Dendy, Prandini Win 2015 Bowerman Awards

December 17, 2015   

SAN ANTONIO — One captured four individual NCAA titles in 2015.

The other outscored more than half of the teams at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships and the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships by herself.

Florida horizontal jumper Marquis Dendy and Oregon sprints and long jump standout Jenna Prandini were in a class by themselves. That’s why Dendy and Prandini each took home The Bowerman, college track & field’s biggest honor Thursday night during the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.

The Bowerman, established in 2009, is annually handed out to the most outstanding male and female student-athletes in collegiate track & field.

Other finalists for the men’s award included Akron pole vaulter Shawn Barber and Oregon distance star Edward Cheserek. Kentucky hurdler Kendra Harrison and Stephen F. Austin pole vaulter Demi Payne were also up for the women’s trophy.

Dendy, a native of Middletown, Delaware, became the first Gator to win The Bowerman and the third from the Southeastern Conference to do so in the past four years (Texas A&M’s Deon Lendore in 2014, LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan in 2012).

Prandini, who hails from Clovis, California, is the fourth former Duck to bring the crown back to Eugene. Galen Rupp and Ashton Eaton went back to back in 2009 and 2010, and now Laura Roesler and Prandini followed suit five years later.

To many, Dendy and Prandini were the favorites once the six finalists were announced in early July.

Dendy put together a senior year to remember. In addition to sweeping the long jump and triple jump titles, Dendy became only the second man in NCAA history to leap 57 feet or farther in the triple jump both indoors and outdoors (Mike Conley is the other).

Then there is Prandini, who put on an absolute clinic at the NCAA championship meets and tallied an astounding 49 points between them. Her 23 points indoors were the most scored by an individual since 2003 and the 26 points she scored outdoors only trailed three-time Olympic champ Gail Devers and nine-time Olympic medalist Merlene Ottey in the record books.

Dendy and Prandini are the 13th and 14th winners of The Bowerman, named after Bill Bowerman, the legendary Oregon coach and innovator in our sport.

Previous winners of The Bowerman include Galen Rupp and Jenny Barringer (2009), Ashton Eaton and Queen Harrison (2010), Ngoni Maskusha and Jessica Beard (2011), Cam Levins and Kimberlyn Duncan (2012), Derek Drouin and Brianna Rollins (2013), as well as Deon Lendore and Laura Roesler (2014).