Final The Bowerman Men’s Watch List of 2014 Sets Up Excellent NCAA Championships Showdowns

June 4, 2014   

NEW ORLEANS – As if the competition for individual titles at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships wasn’t enough, Wednesday’s announcement of the final edition of the Men’s Watch List for The Bowerman – collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor – could take the stakes in many of those events to an even higher level.

Eight different events – including six individual competitions – have the potential to pit members of 10-person Watch List and those in the "Also Receiving Votes" category against one another next week at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., from June 11-14.

All told, nine of the ten members of the Watch List could square off with either another full-fledged Watch List member or one of seven student-athletes also receiving votes outside the top 10. Of the top 10, only defending 3000-meter steeplechase champ Anthony Rotich of UTEP will go through the weekend without passing through a Watch List counterpart.

After student-athletes make their final cases for their award candidacy at NCAAs, 10 will be selected as Semifinalists on Monday, June 23. Women’s Semifinalists for The Bowerman Trophy will be announced the following day.

The Bowerman Men’s Watch List –
Pre-NCAA Championships 2014

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

NAME YEAR SCHOOL EVENTS HOMETOWN
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.
Aleec Harris RS SR Southern California Hurdles Atlanta, Ga.
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: Trayvon Bromell (Baylor); Aaron Brown (Southern California); Marquis Dendy (Florida); Sam Kendricks (Ole Miss); Brandon McBride (Mississippi State); Dentarius Locke (Florida State); Michael Stigler (Kansas)

 

The lone new addition to this final edition, Southern California’s Aleec Harris, did not directly compete against rival Watch List member Wayne Davis II of Texas A&M in the 110-meter hurdles at the West Prelims in Fayetteville, Ark., this past weekend, but their respective performances in separate heats suggested it might take a collegiate record to decide the title.

Harris ran the fastest time by a collegian since 1979 in 13.18 (+1.8m/s) to move up to No. 2 on the all-time college performers list and No. 3 on the 2014 world leaders list, while in a different heat Davis posted a 13.20 (+1.9m/s) to move to No. 3 and 4 on those respective lists.

For reference, the collegiate record of 13.00 was run by Maryland’s Renaldo Nehemiah in 1979.

The West Prelims also served as a prelude to the much-hyped distance showdowns between 2013 The Bowerman Finalist Lawi Lalang of Arizona, Texas Tech’s Kennedy Kithuka, and Edward Cheserek of Oregon – who are the winners of each of the past three national cross country individual titles, respectively.

All-Time Appearances
By School

1. Florida 65
2. Arizona 26
t3. Texas 21
t3. Oregon 21
5. Texas A&M 19

With qualification to the final site in Eugene as the main objective, the trio of Kithuka, Lalang and Cheserek cruised to a 1-2-3 finish at 5000 meters – the only event in which all three will compete – while Kithuka took the top seed at 10,000 meters ahead of Cheserek.

Lalang, meanwhile, earned the top seed at 1500 meters.

Away from the track, two-time national discus champion Julian Wruck of UCLA, a 2013 Finalist for The Bowerman, finds himself amidst perhaps the deepest field of competitors of any men’s field event. Among those vying to take down Wruck is rival Watch List member Texas’ Ryan Crouser, not to mention former Watch List member and collegiate leader Andrew Evans of Kentucky and 2012 champion Chad Wright of Nebraska.

Ranked  No. 7 in the national for the discus to Wruck’s No. 2, Crouser will look to boost his The Bowerman resume beyond a potential national title defense of his shot put crown.

As the first collegiate man to surpass the 70-foot barrier since 2010 The Bowerman Finalist Ryan Whiting of Arizona State, he enters the latter event as the collegiate leader.

All-Time Appearances
By Conference

1. SEC 129
2. Pac-12 94
3. Big 12 66
4. ACC 37
5. Big South 14

At 200 meters, Florida’s Dedric Dukes could square off with "Also Receiving Votes" honoree Aaron Brown of Southern California.

Brown will be among three student-athletes in the "Also Receiving Votes" category at 100 meters looking to use the event to catapult themselves into the top 10. Brown could face collegiate-leading former Watch List member Trayvon Bromell of Baylor and 2013 runner-up Dentarius Locke of Florida State.

Last but not least, Texas A&M’s Deon Lendore won’t see any other current The Bowerman Watch List members at 400 meters – although Florida’s Arman Hall and Oregon’s Mike Berry have both been included in the past – but he could see some in the relay events.

As a leg of the 4×100 relay, his team could potentially meet up with Harris’ Southern California squad and Locke’s Florida State crew, while in the 4×400 relay his Aggies may face Kansas’ quartet featuring "Also Receiving Votes" honoree Michael Stigler of Kansas.

Joining Bromell, Brown, Locke and Stigler in the "Also Receiving Votes" segment were former Watch List members in Florida’s Marquis Dendy and Ole Miss’ Sam Kendricks, along with Mississippi State’s Brandon McBride.

 

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.