The Bowerman: 2022 Men’s Semifinalists

NEW ORLEANS – And then, there were ten.

From these ten, there will be three.

Here are the Men’s Semifinalists for The Bowerman in 2022 – of which, three will be selected as finalists in the coming weeks by The Bowerman Advisory Board: Mykolas Alekna of California, Trey Cunningham of Florida State, Joseph Fahnbulleh of Florida, Kyle Garland of Georgia, Sondre Guttormsen of Princeton, Abdihamid Nur of Northern Arizona, Ayden Owens-Delerme of Arkansas, Tripp Piperi of Texas, Randolph Ross Jr. of North Carolina A&T and Moad Zahafi of Texas Tech.

The Bowerman

2022 Men’s Semifinalists

Year Team Events Hometown
Mykolas AleknaFRCaliforniaDiscusVilnius, Lithuania
Trey CunninghamSRFlorida StateHurdlesWinfield, Ala.
Joseph FahnbullehSOFloridaSprintsHopkins, Minn.
Kyle GarlandSOGeorgiaCombined EventsPhiladelphia, Pa.
Sondre GuttormsenJRPrincetonPole VaultSki, Norway
Abdihamid NurSONorthern ArizonaDistancePhoenix, Ariz.
Ayden Owens-DelermeJRArkansasCombined EventsWexford, Pa.
Tripp PiperiSRTexasThrowsThe Woodlands, Texas
Randolph Ross Jr.JRNorth Carolina A&TSprintsGarner, N.C.
Moad ZahafiSRTexas TechMid-DistanceCasablanca, Morocco

UPCOMING: Tuesday, June 28 – Finalists Announced

Alekna, who hails from Vilnius, Lithuania, redefined collegiate discus throwing. Try this on for size: Alekna posted eight of the top-12 marks in collegiate history, including the collegiate record of 68.73m (225-6) that he whirled at the Pac-12 Outdoor Championships. That effort is also the farthest heave by a collegian in any setting (2013 The Bowerman finalist Julian Wruck launched the disc 68.16m (223-8) at a meet nine years ago that was deemed an exhibition by USTFCCCA standards). Alekna also has the Nos. 2, 4, 7-8, 10-12 all-time marks. He finished runner-up at the NCAA DI Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Hayward Field.

Cunningham, who hails from Winfield, Alabama, had a year unlike any other over the hurdles in collegiate history, counting 2019 The Bowerman winner Grant Holloway. The Florida State star swept the hurdling titles at the 2022 NCAA Championships with the second-fastest efforts by a collegian ever: 7.38 in the 60H; 13.00 in the 110H. Between the time he debuted at the Clemson Invitational in mid-January to the time to completed the indoor-outdoor sweep in Eugene, Oregon, Cunningham posted six combined all-time top-10 hurdling marks. Cunningham had more 7.42 or faster marks in the 60H than anybody in collegiate history (four) and more 13.22 or faster marks in the 110H than anybody in collegiate history (nine).

Fahnbulleh, who hails from Hopkins, Minnesota, capped the year with a pair of titles at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships. The Florida standout completed the fifth 100-200 sweep in the past seven years and turned in PRs in each event: 10.00 (+0.6) in the 100; 19.83 (+0.6) in the 200 that made him the fourth-fastest performer in collegiate history. Fahnbulleh also anchored the Gators to a runner-up finish in the 4×100 relay. He took runner-up honors in the 200 at the SEC Outdoor Championships and was seventh in the final at the indoor meet.

Garland, who hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, obliterated the collegiate record in the decathlon at the USATF Combined Event Championships with a score of 8720. Not only after that, Garland placed third at the NCAA Championships in the 10-eventer. During the indoor season, Garland won the heptathlon at the SEC Championships and finished runner-up at the ensuing NCAA Championships. In addition to that collegiate record in the decathlon, Garland became the fifth-best performer in collegiate history in the heptathlon with 6205 points.

Guttormsen, who hails from Ski, Norway, quietly went about his business during the year and finds himself in elite company at the end. The Princeton standout swept the pole vault crowns at the NCAA Championships and topped 5.75m (18-10¼) five times in 2022. His collegiate PR of 5.82m (19-1) came at the Tyson Invitational, which equaled the ninth-best all-time collegian under a roof.

Nur, who hails from Phoenix, Arizona, by way of Mogadishu, Somalia, probably needs no introduction to collegiate distance-running fans. The Northern Arizona standout shattered Henry Rono’s 44-year-old, in-season collegiate record in the 5000 meters at the Sound Running Track Meet. Nur, who doubled up on NCAA indoor titles with his 3000-5000 sweep, turned 12½ laps at the Track Meet in 13:06.32, shaving more than two seconds off an all-time best that had stood for more than four decades. Two months before that, Nur set an NCAA Indoor Championships meet record with his 13:09.01 winner. Nur contested the 10,000 meters at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships and finished third in 28:14.51, after leading with 200 meters to go.

Owens-Delerme, who hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, became just the fourth athlete in NCAA DI history to sweep the combined event titles at the NCAA Championships, joining 2010 The Bowerman winner Ashton Eaton, Tim Duckworth (2018) and Karel Tilga (2021). The Arkansas standout amassed all-time totals throughout the year – four of them, to be exact. Indoors, Owens-Delerme became the second-best heptathlon performer in collegiate history behind Eaton with his 6272-point total at the Razorback Team Invitational. And speaking of Eaton, Owens-Delerme tied Eaton’s meet record in the decathlon at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships with 8457 points. Don’t forget about the former wind-legal collegiate record of 8528 points in the decathlon at the Mt. SAC Relays that now has him No. 3 in collegiate history.

Piperi, who hails from The Woodlands, Texas, had a monster year with the shot in his hands. The Texas standout tossed the shot 21.21m (69-7) or farther at 11 meets this year, including the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships, where he won the title with a mark of 21.52m (70-7¼). His all-conditions season best came at the NCAA DI Indoor Championships with a 21.58m (70-9¾) heave that allowed him to take runner-up honors. Back in late March, Piperi took down Ryan Crouser’s legendary meet record at the Texas Relays with a 21.54m (70-8) put.  

Ross, who hails from Garner, North Carolina, polished off an undefeated year over 400 meters with a victory at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships. The North Carolina A&T standout only got faster as the outdoor season progressed, opening with a 45.15 winner at the Tom Jones Memorial and clocking a 44.13 season best in Eugene, Oregon. Under a roof, Ross asserted his dominance in the two-lapper and became the only man in collegiate history with two all-time top-10 marks in the event, headlined by his 44.62 scorcher to win the NCAA title. That also made him the third-fastest man in world history behind 2018 The Bowerman winner Michael Norman and Kerron Clement, both of whom clocked their marks as collegians.

Zahafi, who hails from Casablanca, Morocco, had a dream outdoor season in the 800 meters. He contested the 800 at five different meets this season and turned in three all-time top-10 marks, more than any athlete in collegiate history. His fastest came at the Tom Jones Memorial in mid-April, where he became the third-fastest performer in collegiate history with his 1:43.69 effort. The second was during his title-winning gallop at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships in 1:44.49, good enough for No. 6 on the all-time chart. Between those, Zahafi was the fastest qualifier out of the NCAA DI West Preliminary Round at 1:44.65, which is now No. 10.

Finalists for The Bowerman will be announced June 28.

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