The Bowerman: 2018 Women’s Mid-Indoor Watch List

NEW ORLEANS – Four new women made their The Bowerman Watch List debuts after posting some stellar marks over the course of the first month 2018 indoor track & field season.

Kentucky’s Olivia Gruver, Southern California’s Dior Hall, Georgia’s Lynna Irby and New Mexico’s Ednah Kurgat joined six returning women to make up The Bowerman Mid-Indoor Watch List, announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday. Each of the four aforementioned dominated the track & field scene in January, etching their names on the list for collegiate track & field’s highest honor.

The Bowerman Watch List: 2018 Women’s Mid-Indoor Update

(Click student-athletes’ names for their TFRRS page)

NAME
YEAR
SCHOOL EVENTS HOMETOWN
Mikiah Brisco SR LSU Sprints/Hurdles Baton Rouge, La.
Maggie Ewen RS SR Arizona State Throws St. Franics, Minn.
Olivia Gruver JR Kentucky Pole Vault Reisterstown, Md.
Dior Hall RS JR Southern California Hurdles Denver, Colo.
Lynna Irby FR Georgia Sprints Indianapolis, Ind.
Ednah Kurgat JR New Mexico Distance Eldoret, Kenya
Sydney McLaughlin FR Kentucky Hurdles/Sprints Dunellen, N.J.
Keturah Orji SR Georgia Jumps Mount Olive, N.J.
Karissa Schweizer SR Missouri Distance Urbandale, Iowa
Sammy Watson FR Texas A&M Mid-Distance Rochester, N.Y.
Also Receiving Votes: Taliyah Brooks (Arkansas), Kate Hall (Georgia), Lexi Jacobus (Arkansas), Janeah Stewart (Ole Miss), Ariana Washington (Oregon)
NEXT: February 28

Gruver posted one of the best pole vault marks in collegiate indoor history just this past weekend at the Rod McCravy Invitational. The junior out of Reisterstown, Maryland, cleared 4.65m (15-3) in the event, putting her fourth on the all-time list. Gruver has continued her unbeaten streak on the season, as she also won event titles at the 2017 Hoosier Open, the Kentucky Invitational and the Clemson Invitational.

Irby has already lived up to her billing as one of the nation’s top freshmen. The Indianapolis native has yet to lose a race on the season while also putting her name in the collegiate indoor record books. Irby ran a 36.73 in the 300 at the Orange & Purple Winter Classic, putting her 10th all-time in the event. She also posted victories at the Razorback Invitational in the 200 (22.96) and the 400 (51.48). Her 200 time is tops in the nation on the season, while her 400 time ranks second.

Like Irby and Gruver, Kurgat also added her name to the collegiate record book when she notched a 15:19.03 in the 5000 meters at the BU Season Opener. That mark is good for seventh in collegiate history, while also sitting second on the NCAA Division I Descending Order List this year. The product out of Eldoret, Kenya, also ran the sixth-fastest mile time on the season at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collegiate Invitational at 4:41.32 (altitude-converted).

Kurgat is not only the first New Mexico woman to ever find her name on The Bowerman Watch List, but she is also the first athlete from the Mountain West Conference since March 20, 2014, when San Diego State’s Shanieka Thomas graced the list.

Hall posted a blistering 7.94 in the 60 hurdles at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collegiate Invitational, the top mark in the nation on the season. The native of Denver is just the third woman of Troy to be named to The Bowerman Watch List.

While these four new faces impressed with their performances over the last month, the six Watch List returnees were equally as dominate.

Gruver and Irby are joined on the Watch List by teammates Sydney McLaughlin and Keturah Orji, respectively. LSU’s Mikiah Brisco, Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen, Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer and Texas A&M’s Sammy Watson round out the list.

Schwezier may have had the best month of anyone, as her name is peppered throughout the collegiate indoor record book. Most importantly, the Urbandale, Iowa, native broke a nine-year collegiate indoor 3000 record by running an 8:41.60 at the NYRR Millrose Games. She bested 2009 The Bowerman winner Jenny Barringer’s former record by just under a second.

Additionally, Schweizer ran the fourth-best mile time in collegiate indoor history at the Columbia Challenge when she crossed the finish line at 4:27.54.

Like Schweizer, Orji also broke a collegiate and American record – albeit one of her own. The two-time The Bowerman finalist hit a triple jump mark of 14.53m (47-8) at the Clemson Invitational for a leap just over eight inches better than her previous record. During the same series, she posted the fourth-best jump in collegiate indoor history, as well.

Brisco ran a 7.08 in the 60 at the New Mexico Classic for the top time in the nation on the season. The mark by the senior from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, also sits second in collegiate indoor history behind Hannah Cunliffe’s 7.07, run on the same track last year.

Ewen, another former The Bowerman finalist, became the fifth-best performer in collegiate indoor history in the shot put with a throw of 18.67m (61-3) at the Texas A&M Quadrangular, putting her atop the NCAA Division I Descending Order List.

McLaughlin also put her name atop the Descending Order List in an event, as the rookie ran a 51.44 in the 400 at the Rod McCravy Memorial.

Fellow freshman Watson competed in just one meet since the last Watch List was announced, but made her presence felt as she helped the Aggies distance medley relay team post an 11:12.06 time that is good for eighth in the nation so far this season.

Also receiving votes were ArkansasTaliyah Brooks and Lexi Jacobus, Georgia’s Kate Hall, Ole MissJaneah Stewart and Oregon’s Ariana Washington.

The next Watch List will be announced on February 28.

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