The Bowerman: 2021 Men’s Pre-Conference Championships Watch List

NEW ORLEANS – There was a little bit of normalcy for the first time this year, as it pertains to the Men’s Watch List for The Bowerman, collegiate track & field’s highest honor.

A year-high nine athletes returned to the Mid-Outdoor Watch List that was released on Thursday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), while another athlete who had been featured on three other installments was promoted from Also Receiving Votes. Here are the 10 men who comprise the newest Men’s Watch List, following a careful deliberation by The Bowerman Watch List Committee: Trey Cunningham of Florida State, JuVaughn Harrison of LSU, Cole Hocker of Oregon, Charlie Hunter of Oregon, Terrance Laird of LSU, KC Lightfoot of Baylor, Cooper Teare of Oregon, Karel Tilga of Georgia, Turner Washington of Arizona State and Noah Williams of LSU.

The Bowerman Watch List: 2021 Men’s Pre-Conference Championships Update

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

Trey Cunningham SR(i)/JR(o) Florida State Hurdles Winfield, Ala.
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
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: Matthew Boling, Georgia; Devin Dixon, Texas A&M; Gleb Dudarev, Kansas; Emmanuel Ihemeje, Oregon; Eliud Kipsang, Alabama; Thomas Mardal, Florida; Jo’Vaughn Martin, Florida State; Micah Williams, Oregon
NEXT: May 20

Cunningham, who hails from Winfield, Alabama, is back on the Watch List for the first time since March 24. He is currently ranked in a tie for second among collegians in the 110H at 13.28, a mark that he turned in at the UF Tom Jones Memorial Invitational in mid-April.

Harrison, who hails from Huntsville, Alabama, has competed twice since the last Watch List and left his mark each time. Just a few weeks ago at the LSU Alumni Gold, Harrison soared a wind-legal 8.44m (27-8¼) in the long jump to become the sixth-best performer in collegiate history and take over the national lead in that event. Then on May 1, Harrison cleared 2.30m (7-6½) in the high jump at the LSU Invitational and topped the national leaderboard in that event, too. During the indoor season, Harrison became the only man in history to sweep the high jump and long jump at the NCAA DI Championships.

Hocker, who hails from Indianapolis, Indiana, currently leads the nation in the 5000 with his 13:19.98 effort at the Oregon Relays in late April and became the 12th-fastest man in collegiate history in the process. He is also ranked fifth nationally in the 800 at 1:46.60 from early April. During the indoor season, Hocker 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 only raced once this outdoor season. He went 1:47.21 at the Oregon Relays in late April and is currently ranked 10th nationally in the event. During the indoor season, Hunter won the NCAA 800 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.

Laird, who hails from Coatesville, Pennsylvania, added another pair of strong performances to go along with his 19.81 all-time clocking over 200 meters at the Texas Relays. Back in mid-April at the Boots Garland Invitational, Laird went 10.06 in the 100 and sit fourth on the Descending Order List. The following weekend, Laird blistered a barely wind-aided 19.82 in the 200 and anchored LSU to its best mark of the season in the 4×100 relay of 38.58. Indoors, Laird finished a close runner-up to Matthew Boling in the NCAA 200.

Lightfoot, who hails from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, signed a professional contact after the indoor season. While none of his marks going forward will count toward The Bowerman recognition, his indoor campaign was legendary. Lightfoot became just the 13th man in world history to summit 6.00m (19-8¼) in the pole vault and cemented his collegiate record, among other feats.

Teare, who hails from Alameda, California, currently sits second nationally in the 5000 at 13:20.24, a mark that makes him the 13th-fastest man in collegiate history. During the indoor season, Teare set a collegiate record in the mile with his 3:50.39 at the Tyson Invitational.

Tilga, who hails from Tartu, Estonia, hasn’t competed in the decathlon since amassing 8484 points, the second-best total in collegiate history, at the Spec Towns National Team Invitational. He did hit a PR in the discus of 48.28m (158-5) this past weekend, though.

Washington, who hails from Tucson, Arizona, has continued his total dominance of both the discus and shot put. Many knew about his shot put prowess after setting the collegiate indoor record, but his discus acumen is something to behold. Washington currently owns each of the top-9 marks from the outdoor season while throwing the platter and has 10 of the top-10 efforts in the shot put as well.

Williams, who hails from Rochester, New York, recently opened up the 400, his signature event. He turned one lap in 44.30 to take over the national lead in that event and crack the all-time top-15 in collegiate history. Williams is also ranked eighth nationally in the 200 at 20.28 and is a member of the second-ranked 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams. Indoors, Williams won the NCAA 400 and became the third-fastest man in collegiate history and fourth-fastest man in world history with his 44.71 winner.

Here are the eight athletes who landed in the “Also Receiving Votes” category: Matthew Boling of Georgia, Devin Dixon of Texas A&M, Gleb Dudarev of Kansas, Emmanuel Ihemeje of Oregon, Eliud Kipsang of Alabama, Thomas Mardal of Florida, Jo’Vaughn Martin of Florida State and Micah Williams of Oregon.


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