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

NEW ORLEANS – It’s quiet.

A little too quiet.

For the first time all year, there were no changes to The Bowerman Men’s Watch List, as released on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

The Bowerman Watch List Committee is ready to see what Robert Dunning of Alabama, JuVaughn Harrison of LSU, Cole Hocker of Oregon, Terrance Laird of LSU, Yared Nuguse of Notre Dame, Cooper Teare of Oregon, Karel Tilga of Georgia, Turner Washington of Arizona State and Noah Williams of LSU can do at the final site of the 2021 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships later this week in Eugene, Oregon. KC Lightfoot, who signed a professional contract shortly after the indoor season, is still on the Watch List based on his record-breaking performances under a roof.

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

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

NAME
YEAR
SCHOOL EVENTS HOMETOWN
Robert Dunning SR Alabama Hurdles Atlanta, Ga.
JuVaughn Harrison SR(i)/JR(o) LSU Jumps Huntsville, Ala.
Cole Hocker SO Oregon Distance Indianapolis, Ind.
Terrance Laird SR(i)/JR(o) LSU Sprints Coatesville, Pa.
KC Lightfoot JR(i)/SO(o) Baylor Pole Vault Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Yared Nuguse SR Notre Dame Mid-Distance/Distance Louisville, Ky.
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: Emmanuel Ihemeje (Oregon); Isaiah Jewett (Southern California); Eliud Kipsang (Alabama); Wesley Kiptoo (Iowa State); Thomas Mardal (Florida); Jo’Vaughn Martin (Florida State);Shaun Maswanganyi (Houston).
NEXT: June 17

Dunning, who hails from Atlanta, Georgia, takes an undefeated high-hurdling record into NCAAs. He is 7-0 in 110H finals and qualified first out of the NCAA DI East Preliminary Round with his wind-legal season best of 13.24, which made him the 14th-fastest performer in collegiate history. Earlier in the season, Dunning ripped a wind-aided 13.15 to beat a talented field for the event crown at the SEC Outdoor Championships.

Harrison, who hails from Huntsville, Alabama, will look to continue his dominance of the high jump and long jump at the NCAA Championships. Before Harrison swept both events two years ago in Austin, Texas, no man in NCAA DI history had done so in the same year. Then, Harrison did it again just a few months ago indoors. Go ahead and doubt Harrison making it three in a row at your own peril, because the Tiger standout is even better in 2021. Harrison enters the meet tied as the second-best performer in collegiate history in the high jump at 2.36m (7-8¾) and ranked sixth all-time in the long jump at 8.44m (27-8¼).

Hocker, who hails from Indianapolis, Indiana, will attempt the 1500-5000 double at NCAAs and if successful, would make history. No male athlete in the near 100-year history of the meet has won both events in the same year (Sheila Reid of Villanova is the only athlete to do so 10 years ago). Hocker has the talent to do so, as he is still the collegiate leader in the 5000 at 13:19.98 – a mark that makes him the 12th fastest performer in collegiate history – and is among the national leaders in the 1500. Don’t forget that Hocker became the second-fastest performer in collegiate indoor history in the mile back in February at 3:50.55, and won that event and the 3000 at the NCAA Indoor Championships back in March (He also set a meet record in the mile).

Laird, who hails from Coatesville, Pennsylvania, has eyes on completing the 100-200 double and helping LSU capture gold in the 4×100 relay. Outside of a ridiculously close runner-up finish in the 200 at the NCAA Indoor Championships – 0.01 seconds – Laird has been unbeatable. Laird is 5-0 outdoors with two wind-legal all-time marks to show for it over 200 meters. He currently owns the fourth- and fifth-fastest performances in collegiate history at 19.81 (+0.8) and 19.82 (+1.7), respectively. Laird also has the fifth-fastest all-conditions mark in the 100 (9.80).

Lightfoot, who hails from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, had a legendary indoor campaign in the pole vault. He became just the 13th man in world history to summit 6.00m (19-8¼) under a roof and cemented his collegiate record at that height, among other remarkable feats.

Nuguse, who hails from Louisville, Kentucky, is the headliner of what should be an absolutely stacked 1500-meter field in Eugene, Oregon. And why wouldn’t he be as the collegiate record holder in the event? It was back in mid-May at the ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships where Nuguse soloed a 3:34.68 effort in the prelims to smash both the all-conditions collegiate best of 3:34.72 set by Sam Tanner of Washington, as well as the collegiate outdoor record of 3:35.01 established by Josh Kerr back in 2018. Nuguse went 3:35.96 a few weeks earlier at the Oregon Twilight for what is now the ninth-fastest performance in collegiate history.

Teare, who hails from Alameda, California, will look to write his own history in the 5000 at Hayward Field. It wasn’t too long ago that Teare became the 13th-fastest performer in collegiate history in that event with his 13:20.24 clocking at the Oregon Relays. During the indoor season, Teare set a collegiate record in the mile at 3:50.39 and became the seventh-fastest man in world history. He also anchored the Ducks’ DMR squad that set an all-time world best of 9:19.42.

Tilga, who hails from Tartu, Estonia, could add to Georgia’s recent success at the NCAA Championships in the decathlon, a multi he owns the second-largest total in collegiate history (8484 points). With another substantial effort, Tilga could give the 11-year-old meet record of 8457 set by 2010 The Bowerman winner Ashton Eaton a run for its money.

Washington, who hails from Tucson, Arizona, could join an exclusive fraternity at NCAAs with a discus-shot put double – two events in which he leads the nation by a landslide. Only five men have won both events in the same year since 1990, the last being Filip Mihaljevic in 2017. Right now, Washington owns eight of the top-10 marks this season in the discus – PR of 66.26m (217-5) that makes him the sixth-best performer in collegiate history – and seven of the top-10 marks in the shot put – PR of 21.07m (69-1½). Washington won the shot put at the NCAA Indoor Championships and set the collegiate record earlier in the winter.

Williams, who hails from Rochester, New York, has been consistently fast in the 400, an event in which became the fifth-fastest man in world history indoors to win the NCAA title. He currently sports an unblemished 5-0 record in the 400, with two of those wins coming outdoors. Williams went 44.30 at the LSU Alumni Gold in April to move up to No. 13 on the all-time collegiate chart and won the SEC title two weeks later at 44.37. He is also a key cog on LSU’s relay teams.

Here are the seven men listed in the “Also Receiving Votes” section of the Watch List: Emmanuel Ihemeje of Oregon, Isaiah Jewett of Southern California, Eliud Kipsang of Alabama, Wesley Kiptoo of Iowa State, Thomas Mardal of Florida, Jo’Vaughn Martin of Florida State and Shaun Maswanganyi of Houston.

Semifinalists for The Bowerman will be named on June 17.

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