Final The Bowerman Women’s Watch List Also Sets Up Dramatic NCAA Championships Team Title Race

Final The Bowerman Women’s Watch List Also Sets Up Dramatic NCAA Championships Team Title Race

NEW ORLEANS – With the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships just around the corner next week in Eugene, Ore., a final edition of the Women’s Watch List for The Bowerman Trophy – collegiate track & field’s highest individual – fraught with national team title implications was unveiled Thursday by The Bowerman Watch List Committee

Each of the ten women who appeared on the previous iteration of the Watch List two weeks ago survived and advanced from their NCAA Championships Preliminary Sites to maintain their standing on the Watch List heading into Oregon from June 11-14.

With only as many as five of these top contenders for the women’s trophy potentially facing off against one another, there won’t be nearly as much intra-Watch List competition as in the men’s competition.

But while the individual match-ups aren’t as plentiful, the bountiful implications each of these 10 women have on the national team title race more than make up for that.

Following the conclusion of the NCAA Championships, women’s semifinalists for The Bowerman will be announced Tuesday, June 24, one day after the announcement of the men’s semifinalists.

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

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

NAME YEAR SCHOOL EVENTS HOMETOWN
Abbey D’Agostino SR Dartmouth Distance Topsfield, Mass.
Olivia Ekponé JR Texas A&M Sprints Germantown, Md.
Phyllis Francis SR Oregon Mid-Distance Queens, N.Y.
Kendra Harrison JR Kentucky Hurdles/Sprints Clayton, N.C.
Shalaya Kipp SR Colorado Distance Salt Lake City, Utah
Courtney Okolo SO Texas Sprints Carrollton, Texas
Kaitlin Petrillose SO Texas Pole Vault Round Rock, Texas
Laura Roesler SR Oregon Mid-Distance Fargo, N.D.
Shelbi Vaughan SO Texas A&M Throws Mansfield, Texas
Kendell Williams FR Georgia Combined Events Marietta, Ga.
 
Also Receiving Votes: Jenna Prandini (Oregon)
 

Each of the top three teams in the final U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Team Computer Rankings released Tuesday have two current Watch List members on their rosters, and five of the nation’s top six teams have at least one.

Top-ranked Texas has two current contenders in sprinter Courtney Okolo and pole vaulter Kaitlin Petrillose – not to mention two-time The Bowerman Semifinalist sprinter Ashley Spencer and former Watch List member Morolake Akinosun.

No. 2 Texas A&M’s Watch List duo comes in the form of sprinter Olivia Ekponé and discus thrower Shelbi Vaughan and, with another former Watch List member in sprinter Kamaria Brown.

All-Time Appearances
By School

1. Oregon 60
2. Texas A&M 37
3. LSU 25
4. Arizona 22
5. Arkansas 18

No. 3 Oregon is represented by sprinter Phyllis Francis and mid-distance runner Laura Roesler, in addition to the lone "Also Receiving Votes" honoree in sprinter/jumper Jenna Prandini.

Francis and Roesler ran legs of the winning Oregon 4×400 relay at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships in March that clinched the Ducks’ fifth-straight team title over the Texas squad with Okolo and Spencer, as Francis edged out Spencer at the line for the win.

Francis and Okolo’s duel at 400 meters, which will also feature two-time defending champ Spencer, will be the lone showdown between two current members of the 10-member Watch List at these Championships.

Francis is the indoor 400 meters collegiate and American record holder, while Okolo holds the top all-time collegiate mark outdoors.

Both Texas and Oregon will likely have Watch List representation in the meet-finale 4×400 relay rematch, in which the national team title could very well be on the line once again.

Both No. 5 Kentucky and No. 6 Georgia both have one current Watch List member each in hurdler Kendra Harrison and heptathlete Kendell Williams, respectively. UK also has another former Watch List member in sprinter Dezerea Bryant.

The trio of Texas, Texas A&M and Oregon will all have Watch List members running in the 4×100 relay, as could Kentucky.

All-Time Appearances
By Conference

1. SEC 127
2. Pac-12 110
3. Big 12 51
4. ACC 35
t5. Ivy League 13
t5. Big Ten 13

While their teams aren’t in the team title hunt, distance runners Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth and Shalaya Kipp of Colorado both have individual titles to defend or reclaim. D’Agostino will look to win her third 5000 meters title in a row, while Kipp will attempt to reclaim her 2012 3000-meter steeplechase title after a redshirt season a year ago.

The short sprints will likely be a hotbed of potential The Bowerman activity as Ekponé battles a slew of former Watch List members who will seek a national title or two to thrust themselves back into contention for the trophy.

The collegiate leader at 200 meters, Ekponé will face former Watch List members in teammate Brown, Texas’ Akinosun and Kentucky’s Bryant, as well as current "Also Receiving Votes" honoree Prandini of Oregon.

At 100 meters she will square off again with Akinosun, Bryant and Prandini, along with former Watch List member Remona Burchell of Alabama – the indoor 60 meters champ.

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.

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