The Bowerman: 2022 Men’s Watch List Update #3

NEW ORLEANS – Two weeks can change a lot, especially when it comes to the race for The Bowerman. That’s because, since the last time we brought you the Men’s Watch List, we saw the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships from March 11-12, as well as the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, this past weekend.

Here are the 10 athletes on the Post-Indoor Men’s Watch List for The Bowerman, collegiate track & field’s highest honor, as released on Thursday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA): Trevor Bassitt of Ashland, Matthew Boling of Georgia, Sean “Squirrel” Burrell of LSU, Trey Cunningham of Florida State, Emmanuel Ihmeje of Oregon, Brandon Miller of Texas A&M, Abdihamid Nur of Northern Arizona, Ayden Owens of Arkansas, Randolph Ross Jr. of North Carolina A&T and Turner Washington of Arizona State.

The Bowerman Men’s Watch List

2022 Update #3 — March 24

Year Team Events Hometown
Trevor BassittSRAshlandSprints/HurdlesBluffton, Ohio
Matthew BolingJRGeorgiaSprints/JumpsHouston, Texas
Sean BurrellSOLSUHurdlesZachary, La.
Trey CunninghamSRFlorida StateHurdlesWinfield, Ala.
Emmanuel IhemejeSOOregonJumpsBergamo, Italy
Brandon MillerSOTexas A&MMid-DistanceSt. Louis, Mo.
Abdihamed NurSONorthern ArizonaDistancePhoenix, Ariz.
Ayden OwensJRArkansasCombined EventsWexford, Pa.
Randolph RossJRNorth Carolina A&TSprintsGarner, N.C.
Turner WashingtonSRArizona StateThrowsTucson, Ariz.

ALSO RECEIVING VOTES Davonte Burnett, Southern Califorina (Sprints); Kyle Garland, Georgia (Combined Events); Sondre Guttormsen, Princeton (Pole Vault); Vernon Turner, Oklahoma (High Jump)

NEXT UPDATE: Thursday, April 21

Bassitt, who hails from Bluffton, Ohio, is the first NCAA DII athlete on the Watch List since Minnesota State hurdler Myles Hunter in 2016. The Ashland star truly stood out during the indoor season, most recently winning the silver medal in the 400 meters at the World Athletics Indoor Championships with an NCAA DII record-setting mark of 45.05. That also cemented Bassitt’s place as the third-fastest collegian – and the fourth-fastest athlete in the world – during the indoor season. One week earlier, Bassitt did his usual thing at the NCAA DII Championships: he scored 22.5 points with individual titles in both the 400 (45.36) and 60H (7.73), as well as the anchor leg on the top 4×400 relay squad in Pittsburg, Kansas.

Boling, who hails from Houston, Texas, PR’d in three different events during the indoor season with strong marks in each, including two all-conditions bests. He opened the season with an all-conditions long jump PR of 8.25m (27-1), an event in which he finished third at the NCAA DI Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama. Then he ripped an indoor PR of 20.27 in the 200 two weeks later. Finally, Boling PR’d in the prelims of the 60 at the NCAA meet in 6.56, an event in which he’d eventually finish fifth in the final.

Burrell, who hails from Zachary, Louisiana, is finally ready to show the world what he has for an encore presentation. It was last year at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, where Burrell set a world U20 record of 47.85 in the 400-meter hurdles. Burrell competed once indoors as part of a 4×400 relay and just opened his outdoor season in the same relay as the anchor leg at the Baldy Castillo Invitational this past weekend.

Cunningham, who hails from Winfield, Alabama, made history during the indoor season. He became the only athlete in collegiate history with three or more sub-7.42 efforts in the 60-meter hurdles. Cunningham capped his season with a sensational 7.38 winner at the NCAA DI Indoor Championships, which was just 0.03 seconds from tying the collegiate record set by 2019 The Bowerman winner Grant Holloway. The Florida State star was undefeated against collegiate competition under a roof with an average margin of victory 0.22 seconds, topped by the 0.25 spread in his home state’s Birmingham CrossPlex two weeks ago.

Ihemeje, who hails from Bergamo, Italy, continues to shine in the triple jump. He made it a perfect 3 for 3 at NCAA Championships in which he competed with his victory two weeks ago in Birmingham, Alabama. Ihemeje bounded 16.83m (55-2¾) for a seasonal best. Ihemeje could become the first male athlete since Walter Davis in 2001 and 2002 to sweep the NCAA indoor and outdoor triple jump titles in back-to-back years, if he tops the outdoor podium in June.

Miller, who hails from St. Louis, Missouri, capped an undefeated season in the 800 meters with a victory at the NCAA DI Indoor Championships. He took the lead halfway through, split 52.57 for 400 meters and cruised home to win by 0.74 seconds in 1:47.19. Miller also toted the baton third on Texas A&M’s title-winning 4×400 relay. Earlier in the season, Miller became the third-fastest athlete in collegiate history in the 800 meters with his SEC-winning mark of 1:45.24 and notched several all-time marks in the 600.

Nur, who hails from Phoenix, Arizona, by way of Mogadishu, Somalia, capped a strong season at the NCAA DI Indoor Championships, where he completed the distance double. He won the 5000 meters on Friday in a meet-record 13:19.01 and kicked home to win a tactical 3000 on Saturday, a race where the top-8 athletes all finished with one second of each other. That mark in the 5000 also put him ninth on the all-time collegiate chart and improved his PR from 13:22.24 that he ran in December. Back in mid-February, Nur covered 3000m in 7:40.66, which is the fifth-fastest all-conditions mark in collegiate history and the fastest on an oversized track.

Owens, who hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, starred in the heptathlon. He notched a pair of all-time top-5 performances this season, both in come-from-behind victories over Kyle Garland of Georgia, who is the fifth-best performer on the all-time chart himself. Owens’ most recent brush with drama came at the NCAA DI Indoor Championships, where he went from fourth to first in the span of 2 minutes, 31.55 seconds, a mark that he used to cross the finish line first in the 1000 meters. Owens had to beat Garland by at least 13.5 seconds to win the NCAA title and did just that with his four-second PR. That gave Owens the fifth-best total in collegiate history, which was only topped by his PR of 6272 from the Razorback Team Invitational that put him second on the all-time chart behind 2010 The Bowerman winner Ashton Eaton.

Ross, who hails from Garner, North Carolina, polished off an undefeated season over 400 meters at the NCAA DI Indoor Championships. That might be putting it lightly, though. Ross turned two laps in 44.62 to become the third-fastest man in world history behind 2018 The Bowerman winner Michael Norman (44.52) and Kerron Clement (44.57). The North Carolina A&T standout is now the only athlete in NCAA history with two all-time top-10 marks in the indoor 400.

Washington, who hails from Tucson, Arizona, continued his undefeated ways in the shot put with a victory at the NCAA DI Indoor Championships. He launched the weighted orb 21.65m (71-0½) on his third attempt to take the lead for good. That was the seventh-farthest effort in collegiate history and the third-best in meet history. Washington had his toughest competition yet, as Tripp Piperi of Texas turned in an all-time series with five throws over 21 meters.

Four athletes received votes, but not enough to land on the Watch List: NCAA 60-meter champion Davonte Burnett of Southern California, NCAA heptathlon runner-up Kyle Garland of Georgia, NCAA pole vault champion Sondre Guttormsen of Princeton and NCAA high jump champion Vernon Turner of Oklahoma.

The next Men’s Watch List will be released on April 15.


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