Bowerman Look Back: IAAF World Championships

NEW ORLEANS — Voting for The Bowerman ended on August 11.

The 2015 IAAF World Championships began 11 days later in Beijing, China.

While what happened at the World Championships had no impact on the voting for The Bowerman, it was hard not to marvel at what five finalists did over those eight days.

QUICK LINKS: 2015 Bowerman Finalists | Past Bowerman Winners | Bowerman Medalists

Shawn Barber, Marquis Dendy, Kendra Harrison, Demi Payne and Jenna Prandini all competed on the world stage. It should be mentioned that Dendy, Harrison, Payne and Prandini all represented Team USA, while Barber — who holds a dual citizenship with Canada and the United States — chose to vault for Team Canada.

Barber unquestionably had the most success in Beijing. Prandini was a close second.

A little more than two months after completing a near-flawless collegiate outdoor season, Barber romped through a field loaded with Olympic medal winners, former World Champions as well as former and current world record holders.

In fact, Barber was the only vaulter competing to not miss an attempt through 19-4 ¼ feet. That gave him the edge — and the gold medal — once he and Germany’s Raphael Holzdeppe were unable to clear 19-8 ¼.

What about Prandini?

Well, the former Oregon star competed twice inside Beijing National Stadium — once as an individual in the 200 and then as the third leg of Team USA’s 4×100 relay.

Prandini advanced to the semifinals of the 200 thanks to a quarterfinal time of 22.95, but that’s as far as she’d get. Her semifinal time of 22.87 left her in tie for 13th place, five spots out of a berth in the championship heat.

Two days later, Prandini helped Team USA earn a silver medal in the 4×100 relay. She tracked down two other women on the curve and gave Jasmine Todd the baton in good position to make something happen on the home stretch — but Team Jamaica was just too strong.

For Dendy, Harrison and Payne, their first appearances on the world stage were critical learning experiences. Dendy failed to advance in the long jump and nearly got through in the triple jump; Payne struggled in the pole vault; Harrison moved through the quarterfinal heats of the 100 hurdles, but was disqualified in the semifinals due to a false start.

Results aside, these five finalists proved one thing: The Bowerman seeks to find the best of the best, not only in collegiate track & field, but in the world.

Be sure to find out who wins The Bowerman this year during the LIVE BROADCAST on Dec. 17. Coverage starts on USTFCCCA.org at 6:30 p.m. CT with the Red Carpet Show, followed by the awards ceremony at 7 p.m.

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