D’Agostino ran the fourth-fastest time over 3000 meters in collegiate indoor history in a fourth-place showing at the Millrose Games, and won three Ivy League titles just last weekend. She remains the active women’s leader in Watch List appearances with eight, one ahead of Spencer.

Roesler was largely idle after a scorching month of January, but her and Todd’s appearances pushed Oregon’s women’s team total to an even 50 – most of any women’s program. Also including Jelmini, the Pac-12 has now produced 95 appearances on the Women’s Watch List, second to the SEC.

Brown’s inclusion lifted Texas A&M’s second-ranked total to 29, and she combined with Bryant and Harrison to bring the SEC’s all-time total appearances to a nation-leading 106.

Also receiving votes were former Watch List members Dani Bunch of Purdue and Shanieka Thomas of San Diego State and new additions Erica Bougard of Mississippi State, Kearsten Peoples of Missouri and Barbara Szabo of Western State. Szabo is the first Division II woman to appear since Academy of Art’s Vashti Thomas in May of 2013.

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, five World Championships (one relay, one indoor) and ten World Championships medals (two relay, one indoor). When considering finalists for the award, 13 individuals have earned a combined six Olympic medals, six World Championships (one relay, two indoor) and 20 World Championships medals (three realy, three 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.