Significant Turnover in May Edition of Women’s Bowerman Trophy Watch List

NEW ORLEANS – The Bowerman Watch List Committee replaced nearly half of the Bowerman Trophy Watch List in its second outdoor edition of 2015. The Committee announced the latest List of the ten women under the strongest consideration for collegiate track & field’s highest honor on Thursday.

The Bowerman Women’s Watch List – May 2015

(Click student-athletes’ names for biographies & notes)

Remona Burchell SR Alabama Sprints Montego Bay, Jamaica
Quintunya Chapman SR Georgia Multis Hinesville, Georgia
Kendra Harrison SR Kentucky Hurdles Clayton, N.C.
Courtney Frerichs SR UMKC Distance Nixa, Missouri.
Sandi Morris SR Arkansas Pole Vault Greenville, S.C.
Courtney Okolo JR Texas Sprints Carrollton, Texas
Demi Payne JR Stephen F. Austin Pole Vault New Braunfels, Texas
Jenna Prandini JR Oregon Sprints/Jumps Clovis, Calif.
Emily Sisson SR Providence Distance Chesterfield, Missouri
Shelbi Vaughan JR Texas A&M Throws Mansfield, Texas
Also Receiving Votes: Tori Bliss (LSU), Natoya Goule (Clemson), Kyra Jefferson (Florida), Leah O’Connor (Michigan State), Keturah Orji (Georgia), Jeannelle Scheper (South Carolina), Irena Sediva (Virginia Tech), Kendell Williams (Georgia)
Next Women’s Watch List: Thursday, May 21


After missing one WL, NCAA record holders Demi Payne and Emily Sisson returned after turning in great marks competing against the world’s best in their respective events. Payne, of Stephen F. Austin, broke the college outdoor record in the pole vault at Drake Relays. Competing for the second time that week in Des Moines, Payne cleared 4.66m (15-3½) for second place. Overall, three of her Drake vaults were in the collegiate outdoor all-time top five.

Total Appearances by School

School Appearances Athletes

Oregon 67 9
Texas A&M 43 9
LSU 25 2
Arkansas 23 4
Arizona 22 4
Texas 18 4
Georgia 16 4
Florida State 15 1
Kentucky 14 2
Oklahoma 14 2
Florida 14 4

Providence’s Sisson was the first collegian in the Payton Jordan 10k, running 31:38.03 for fifth place. That makes her the fourth fastest collegian ever over 10,000 meters.

This was the fourth Watch List appearance for Payne and the third for Sisson.

Two more women made their Bowerman debuts this week: Quintunya Chapman made sure that one Georgia heptathlete would stay on the Watch List. Her 6,146 points at the Georgia Relays put her at No. 8 on the all-time list in that event, and No. 1 on the 2015 list.

UMKC’s Courtney Frerichs made the List after running a 9:32.12 steeplechase at Payton Jordan–that makes her the No. 3 steepler in collegiate history.

Payne, Sisson, Chapman, and Frerichs replaced Kendall Williams, Natoya Goule, Keturah Orji, and Kyra Jefferson on the Watch List.

Frerichs’s appearance on the list was the first ever for a male or female athlete from the WAC, and Chapman making the list ensured that Georgia would pass Florida State for the seventh most appearances from a school.

Total Appearances by Conference

Conference Appearances

SEC 160
Pac-12 117
Big 12 58
ACC 39
Ivy 14
Big Ten 14

Though Payne has the most recent win in their rivalry, the Committee recognized the historic excellence that the pole vault is producing in the 2015 – The Year of the Vault – and kept Arkansas vaulter Sandi Morris on the List. Morris, the NCAA indoor champ in the vault, is 9-0 in meets where Payne is not entered and 3-2 against Payne this year. Her appearance on the list pushed Arkansas into third on the appearances by school list, one ahead of Arizona.

With 100-meter/400-meter hurdles collegiate leader Kendra Harrison on the list again, Kentucky moved into a three-way tie with Oklahoma and Florida for ninth on the list.

Jenna Prandini of Oregon was already known as one of the best sprinters in the NCAA. With her wind-legal 10.92 100 meters at the Mt. SAC Relays, she’s marked herself as one of the best sprinters in the world. That time is the fastest ever wind-legal run by a collegian at sea level.

Suddenly, the matchup between Prandini and Alabama’s Remona Burchell could be one of the most compelling at the NCAA championships in June. Burchell, the defending outdoor 100 meter champ and indoor 60 meter titlist, has competed just once this outdoor season. She was the first collegian in the 100 a month ago at the Florida Relays.

Shelbi Vaughan of Texas A&M and 2014 Bowerman Trophy finalist Courtney Okolo of Texas have not lost in their primary events and possess the NCAA-leading mark in those events. Okolo won the 400 at Baylor’s Michael Johnson Classic in 50.99 seconds, and Vaughan’s season-opening 61.48m (201-8) discus throw from over a month ago has stood up as the collegiate leader.

A whopping eight women received votes but did not crack the top ten. Former Watch Listers Kendell Williams (Georgia), Natoya Goule (Clemson), Kyra Jefferson (Florida), Leah O’Connor (Michigan State), and Keturah Orji (Georgia), were joined by Tori Bliss (LSU), Jeannelle Scheper (South Carolina), and Irena Sediva (Virginia Tech).

The men’s Watch List was released yesterday and the next women’s Watch List comes out Thursday, May 21.


The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.

Oregon’s Laura Roesler and Texas A&M’s Deon Lendore are the reigning winners of The Bowerman, which is named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman.

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), 2011 IAAF World Champion at 1500 meters Jenny Simpson (2009), 2013 100-meter hurdles World Champion Brianna Rollins (2013) and 2012 Olympic high jump bronze medalist Derek Drouin (2013).

In total, the winners from the award’s first five years have won three Olympic Medals, two World Championships and six World Championships medals. When considering finalists for the award, 13 individuals have earned a combined seven Olympic medals, four World Championships and 17 World Championships medals.

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

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