The Bowerman: 2021 Men’s Mid-Outdoor Watch List

NEW ORLEANS – The competition for The Bowerman is wide-open.

Eighteen different men received votes from The Bowerman Watch List Committee for the Mid-Outdoor Watch List, which was released on Thursday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). That is the second-most this year, trailing only behind the 19 names that the Mid-Indoor Watch List hauled in back on March 4.

Eliud Kipsang of Alabama, Terrance Laird of LSU and Karel Tilga of Georgia are the new faces on the Men’s Watch List, as they join stalwarts JuVaughn Harrison of LSU, Cole Hocker of Oregon, Charlie Hunter of Oregon, KC Lightfoot of Baylor, Cooper Teare of Oregon, Turner Washington of Arizona State and Noah Williams of LSU.

The Bowerman Watch List: 2021 Men’s Mid-Outdoor Update

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

JuVaughn Harrison SR(i)/JR(o) LSU Jumps Huntsville, Ala.
Cole Hocker SO Oregon Distance Indianapolis, Ind.
Charlie Hunter JR(i)/SO(o) Oregon Mid-Distance Gosford, Australia
Eliud Kipsang FR Alabama Mid-Distance Kenya
Terrance Laird SR(i)/JR(o) LSU Sprints Coatesville, Pa.
KC Lightfoot JR(i)/SO(o) Baylor Pole Vault Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Cooper Teare SR(i)/JR(o) Oregon Distance Alameda, Calif.
Karel Tilga JR Georgia Combined Events Tartu, Estonia
Turner Washington JR(i)/SO(o) Arizona State Throws Tucson, Ariz.
Noah Williams JR(i)/SO(o) LSU Sprints Rochester, N.Y.
Also Receiving Votes: Johnnie Blockburger (Arizona); Matthew Boling (Georgia); Trey Cunningham (Florida State); Bryce Deadmon (Texas A&M); Gleb Dudarev (Kansas); Emmanuel Ihemeje (Oregon); Thomas Mardal (Florida); Damion Thomas (LSU).
NEXT: May 6

Harrison, who hails from Huntsville, Alabama, opened his outdoor season this past weekend with a victory in the high jump at the Crimson Tide Invitational. The Tiger standout knows a thing or two about winning the high jump – and long jump, for that matter: Harrison is the only athlete in NCAA history to sweep both the high jump and long jump at any edition of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships (Harrison actually did it twice).

Hocker, who hails from Indianapolis, Indiana, made his outdoor debut at the Hayward Premiere, winning both the 800 (1:46.60) and 1500 (3:38.99) in what were collegiate-leading marks. The previous time Hocker competed was back on March 13 at the NCAA DI Indoor Track & Field Championships, where he completed the mile-3000 sweep with a meet record in the former (3:53.71) and a near meet record in the latter (7:46.15). Hocker also clocked the second-fastest mile in collegiate history (3:50.55) and led off Oregon’s DMR that set an all-time world best of 9:19.42.

Hunter, who hails from Gosford, Australia, has yet to compete during the outdoor season. During an incredible indoor campaign, Hunter captured the 800-meter crown at the NCAA DI Indoor Track & Field Championships and became the only man in collegiate history with all-time top-10 performances in both the 800 and mile. Hunter was also the 800-meter man on Oregon’s DMR squad that set an all-time world best of 9:19.42.

Kipsang, who hails from Kenya, makes his Watch List debut and is the third Alabama male athlete to earn such a distinction (Kirani James and Shelby McEwen). It would be impossible to overlook Kipsang’s performance this past weekend at the Crimson Tide Invitational, where he ran unopposed to a 3:36.00 solo 1500-meter effort to become the seventh-fastest man outdoors during a collegiate season. During the indoor season, Kipsang finished runner-up in the mile at the NCAA DI Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Laird, who hails from Coatesville, Pennsylvania, makes his Watch List debut and is the seventh LSU male athlete to earn such a distinction. After finishing a close runner-up in the 200 at the NCAA DI Indoor Track & Field Championships, Laird opened some eyes outdoors when he went 19.81 at the Texas Relays to become the third-fastest athlete in collegiate history. Laird is also the anchor of the nation’s second-fastest 4×100 relay squad at 38.70.

Lightfoot, who hails from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, recently announced that he’d forgo the rest of his collegiate eligibility and sign a professional contract. While none of his marks going forward will count toward The Bowerman recognition, his indoor season was legendary. At the Texas Tech Shootout on February 13, Lightfoot became just the 13th man in world history to summit 6.00m (19-8¼) and cemented his collegiate record. That was one of three times that Lightfoot bettered his own all-time best this season. He even tied the former all-time best of 5.93m (19-5½) to set the NCAA meet record. Lightfoot ended the indoor season with seven of the top-10 bars in collegiate history (Nos. 1-4, 8-10).

Teare, who hails from Alameda, California, dazzled during the indoor season. The California native set a collegiate record in the mile and became the seventh fastest man in world history with his 3:50.39. Teare also anchored the Ducks’ DMR squad that set an all-time world best of 9:19.42. Then at the NCAA DI Indoor Track & Field Championships, Teare toted the baton last on another sub-9:20.00 clocking from Oregon’s DMR and finished runner-up in the 3000.

Tilga, who hails from Tartu, Estonia, makes his Watch List debut and is the eighth male athlete from Georgia to earn such a distinction (This is also the fifth Bulldog combined-event athlete to go on the Men’s Watch List). Tilga amassed 8484 points at the Spec Towns National Team Invitational this past weekend to notch the second-best decathlon total in collegiate history behind 2017 The Bowerman finalist Lindon Victor’s 8539.

Washington, who hails from Tucson, Arizona, continues to hold collegiate leads in the shot put and discus. He actually bettered his personal best in the discus to 64.57m (211-10) this past weekend at the Jim Click Shootout and cracked the all-time top-25 at No. 22. That pales in comparison to his personal best in the shot put of 21.85m (71-8¼), which also happens to be the collegiate indoor record that he set back in February at the Texas Tech Shootout.

Williams, who hails from Rochester, New York, has yet to compete in the 400 outdoors – his signature event. After all, it was in the 400 at the NCAA DI Indoor Track & Field Championships where Williams became the third-fastest man in collegiate history and fourth-fastest man in world history with his 44.71 winner. So far this outdoor season, Williams has handled relay duty and ran a wind-aided 20.28 over 200 meters.

Here are the eight men who fall into the “Also Receiving Votes” category of the Mid-Outdoor Watch List: Johnnie Blockburger of Arizona, Matthew Boling of Georgia, Trey Cunningham of Florida State, Bryce Deadmon of Texas A&M, Gleb Dudarev of Kansas, Emmanuel Ihemeje of Oregon, Thomas Mardal of Florida and Damion Thomas of LSU.

The next Men’s Watch List will be released on May 6.


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