Cheserek, Lalang & Lendore Named Men’s Finalists for The Bowerman
July 9, 2014
NEW ORLEANS – Freshman Edward Cheserek of Oregon, senior Lawi Lalang of Arizona and junior Deon Lendore of Texas A&M are the 2014 Men’s Finalists for The Bowerman Trophy – collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor – as chosed by The Bowerman Advisory Board, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Wednesday.
Based on their exceptional achievements during the indoor and outdoor collegiate track & field seasons in 2013-14, the trio made the cut as the three men who will travel to Phoenix, Ariz., for the awarding of The Bowerman Trophy on December 17 as part of the USTFCCCA Convention at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge.
One among them ultimately joining the ranks of The Bowerman Winners alongside a number of the world’s best track & field athletes, including Ashton Eaton – world record holder, Olympic Champion and World Champion in the decathlon – and distance runner Galen Rupp, a multi-American record holder and Olympic Silver Medalist.
Voting to determine both the men’s trophy and women’s trophy – the finalists for which will be announced Thursday at 2 p.m. ET/11 p.m. PT in a web-streamed selection show – will commence July 28 and conclude August 12.
Fans will have an opportunity during that time to make their voices heard in a fan vote that will ultimately count as one ballot alongside those cast by media members, statisticians, USTFCCCA member coaches and other experts from around the nation.
Cheserek, Lalang and Lendore all distinguished themselves to the utmost degree during their 2013-14 track & field campaigns, and their selections as Finalists each have a unique historical perspective as a result.
No freshman – male or female – has ever won The Bowerman Trophy, and prior to Cheserek’s ascension to Finalist status today only German Fernandez of Oklahoma State in 2009 had even been named to the final three as a first-year collegian.
Cheserek – who would be the third Duck to win The Bowerman along with 2009 winner Galen Rupp and 2010 winner Ashton Eaton – made a significant splash on the collegiate scene in his freshman year, sweeping the indoor 3000 and 5000 meters national titles and adding a 10,000 meters national title outdoors.
To cap it off, he narrowly finished runner-up to Lalang at 5000 meters outdoors in the NCAA Championships’ all-time fastest race at that distance.
He finished the year No. 8 all-time among collegians outdoors at 5000 meters in 13:18.71, and No. 9 all-time at 1500 meters after a slim runner-up finish to Lalang at the Pac-12 Championships in 3:36.50. He also ran key legs of the Ducks’ winning DMR and 4xMile relay teams at the Penn Relays.
The aforementioned Lalang made some history of his own with his selection, becoming a Finalist for the second consecutive year – a feat matched only by 2010 winner Eaton.
Several records fell to Lalang throughout the course of his senior campaign, including the collegiate indoor mile record in 3:52.88 and the NCAA Outdoor Championships 5000 meters record in 13:18.36 to edge out rival Cheserek and move to No. 4 on the all-time collegiate list.
His 5000 meters title outdoors came in addition to three national runner-up finishes: indoors in the mile and at 5000 meters, and outdoors at 1500 meters.
While Cheserek finished ahead of Lalang in the NCAA titles race, three to one, the Wildcat senior got the better of the young Duck in head-to-head competition, two wins to one. He outkicked Cheserek at the Pac-12 Championships to run the fastest-ever time in a conference championship race at 3:36.34 to move to No. 7 all-time among collegians.
While Lalang and Cheserek were going back and forth throughout the year, no one could touch Lendore in his signature 400 meters event. The junior won each of his eight finals in the quarter-mile, including a sweep of the indoor and outdoor national titles.
Should Lendore end the evening of December 17 as the winner of The Bowerman Trophy, his victory in combination with Jessica Beard’s women’s trophy in 2011 would make Texas A&M the first school with both a men’s and women’s winner.
He was particularly dominant in SEC competition, setting personal bests at the conference championships of a world-best 45.03 indoors and 44.36 outdoors to jump to No. 4 and No. 8 on the respective all-time top-10 lists for those seasons.
Texas A&M’s relays also leaned heavily on Lendore as an anchor throughout the year, including the 4×400 relay that came within one-hundredth of a second from equaling the collegiate record at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and the runner-up 4×100 relay.
Finalists were chosen by The Bowerman Advisory Board, a ten-person panel of track & field experts from around the country, based on performances recorded during the 2014 indoor and outdoor track & field seasons. Only performances through the conclusion of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are eligible for consideration.
WINNER SELECTION PROCESS
The Bowerman Voters will receive ballots listing each of the finalists and must rank them by first, second and third choice. First-place votes will receive three points, second place will notch two, and third will receive one point. The finalist with the highest point total will be declared the winner.
The Bowerman Voters consist of:
- The Bowerman Advisory Board (10 members)
- Select media personnel, statisticians, and collegiate administrators
- Galen Rupp, 2009 men’s winner of The Bowerman
- Ashton Eaton, 2010 men’s winner of The Bowerman
- Ngoni Makusha, 2011 men’s winner of The Bowerman
- Cam Levins, 2012 men’s winner of The Bowerman
- Derek Drouin, 2013 men’s winner of The Bowerman
- Jenny (Barringer) Simpson, 2009 women’s winner of The Bowerman
- Queen Harrison, 2010 women’s winner of The Bowerman
- Jessica Beard, 2011 women’s winner of The Bowerman
- Kimberlyn Duncan, 2012 women’s winner of The Bowerman
- Brianna Rollins, 2013 women’s winner of The Bowerman
- Online voting by the public will constitute one collective vote (ranking of choices will be made by order of total single votes)
- Online voting by USTFCCCA members will constitute one collective vote (ranking of choices will be made by order of total single votes)
Paper balloting will conclude in the coming weeks while online voting will begin on Monday, July 28 and will last until Tuesday, August 12. An independent accounting firm will collect, tabulate, and certify final results and will keep the result secret until the envelope is opened December 17 at The Bowerman Trophy Award Show.
THE BOWERMAN PAST FINALISTS & AWARD HISTORY
Winner: Galen Rupp, Oregon
Finalist: Ashton Eaton, Oregon
Finalist: German Fernandez, Oklahoma State
Winner: Ashton Eaton, Oregon
Finalist: Andrew Wheating, Oregon
Finalist: Ryan Whiting, Arizona State
Winner: Ngoni Makusha, Florida State
Finalist: Jeshua Anderson, Washington State
Finalist: Christian Taylor, Florida
Winner: Cam Levins, Southern Utah
Finalist: Tony McQuay, Florida
Finalist: Andrew Riley, Illinois
Winner: Derek Drouin, Indiana
Finalist: Lawi Lalang, Arizona
Finalist: Julian Wruck, UCLA
Winner: Jenny Barringer, Colorado
Finalist: Destinee Hooker, Texas
Finalist: Porscha Lucas, Texas A&M
Winner: Queen Harrison, Virginia Tech
Finalist: Lisa Koll, Iowa State
Finalist: Blessing Okagbare, UTEP
Winner: Jessica Beard, Texas A&M
Finalist: Kimberlyn Duncan, LSU
Finalist: Tina Sutej, Arkansas
Winner: Kimberlyn Duncan, LSU
Finalist: Brigetta Barrett, Arizona
Finalist: Brianne Theisen, Oregon
Winner: Brianna Rollins, Clemson
Finalist: Brigetta Barrett, Arizona
Finalist: Kori Carter, Stanford
Multiple Finalists by School (2009-2014)
(Does not include 2014 women’s finalists)
Oregon (6): Ashton Eaton (2)*, Galen Rupp*, Brianne Theisen, Andrew Wheating, Edward Cheserek
Arizona (3): Brigetta Barrett (2), Lawi Lalang (2)
Texas A&M (3): Jessica Beard*, Porscha Lucas, Deon Lendore
Florida (2): Tony McQuay, Christian Taylor
LSU (2): Kimberlyn Duncan (2)*
* Previous Winner
All-Time Finalists by Conference
(using conference affiliation for seasons in question, change in affiliation is noted by finalists listed. Includes both men and women.)
OREGON – 6
ARIZONA – 4
ARIZONA STATE – 1
STANFORD – 1
UCLA – 1
WASHINGTON STATE – 1
Big 12 (7):
TEXAS A&M – 2
COLORADO – 1 (Barringer, 2009)
IOWA STATE – 1
OKLAHOMA STATE – 1
TEXAS – 1
FLORIDA – 2
LSU – 2
ARKANSAS – 1
TEXAS A&M – 1
CLEMSON – 1
FLORIDA STATE – 1
VIRGINIA TECH – 1
Big Ten (2):
ILLINOIS – 1
INDIANA – 1
Conference USA (UTEP), Summit League (Southern Utah)
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.