The Bowerman: 2023 Men’s Preseason Watch List
NEW ORLEANS – The Road to The Bowerman starts here!
Nearly three weeks to the day after Trey Cunningham took home collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor on the men’s side, we look ahead to the upcoming year of competition with the unveiling of the Men’s Preseason Watch List for The Bowerman.
Here are the ten men on said Preseason Watch List in 2023, which was released on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA): Mykolas Alekna of California, Matthew Boling of Georgia, Sean “Squirrel” Burrell of LSU, Kyle Garland of Georgia, Sondre Guttormsen of Princeton, Charles Hicks of Stanford, Ayden Owens-Delerme of Arkansas, Wayne Pinnock of Arkansas, Turner Washington of Arizona State and Nico Young of Northern Arizona.
The Bowerman Men’s Watch List
2023 Preseason — January 11
|Mykolas Alekna||SO||California||Discus||Vilnius, Lithuania|
|Matthew Boling||JR||Georgia||Sprints/Jumps||Houston, Texas|
|Sean Burrell||JR||LSU||Hurdles||Zachary, La.|
|Kyle Garland||JR||Georgia||Combined Events||Philadelphia, Pa.|
|Sondre Guttormsen||JR||Princeton||Pole Vault||Ski, Norway|
|Charles Hicks||JR||Stanford||Distance||Jacksonville, Fla.|
|Ayden Owens-Delerme||JR||Arkansas||Combined Events||Wexford, Pa.|
|Wayne Pinnock||SO||Arkansas||Jumps||Kingston, Jamaica|
|Turner Washington||SR||Arizona State||Throws||Tucson, Ariz.|
|Nico Young||JR||Northern Arizona||Distance||Camarillo, Calif.|
ALSO RECEIVING VOTES Jordan Geist, Arizona (Throws), Eliud Kipsang, Alabama (Mid-Distance), Carey McLeod, Arkansas (Jumps), Zach McWhorter, Duke (Pole Vault), Marc Minichello, Georgia (Javelin), Jacory Patterson, Florida (Sprints), Claudio Romero, LSU (Throws), Micah Williams, Oregon (Sprints)
UPCOMING: Thursday, February 2 – Update #1
This group includes two past finalists in Owens-Delerme (2022) and Washington (2021), four past semifinalists in Alekna (2022), Burrell (2021), Garland (2022) and Guttormsen (2022), four athletes who are making their Watch List debut in Guttormsen, Hicks, Pinnock and Young, as well as three collegiate record holders in Alekna (discus), Garland (decathlon) and Washington (indoor shot put).
Plus, this is a great place for an athlete to be, as eight of the past nine winners landed spots on the Preseason Watch List: Trey Cunningham (2022), JuVaughn Harrison (2021), Grant Holloway (2019), Christian Coleman (2017), Jarrion Lawson (2016), Marquis Dendy (2015), Deon Lendore (2014) and Derek Drouin (2013). Finalists have appeared on the Preseason Watch List in each of the 11 years that it has been produced since 2010.
Alekna, who hails from Vilnius, Lithuania, redefined collegiate discus throwing in 2022. 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.
Boling, who hails from Houston, Texas, tapped into his potential as a sophomore last year. He lowered his PRs in the sprints to 9.98 (+1.6) in the 100 and 19.92 (-0.9) in the 200 during the outdoor season and soared 8.25m (27-1) in the long jump under a roof. If you combine those three PR efforts, Boling is one of few athletes to accomplish that trifecta in world history. Boling also took runner-up honors in the 200 at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships last year and captured three event titles between the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Championships.
Burrell, who hails from Zachary, Louisiana, had an abbreviated year in 2022, but reminded everybody of his talent at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships. That’s where he captured his second 400-meter hurdle title in a row, three weeks after finishing eighth in the same event at the SEC Championships. Burrell became just the fourth man in NCAA DI history to win back-to-back 400H titles since 1988: Eric Futch of Florida (2016, 2017), Jeshua Anderson of Washington State (2008, 2009) and Kerron Clement of Florida (2004, 2005) are the others.
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 long 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 in 2022 and found himself in elite company at the end. The Princeton standout became the first athlete since 2015 The Bowerman finalist Shawn Barber to sweep the pole vault crowns at the NCAA Championships and topped 5.75m (18-10¼) five times last year. His collegiate PR of 5.82m (19-1) came at the Tyson Invitational, which equaled the ninth-best all-time collegian under a roof.
Hicks, who hails from Jacksonville, Florida, enters the Preseason Watch List as the fourth athlete from Stanford to earn the honor: Grant Fisher (2019), Chris Derrick (2012) and Amaechi Morton (2012) are the others. He has yet to win an NCAA title on the track or set an all-time mark, but beat all potential opponents this past November at the NCAA DI Cross Country Championships (NOTE: Performances in cross country aren’t under consideration for The Bowerman).
Owens-Delerme, who hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was a finalist for The Bowerman in 2022, 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 his 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, either.
Pinnock, who hails from Kingston, Jamaica, took over the throne as the best collegiate long jumper in 2022. The former Volunteer turned Razorback swept the NCAA titles and indoor and outdoor championships and flew 8.06m (26-6½) in mid-April for his season best.
Washington, who hails from Tucson, Arizona, and was a finalist for The Bowerman in 2021, went undefeated against collegians in the shot put two years ago and continued that streak into 2022. He captured the NCAA title at the NCAA Indoor Championships with a 21.65m (71-0½) heave and took top collegiate honors at his first three outdoor meets. An injury derailed the rest of the season, but Washington rallied to finish runner-up in the shot put at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
Young, who hails from Camarillo, California, is a dynamo over 5000 meters. He ranks third in collegiate history outdoors at 13:11.30 and ninth indoors with the 13:15.25 that he ran this past December at the Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener in Boston.
Eight men received votes from The Bowerman Watch List Committee, but not enough to land on the Watch List: Jordan Geist of Arizona, Eliud Kipsang of Alabama, Carey McLeod of Arkansas, Zach McWhorter of Duke, Marc Minichello of Georgia, Jacory Patterson of Florida, Claudio Romero of LSU and Micah Williams of Oregon. That means 18 athletes had at least one vote from The Bowerman Watch List Committee for the Preseason Watch List – the second-most in history behind 2019, which had 19.
The next Watch List will be released on Thursday, February 2.