Nine Is Divine For The Bowerman Award

NEW ORLEANS — You know, it’s kind of fitting that in nine days two new Bowerman Award winners will be crowned at the annual U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention, because nine is a meaningful number when it comes to The Bowerman.

QUICK LINKS: Bowerman Home | Former Winners | 2014 Bowerman Ceremony

For starters, nine different schools have had winners on their rosters since The Bowerman was introduced in 2009 (Look at all of those nines).

Oregon leads the way with three winners (Galen Rupp, 2009; Ashton Eaton, 2010; Laura Roesler, 2014) and Texas A&M is a close second with two (Jessica Beard, 2011; Deon Lendore, 2014). Clemson (Brianna Rollins, 2013), Colorado (Jenny Barringer, 2009), Florida State (Ngoni Makusha, 2011), Indiana (Derek Drouin, 2013), LSU (Kimberlyn Duncan, 2012), Southern Utah (Cam Levins, 2012) and Virginia Tech (Queen Harrison, 2010) all have one apiece.

More importantly, winners of The Bowerman have gone on to have extremely successful careers on the international stage. Five former winners have combined to win nine gold medals at the IAAF World Indoor Championships, IAAF World Championships and of course, the Olympic Games.

One of those winners won more than half of those medals by himself. That would be Eaton, who also owns world records in the decathlon and heptathlon.

Eaton captured his first gold when he won the heptathlon in record fashion at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul. He then followed it up with a decathlon win at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Eaton won three more golds in the next three years, capped by a record performance in the decathlon at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing this past August.

Both Beard and Simpson won gold at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, South Korea. Beard did so as a member of Team USA’s 4×400 team, while Simpson beat a talented field to the line in the 1500.

Rollins continued her strong 2013 season — the same year she won The Bowerman — at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. She won gold in the 100 hurdles.

Last, but not least, Drouin joined Eaton atop the podium in Beijing. Drouin soared to a win in the high jump, setting himself up well as we enter an Olympic year.

Beard, Drouin and Rollins will all be in attendance at the JW Marriot Hill Country Resort and Spa next Thursday when the next Bowerman Award winners are crowned.

Fans can watch the Bowerman Ceremony in its entirety on USTFCCCA.org on December 17, starting at 6:30 p.m. CT with the Red Carpet Show.

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