The 2014 Bowerman Trophy to Be Awarded Live Tonight
PHOENIX— Only a few hours remain until one man and one woman will be awarded collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor – The Bowerman Trophy – in a live-streamed ceremony tonight at 8:25pm ET from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention in Phoenix, Arizona.
For the women, the nominees in the sixth year of the award are Laura Roesler of Oregon, Courtney Okolo of Texas, and Sharika Nelvis of Arkansas State. The male nominees are Deon Lendore of Texas A&M, Edward Cheserek of Oregon, and Lawi Lalang of Arizona.
One of those three women and one of those three men will be awarded the iconic trophy live on TheBowerman.org.
Serving as emcee for the proceedings for the first time will be Flocasts’ Ryan Fenton. Reunited with Fenton will be his former broadcast partner at Flotrack, Alex Lohr, who will take on sideline reporter duties for the ceremony.
You can watch all of the proceedings LIVE at this link and embedded below:
The athletes will hit the red carpet in Phoenix at 8:25pm ET, where they’ll check in with Lohr and former The Bowerman winner Queen Harrison as they make their way into the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa for the ceremony.
Half an hour later, the ceremony begins and the envelopes get broken. Before the big announcements, Fenton will be joined on-stage by each of the six finalists as they recap and reflect upon their 2013-14 campaigns, as well as by former women’s winners Harrison, Jessica Beard and Brianna Rollins.
Three men’s and three women’s finalists were announced in July by the Bowerman Advisory Board, a nationwide panel of ten track experts. All six won at least one NCAA championship during the 2013-14 season.
For the award, voters strictly considered performances from the 2014 NCAA indoor and outdoor track & field season, beginning December 1, 2013 and ending with the 2014 NCAA Division I outdoor track & field championships in June.
Roesler won the indoor and outdoor 800, and was on the winning 4×400 relay indoors. She ran 2:00.54 at Mt. Sac, making her the 8th-fastest collegiate in-season performer ever. (Roesler’s best time in Oregon uniform is her 1:59.04 at USAs this summer, but that’s not eligible for Bowerman consideration)
Okolo won the outdoor 400, anchored the winning outdoor 4×400, and ran the collegiate record at 400 meters when she ran 50.03 to win the Big 12.
Nelvis went undefeated in the hurdles in 2013-14, along the way winning NCAA titles in the indoor 60 meter hurdles and the outdoor 100 hurdles, with a best wind-legal time of 12.71 seconds.
In between, Cheserek won indoor national titles at both 3000 and 5000 meters, and the outdoor national title at 10,000 meters. Cheserek’s season bests in the 1500/3k/5k were 3:36/7:47/13:18, while Lalang’s were nearly identical: 3:36/7:44/13:18. Cheserek is the second freshman finalist, after Oklahoma State’s German Fernandez.
Lendore didn’t lose an individual final all season. He won indoor and outdoor nationals in the 400 and anchored the winning outdoor 4×4 and runner-up 4×1. His time of 44.37 at the outdoor SEC meet him the 8th-fastest in-season collegiate performer in the event and the fastest since 2005.
All three women are from the United States: Roesler is from Fargo, North Dakota; Okolo is from Carrollton, Texas; and Nelvis is from Memphis. The men are an international trio: Lalang and Cheserek are from Kenya, and Lendore is from Trinidad and Tobago.
Dozens of media members, statisticians, and college administrators voted this summer, as did all ten past winners. Fans also collectively received one vote; this summer, 22,000 fans voted and picked Roesler and Lendore. Each voter filled out a ballot ranking the three athletes, giving three points to their first choice, two points to their second, and one point to their third. The votes were independently tabulated by the Malcolm M. Dienes, LLC accounting firm and the winner will not made known until the ceremony.
ABOUT THE BOWERMAN
The Bowerman Trophy, which was first awarded in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.
Indiana’s Derek Drouin and Clemson’s Brianna Rollins are the reigning winners of The Bowerman, which is named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman. In addition to their collegiate achievements, Rollins is the reigning World Champion in the 100 meter hurdles — an event for which she also holds the American Record — while Drouin has won bronze medals at both the 2012 Olympics and 2013 IAAF World Championships.
Past winners include Olympic gold medalist, World Champion and decathlon world-record holder Ashton Eaton (2010); 10,000-meter Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp (2009); and 2011 IAAF World Champion at 1500 meters, Jenny Simpson (2009).
In total, the winners from the award’s first four years have won three Olympic Medals, six World Championships (one relay, two indoor) and 11 World Championships medals (two relay, one indoor). When considering finalists for the award, 13 individuals have earned a combined six Olympic medals, eight World Championships (one relay, four indoor) and 23 World Championships medals (three realy, six indoor).
Former winners of and finalists for The Bowerman currently hold 20 national records. Each former winner of the men’s Bowerman Trophy holds at least two national records, while two of the five women’s winners are current national record-holders.
Bowerman served the sport of track and field in numerous ways. His leadership in the USTFCCCA’s predecessor organization, the National Collegiate Track Coaches Association, and his contributions to NCAA track and field and the running community as a whole are among his many lasting legacies.
For more information on The Bowerman, the award, the trophy and Bill Bowerman himself, visit TheBowerman.org.
ABOUT THE USTFCCCA
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) is a non-profit professional organization representing cross country and track & field coaches of all levels. The organization represents over 8,000 coaching members encompassing 94% of all NCAA track & field programs (DI, DII, and DIII) and includes members representing the NAIA as well as a number of state high school coaches associations. The USTFCCCA serves as an advocate for cross country and track & field coaches, providing a leadership structure to assist the needs of a diverse membership, serving as a lobbyist for coaches’ interests, and working as a liaison between the various stakeholders in the sports of cross country and track & field.