Laura Roesler & Deon Lendore Honored with 2014 Bowerman Trophies

December 17, 2014   

PHOENIX – Texas A&M sprinter Deon Lendore and Oregon mid-distance runner Laura Roesler were awarded The Bowerman Trophy as the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes of the 2013-14 season in a ceremony held Wednesday evening at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa as part of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Convention.

Roesler is the first female athlete from the Pac-12 to win the award, and Lendore is the first male athlete from the SEC to win. Lendore is from Trinidad & Tobago, making his win the fourth straight by an international man.

Roesler is the first athlete of either gender to win with the 800 meters as her primary event, while Lendore is the first man to win on the strength of his performances in the 400.

The award show, which was streamed live on TheBowerman.org, is embedded below. Ryan Fenton hosted the ceremony, while Alex Lohr and former Bowerman winner Queen Harrison hosted the red carpet show.

 

"I’d like to thank God for giving me talent and bringing me to the United States, and the board for selecting me," said Lendore after joining one of the most exclusive clubs in track & field. "We’re all great athletes, and all of the finalists are winners today," he added.

Lendore put together one of the most dominant collegiate campaigns ever. He ran in eight 400 meter finals in 2014, winning them all and going 1-0 in the 200 to boot. His 45.03 was the fastest indoor time in the world this year, and his 44.36 outdoors led the NCAA. In addition to indoor and outdoor national titles in the 400, the junior anchored the winning 4×400 meter relay and the runner-up 4×100 at outdoor nationals.

Roesler was similarly untouchable in 2014. The Duck senior won six out of the seven collegiate 800 meter finals–including the indoor and outdoor NCAA championships–she entered this season. (Her only loss at any distance this year came when she dropped out at the MPSF indoor meet) She’s one of the fastest collegians ever. Her 2:00.54 at Mt. SAC is the fastest in NCAA regular season history.

She joked "I want to thank Coach Mauricia [Powell] and Coach Johnson. I know that you had to put up with a lot with me, but…we’re here now" to huge laughs from the crowd.

Both Roesler and Lendore won the fan vote this summer. They join the ranks of former winners of The Bowerman that includes decathlon world record holder and Olympic gold medalist Ashton Eaton, 1500 meter world champion Jenny Barringer (Simpson), Olympic 10k silver medalist Galen Rupp, 2013 100-meter hurdles world champion Brianna Rollins and 2012 Olympic high jump bronze medalist Derek Drouin.

In addition to her individual exploits, Roesler was a key cog on a 4×400 meter relay squad that clinched an NCAA indoor championship for Oregon and finished third at the outdoor national meet. She blew away the competition in both NCAA 800 finals, winning by 1.68 seconds indoors and 1.70 seconds outdoors.

That outdoor national championship margin of victory is the biggest since 2001. After she was honored as the most outstanding female collegiate athlete of the year, she talked to Flotrack:

Watch more videos on Flotrack

Lendore’s performances against collegians compared favorably to most professionals’ seasons this year. The junior ran the fastest indoor 400 time in the world, and his outdoor season best (run at the SEC meet at Kentucky) made him the fourth-best performer in the world this year.

Like Roesler, Lendore had an outstanding relay season. His 44.63 split for the Aggie indoor 4×400 is the fastest two-lap split in college history. And his anchor leg in Eugene clinched the 4×4 outdoor national title for Texas A&M. That squad ran 2:59.60, just one one-hundredth of a second shy of the collegiate record.

Flotrack caught up with Lendore after he won college track & field’s highest honor.

Watch more videos on Flotrack

Both envelopes were opened by Bowerman Advisory Board chair Herman Frazier, who made sure to credit the mind behind the Bowerman, adding that “We wouldn’t be here without the vision and hard work of Sam Seemes.”

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)

 

ABOUT THE BOWERMAN

The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.

Clemson’s Brianna Rollins and Indiana’s Derek Drouin are the reigning winners of The Bowerman, which is named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman.

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), 2011 IAAF World Champion at 1500 meters Jenny Simpson (2009), 2013 100-meter hurdles World Champion Brianna Rollins (2013) and 2012 Olympic high jump bronze medalist Derek Drouin (2013).

In total, the winners from the award’s first four years have won two Olympic Medals, two World Championships and six World Championships medals. When considering finalists for the award, 13 individuals have earned a combined six Olympic medals, four World Championships and 17 World Championships medals.

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.