Drouin, Lalang, Wruck Named Men’s Finalists for The Bowerman
July 10, 2013
NEW ORLEANS – A field of 10 deserving male candidates for The Bowerman Trophy — the highest honor given to the most outstanding male and female student-athletes in collegiate track & field — has been narrowed to the final three finalists by the Bowerman Advisory Board, announced Wednesday.
Derek Drouin of Indiana, Lawi Lalang of Arizona and Julian Wruck of UCLA have been selected as the final three men who will attend December’s U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention in Orlando in hopes of being named the most outstanding male collegiate track & field student-athlete of the 2013 season.
The women’s finalists will be announced Thursday.
Drouin swept the indoor and outdoor NCAA Division I high jump titles for the second time in his career, Lalang won four NCAA Division I titles at four distances in 2013 with two each at the indoor and outdoor championships, and Wruck claimed the NCAA Division I discus crown after a season that saw him re-write the record books. Further details on each finalists’ seasons can be found below.
With Lalang and Wruck being named finalists, the Pac-12 has now had eight finalists since 2009, most of any conference. However, the conference has not produced a winner since Oregon Ducks Galen Rupp and Ashton Eaton claimed the awards in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Lalang is the first male from Arizona to be named a finalist, while Wruck is the first from UCLA — either male or female — to be selected.
The Pac-12’s two men’s finalists are the most by a league in a single year since the Pac-12 had three finalists in 2010 with Oregon’s Eaton and Andrew Wheating and Arizona State’s Ryan Whiting.
Drouin is the second man from the Big Ten, and the first from Indiana, to be selected as a finalist, joining Andrew Riley of Illinois a year ago.
In the coming weeks, dozens of select media personnel, track & field statisticians, and collegiate administrators will choose the top male and top female as the award winners. In addition, beginning July 29, fans can visit TheBowerman.org to submit their choices as online voting will account for one full vote in the process.
Finalists were chosen by The Bowerman Advisory Board, a ten-person panel of experts in the sport, based on performances recorded during the indoor and outdoor 2013 track & field seasons. Only performances through the conclusion of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are used in consideration. Notable competitions and results beyond that point are included in their biographies below, but played no part in the selection process.
The winners will be first announced during a ceremony held in conjunction with the USTFCCCA Convention. The finalists and their families will be invited to take part in the special event that will be held at the JW Marriott Grande Lakes in Orlando, Fla., on December 18.
QUICKLY – THE FINALISTS
Derek Drouin, Indiana
It was a banner year for Indiana high jumper Derek Drouin, as the indoor and outdoor USTFCCCA Indoor and Outdoor National Field Athlete of the Year became the first to sweep both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Division I high jump titles in one academic year since he did so in 2010. The Canadian won at heights of 7-8 (2.34m) or greater and took cracks at collegiate records at both championships. He finished unbeaten in nine collegiate high jump finals between indoors and outdoors, with his only overall loss coming in a tie with fellow The Bowerman semifinalist and rival Erik Kynard of Kansas State at the Nike Prefontaine Classic Diamond League Meeting, where both posted the No. 2 outdoor mark in collegiate history at 7-8¾ (2.36m).
He won all four high jump finals indoors, three of which came with clearances of 7-6 (2.29m) or greater. Highlighting his indoor campaign was his third career NCAA indoor high jump title without a miss through his first eight heights to a winning mark of 7-8½ (2.35m) to move him up to No. 2 on the all-time collegiate indoor performers list. He narrowly missed on three attempts at 7-9¾ (2.38m). Competing in the heptathlon at the Big Ten Championships, he set the world’s all-time best high jump mark in heptathlon competition with a clearance of 7-6½ (2.30m), going on to finish third in the overall event with 5,817 points. He won the open high jump title the next day at 7-5 (2.26m).
His outdoor campaign saw him go unbeaten in collegiate high jump events and clear heights of 7-6½ (2.30m) or greater in five high jump finals, culminating in his NCAA outdoor title at 7-8 (2.34m), which he cleared on his final attempt to defeat two-time outdoor champ Kynard. His title came one week after both he and Kynard tied for the second-best mark in outdoor collegiate history at 7-8¾ (2.36m) at the Prefontaine Classic. In addition to an outdoor Big Ten title, he won the Penn Relays title with a meet- and facility-record clearance of 7-7¾ (2.33m). All of this came after he claimed a season-opening win over Kynard at the Texas Relays.
Following his outdoor season, Drouin won the Canadian title in the high jump with a clearance of 7-7 (2.31m). He was also named the Big 10 Jesse Owens Athlete of the Year
Lawi Lalang, Arizona
Though Arizona junior Lawi Lalang did not compete as frequently as the other Finalists due to the nature of his events, he made every race count with four NCAA Division I individual titles — two indoors and two outdoors — two NCAA DI Indoor Championships records, four all-time collegiate top-10 marks indoors in two different events, and a 2013 collegiate-best in an event he elected not to run at the NCAA DI Outdoor Championships.
In terms of championships performances, Lalang became just the second man to win four individual distance titles in one academic year, joining 2009 The Bowerman winner Galen Rupp of Oregon and Suleiman Nyambui of UTEP in both 1980 and 1982. His combination of indoor mile and 3000 meter titles and outdoor 5000 and 10,000 meter titles is a feat never before accomplished by another man in Division I history.
Lalang’s 3:54.74 win in the mile at the DI Indoor Championships bested the 18-year-old record of 3:55.33 set by Kevin Sullivan of Michigan in 1995 and gave him the fourth-fastest indoor mile time in collegiate history. He defeated collegiate record-holder Chris O’Hare and NC State’s Ryan Hill, owner of two all-time collegiate top-ten marks in the mile, to earn the victory. He also took down Colorado’s Adam Goucher’s 1998 NCAA Meet record of 7:46.03 at 3000 meters en route to winning the title in 7:45.94, the tenth-fastest mark in collegiate history. In the process he became the first man since Washington State’s Bernard Lagat in 1999 to win both titles in the same meet.
His indoor season also included a 3:54.56 fifth-place finish in the Millrose Games’ Wanamaker Mile, good for second among collegians to record-holder O’Hare, and a 7:42.79 win at 3000 meters at the Razorback Team Invitational, giving him the third-fastest time in collegiate history in the event.
Lalang’s outdoor campaign culminated with a 13:35.19 NCAA title-winning performance at 5000 meters and another title in 29:29.65 at 10,000 meters. He finished his outdoor campaign undefeated in nine events between 1500, 5000 and 10,000 meters. He won Pac-12 titles at both 1500 meters and 10,000 meters, with his winning 1500 time of 3:38.53 standing as the collegiate leader at the end of the season despite not contesting the event at the NCAA Championships.
Following the collegiate season, Lalang set an all-time, all-dates collegiate best of 13:07.13 over 5000 meters at the Ostrava IAAF Golden Spikes in the Czech Republic to finish third. Among the runners he beat was Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopa, the world record holder at both 5000 and 10,000 meters. Two weeks later he ran a 3:33.20 over 1500 meters to finish fifth overall at the Paris Diamond League Meeting. The time smashes his school record by more than three seconds.
Julian Wruck, UCLA
A national contender and 2011 champion in the discus in his days at Texas Tech prior to his transfer to UCLA, junior Julian Wruck had a breakthrough year in a big way in 2013, re-writing the record books en route to his second NCAA title in the discus. He finished the season not only undefeated but nearly untouchable in eight collegiate events in 2013, registering the top 27 throws by any collegian in 2013.
The one meet in which he was given a true challenge was the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships, where he ultimately defeated defending champion Chad Wright of Nebraska with a throw of 213-0 (64.94m) after trailing midway through the final three throws.
Though his winning throw was the top mark in the Outdoor Championships since 2000, it paled in comparison to his performance at the exhibition Claremont Throws meet the week prior, where he uncorked the best throw ever by a collegian with a 223-7 (68.16m) mark that would have bested the collegiate record of 221-11 (67.66m) by nearly two feet. He also recorded three other all farther than 220 feet and another at 217-9 (66.38m). The marks will not count in the all-time collegiate rankings due to meet structure and the number of throws taken.
His season was filled with other all-time throws. After debuting with a winning throw of 213-4 (65.04m) at the Texas State Elite, he next recorded marks of 216-7 (66.01m) and 215-10 (65.80m) to win the Texas Relays. The very next week he improved upon his season’s best with a 216-8 (66.05m) mark at UCLA’s Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational.
He competed in Australia the following week, where his performance was highlighted by a winning throw of 217-7 (66.32m) and another of 216-5 (65.96m). Back Stateside, he won the UCSD Triton invitational with a throw of 216-3 (65.92m). Two weeks later he began his post-season run with a Pac-12 title and a winning throw of 214-7 (65.41m).
WINNER SELECTION PROCESS
The Bowerman Voters will receive ballots listing each of the finalists and must rank them by first, second and third choice. First-place votes will receive three points, second place will notch two, and third will receive one point. The finalist with the highest point total will be declared the winner.
The Bowerman Voters consist of:
- The Bowerman Advisory Board (10 members)
- Select media personnel, statisticians, and collegiate administrators
- Galen Rupp, 2009 men’s winner of The Bowerman
- Ashton Eaton, 2010 men’s winner of The Bowerman
- Ngoni Makusha, 2011 men’s winner of The Bowerman
- Cam Levins, 2012 men’s winner of The Bowerman
- Jenny (Barringer) Simpson, 2009 women’s winner of The Bowerman
- Queen Harrison, 2010 women’s winner of The Bowerman
- Jessica Beard, 2011 women’s winner of The Bowerman
- Kimberlyn Duncan, 2012 women’s winner of The Bowerman
- Online voting by the public will constitute one collective vote (ranking of choices will be made by order of total single votes)
- Online voting by USTFCCCA members will constitute one collective vote (ranking of choices will be made by order of total single votes)
Paper balloting will conclude in the coming weeks while online voting will begin on Monday, July 29 and will last until Tuesday, August 13. An independent accounting firm will collect, tabulate, and certify final results and will keep the result secret until the envelope is opened in December.
THE BOWERMAN PAST FINALISTS & AWARD HISTORY
Winner: Galen Rupp, Oregon
Finalist: Ashton Eaton, Oregon
Finalist: German Fernandez, Oklahoma State
Winner: Ashton Eaton, Oregon
Finalist: Andrew Wheating, Oregon
Finalist: Ryan Whiting, Arizona State
Winner: Ngoni Makusha, Florida State
Finalist: Jeshua Anderson, Washington State
Finalist: Christian Taylor, Florida
Winner: Cam Levins, Southern Utah
Finalist: Tony McQuay, Florida
Finalist: Andrew Riley, Illinois
Winner: Jenny Barringer, Colorado
Finalist: Destinee Hooker, Texas
Finalist: Porscha Lucas, Texas A&M
Winner: Queen Harrison, Virginia Tech
Finalist: Lisa Koll, Iowa State
Finalist: Blessing Okagbare, UTEP
Winner: Jessica Beard, Texas A&M
Finalist: Kimberlyn Duncan, LSU
Finalist: Tina Sutej, Arkansas
Winner: Kimberlyn Duncan, LSU
Finalist: Brigetta Barrett, Arizona
Finalist: Brianne Theisen, Oregon
Multiple Finalists by School (2009-2013)
(Does not include 2013 women’s finalists)
Oregon (5): Ashton Eaton (2)*, Galen Rupp*, Brianne Theisen, Andrew Wheating
Arizona (2): Brigetta Barrett, Lawi Lalang
Texas A&M (2): Jessica Beard*, Porscha Lucas
Florida (2): Tony McQuay, Christian Taylor
LSU (2): Kimberlyn Duncan (2)*
* Previous Winner
All-Time Finalists by Conference
(using conference affiliation for seasons in question, change in affiliation is noted by finalists listed. Includes both men and women.)
OREGON – 5
ARIZONA – 2
ARIZONA STATE – 1
UCLA – 1
WASHINGTON STATE – 1
Big 12 (6):
TEXAS A&M – 2
COLORADO – 1 (Barringer, 2009)
IOWA STATE – 1
OKLAHOMA STATE – 1
TEXAS – 1
FLORIDA – 2
LSU – 2
ARKANSAS – 1
FLORIDA STATE – 1
VIRGINIA TECH – 1
Big Ten (2):
ILLINOIS – 1
INDIANA – 1
Conference USA (UTEP), Summit League (Southern Utah)
ABOUT THE BOWERMAN
The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.
Southern Utah’s Cam Levins and LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan are the reigning winners of The Bowerman, which is named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman.
Past winners include Olympic gold medalist and decathlon world-record holder Ashton Eaton (2010), 10,000-meter Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp (2009), and 2011 IAAF World Champion at 1500 meters, Jenny Simpson (2009).
Bowerman served the sport of track and field in numerous ways. His leadership in the USTFCCCA’s predecessor organization, the National Collegiate Track Coaches Association, and his contributions to NCAA track and field and the running community as a whole are among his many lasting legacies.
For more information on The Bowerman, the award, the trophy and Bill Bowerman himself, visit TheBowerman.org.
ABOUT THE USTFCCCA
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) is a non-profit professional organization representing cross country and track & field coaches of all levels. The organization represents over 8,000 coaching members encompassing 94% of all NCAA track & field programs (DI, DII, and DIII) and includes members representing the NAIA as well as a number of state high school coaches associations. The USTFCCCA serves as an advocate for cross country and track & field coaches, providing a leadership structure to assist the needs of a diverse membership, serving as a lobbyist for coaches’ interests, and working as a liaison between the various stakeholders in the sports of cross country and track & field.