Historic Performances Permeate Post-Conference Championships Edition of The Bowerman Men’s Watch List

May 21, 2014   

NEW ORLEANS – With the 2014 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships just around the corner, men’s contenders for The Bowerman Trophy, collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor, have shifted their performance to an even higher – even historic – gear.

Conference championships season resulted in historic performances for more than half of the 10 members of the Post-Conference Championships edition of the Men’s Watch List for The Bowerman, released Wednesday by The Bowerman Watch List Committee.

Among those historic performances were those by the two additions to this latest version of the top-10 contenders list: first-time member Trayvon Bromell of Baylor and returner Wayne Davis II of Texas A&M.

The Bowerman Men’s Watch List –
Post-Conference Championships 2014

(Click student-athletes’ names for biographies & notes)

NAME YEAR SCHOOL EVENTS HOMETOWN
Trayvon Bromell FR Baylor Sprints St. Petersburg, Fla.
Edward Cheserek FR Oregon Distance Newark, N.J.
Ryan Crouser JR Texas Throws Gresham, Ore.
Wayne Davis II SR Texas A&M Hurdles Raleigh, N.C.
Dedric Dukes JR Florida Sprints Miami, Fla.
Kennedy Kithuka SR Texas Tech Distance Thika, Kenya
Lawi Lalang SR Arizona Distance Eldoret, Kenya
Deon Lendore JR Texas A&M Sprints Arima, Trinidad & Tobago
Anthony Rotich JR UTEP Distance Nairobi, Kenya
Julian Wruck RS SR UCLA Throws Brisbane, Australia
 
Also Receiving Votes: Andrew Evans (Kentucky); Sam Kendricks (Ole Miss); Jarrion Lawson (Arkansas); Brandon McBride (Mississippi State); Nick Miller (Oklahoma State); Michael Stigler (Kansas)

 

Though he had a bit of wind propelling him, first-year collegian Bromell ran the third-fastest all-conditions 100 meters in collegiate history with a Big 12 title-winning and all-conditions world-leading 9.77w (+4.2m/s) as one of four men under 10 seconds in the final.

The performance gives him both the all-conditions and wind-legal collegiate leads, dating back to his 10.01 win at the Texas Relays back in March.

Davis II, without the wind at the SEC Championships, continued an undefeated national title defense campaign in 110-meter hurdles finals with an SEC title in 13.23 (+0.4m/s) for the No. 5 spot on the all-time collegiate performers list and equal to No. 3 in the world for 2014.

While those two ran two all-time performances in two different events at two separate meets, the Pac-12 1500 meters final featured two The Bowerman contenders – 2013 The Bowerman finalist Lawi Lalang of Arizona and Oregon’s Edward Cheserek – going head-to-head and laying down two all-time great performances.

In what turned out to be the fastest 1500 meters battle ever run at a conference championship meet, Lalang crossed held off his nemesis Cheserek after a furious kick down the homestretch, crossing the line in 3:36.34 to Cheserek’s 3:36.50.

Lalang’s performance ranks No. 7 on the all-time collegiate list, while Cheserek ended up No. 9, making their duel the only 1500 meters race in history featuring two members of the current all-time top-10.

While Lalang and Cheserek are locked in an historic duel with one another – and potentially rival Watch List members Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech and Anthony Rotich of UTEP – other members of the Watch List are operating on a completely different plane of performance than their peers.

Take Deon Lendore of Texas A&M, for example. With his SEC title at 400 meters in 44.36 – ranking him No. 8 among collegiate performers all-time – he won by nearly a full second over runner-up Vernon Norwood of LSU and leads all collegians by nearly than three-quarters of a second.

While Lendore has cracked the 45-second barrier twice in three 400 meters finals, no other collegian has accomplished the feat once in 2014. That’s not even counting his splits in the 4×400 relay, in which he ran 44.2 to anchor the Aggies’ SEC-winning team.

Texas’ Ryan Crouser has outperformed his competition to a similar degree in the shot put in 2014. In winning the Big 12 title with a mark of 70-2¼ (21.39m) for the No. 4 spot on the 2014 world rankings, he became the first collegian to surpass the 70-feet threshold since former The Bowerman Finalist Ryan Whiting won his final NCAA title in 2010.

Though Crouser has only contested the shot put outdoors three times in 2014, he nonetheless owns the top seven marks of the collegiate season and is more than two-and-a-half feet clear of the next-closest competitor on the national descending order list, Darrell Hill of Penn State.

He is also No. 7 on the collegiate discus list in 2014 with his Big 12 title-winning 209-8 (63.90m) heave, putting him into direct competition with returning 2013 The Bowerman Finalist Julian Wruck of UCLA and collegiate-leading Andrew Evans of Kentucky, who also received votes outside the top 10.

Rounding out the Watch List was Dedric Dukes of Florida. His inclusion increased Florida’s all-time best Watch List appearance total to 64, well ahead of Arizona’s 25.

Florida’s SEC conference also holds the advantage over Arizona’s Pac-12 conference in total appearances, 126 to 90, respectively.

Dropping out of the top 10 were Andrew Evans of Kentucky Arkansas’ Jarrion Lawson. The were joined in the "Also Receiving Votes" section by Sam Kendricks of Ole Miss, Brandon McBride of Mississippi State, Oklahoma State’s Nick Miller and Kansas’ Michael Stigler.

 

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 percent 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.