The Bowerman: 2018 Women’s Pre-NCAA Indoor Watch List

NEW ORLEANS – Indoor track & field conference championships have come and gone, but the performances of some still have people talking.

With one weekend between now and the NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships, the 2018 Women’s Pre-NCAA Indoor Watch List for The Bowerman was announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday, and it features 10 women who look to carry over outstanding performances at the conference level to the national stage.

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

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

Mikiah Brisco SR LSU Sprints/Hurdles Baton Rouge, La.
Annette Echikunwoke SR Cincinnati Throws Pickerington, Ohio
Maggie Ewen RS SR Arizona State Throws St. Franics, Minn.
Olivia Gruver JR Kentucky Pole Vault Reisterstown, Md.
Kate Hall JR Georgia Jumps/Sprints Casco, Maine
Lynna Irby FR Georgia Sprints Indianapolis, Ind.
Sydney McLaughlin FR Kentucky Hurdles/Sprints Dunellen, N.J.
Keturah Orji SR Georgia Jumps Mount Olive, N.J.
Elinor Purrier SR New Hampshire Distance Montgomery, Vt.
Karissa Schweizer SR Missouri Distance Urbandale, Iowa
Also Receiving Votes: Ednah Kurgat (New Mexico), Dior Hall (Southern California)
NEXT: March 14

Seven holdovers in LSU’s Mikiah Brisco, Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen, Kentucky’s Olivia Gruver and Sydney McLaughlin, Georgia’s Lynna Irby and Keturah Orji and Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer were joined by three newcomers to the party as Cincinnati’s Annette Echikunwoke, Georgia’s Kate Hall and New Hampshire’s Elinor Purrier added their names to The Watch List.

The common denominator amongst the group of 10 was complete and total domination at the conference level. The 10 women collected 13 individual conference titles, with many of the winning performances coming at the expense of the collegiate record book.

Georgia stole the show during this iteration of the Watch List, as it became just the third women’s program to feature three athletes on a single Watch List. The honors are well deserved, as the trio of Irby, Orji and Hall played a large role in the Bulldogs’ runner-up finish at the SEC Indoor Championships.

Orji captured the triple jump title with a mark of 14.18m (46-6¼), adding her name to the collegiate record book once again, as her leap was the 10th-best in indoor collegiate history. The native of Mount Olive, New Jersey, was also the runner-up in the long jump.

Hall’s first appearance on The Watch List comes on the heels of winning the SEC long jump title with a leap of 6.64m (21-9½). The junior out of Casco, Maine, also scored for the Bulldogs in the 60, finishing seventh with a time of 7.27 after running a prelim time of 7.22. On the season, Hall owns the top long jump mark on the Descending Order List at 6.64m (21-9½) while also sitting tied for eighth in the 60 a 7.22.

Irby was a part of one of the best 400 meter races of all-time, as she finished second with a time of 50.62 that puts her fourth in indoor collegiate history and second on the current Descending Order List. However, the rookie from Indianapolis did take home the 200 meter title with a time of 22.66, which doubles as the fastest time in the nation this year.

While Irby performed exquisitely during the aforementioned 400 meter race, McLaughlin truly owned the competition, as she placed first with a blistering time of 50.52 to remain in the top spot on the Descending Order List. Additionally, the Dunellen, New Jersey, native’s time is good for the second-best mark in indoor collegiate history. McLaughlin also helped the Wildcats take home third in the 4×400 at the SEC Championships with a finish of 3:31.96.

McLaughlin’s teammate on the Watch List was not to be outdone, as Gruver also put together a performance for the ages at the SEC Championships. The junior from Reisterstown, Maryland, recorded the second-best pole vault mark in indoor collegiate history at 4.67m (15-3¾).

Brisco had one of the fastest weekends in recent memory, as the product out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, ran a 7.10 in the 60 for an SEC title. That mark put Brisco’s name in the indoor collegiate record book as the sixth-fastest time ever recorded. The senior also finished second in the 200, just .15 seconds behind Irby.

Schweizer and Ewen both won multiple titles at their respective conference championships. Schweizer took home the 3000 event title with a finish of 9:00.56 in addition to helping capture the distance medley relay title at 11:08.18. Ewen, a finalist for The Bowerman last year, won the shot put and weight throw titles at the MPSF Indoor Track & Field Championships with respective marks of 18.98m (62-3¼) and 21.72m (71-3¼).

Echikunwoke won The American Athletic Conference Indoor Championships in the shot put with a throw of 16.50m (54-1¾) while also picking up a weight throw title with a historic throw of 22.15m (72-8). The Pickerington, Ohio, product’s weight throw mark was the fourth-best in indoor collegiate history, and made her the second-best performer in the event in indoor collegiate history.

Purrier picked up American East titles in the 800 and 3000 this past weekend with respective times of 2:03.64 and 9:21.30. This season, the senior from Montgomery, Vermont, sits atop the Descending Order List in the mile with a time of 4:26.55 that doubles as the second-fastest time in indoor collegiate history.

Echikunwoke and Purrier were the first athletes from Cincinnati and New Hampshire, respectively, to be named to The Bowerman Watch List.

Falling off the Watch List, but receiving votes was Southern California’s Dior Hall and New Mexico’s Ednah Kurgat.

The next Watch List will be announced on March 14.

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