Jessica Beard, Ngoni Makusha Win The Bowerman 2011

December 14, 2011   

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Texas A&M’s Jessica Beard and Florida State’s Ngoni Makusha were named winners of The Bowerman on Wednesday night. The Bowerman is bestowed to year’s best collegiate track & field athletes. Beard won NCAA crowns both indoors and out in the 400 meters and 4×400 relay in 2011. Makusha joined Carl Lewis and Jesse Owens in winning the 100 meter-long jump double at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.

Beard (Euclid, Ohio) became the just the third female in NCAA Division I history, and first since 1999, to win both 400 national titles in the same year and run on both winning 4×400 relays at the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor Championships. Beard, a four-time Big 12 indoor 400-meter champ, recorded the world’s fastest time over the 400-meter distance indoors with a 50.79 clocking to win the national crown. Outdoors, Beard clocked 51.10 for the NCAA win and split 49.13 for the Aggies as anchor of the NCAA-winning 4×400 relay.

At the USATF Championships (not considered part of the collegiate season), Beard placed fourth in the 400 meters, running a season’s best 51.06 in the national final.

Makusha (Seke, Zimbabwe) won NCAA outdoor titles in the 100 meters and long jump, joining Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens, and Michigan’s DeHart Hubbard as only the fourth man in NCAA Division I history to claim such a double at a single championship. Makusha also claimed the NCAA long jump title during the indoor season, becoming the first since 2006 to sweep the event’s two titles (Arturs Abolins, Nebraska). The Seminole notched a third NCAA outdoor championship title as second-leg of 4×100-meter relay. In addition, Makusha clocked 9.97 to win the ACC outdoor 100-meter crown, and he also swept league titles in the long jump.

Makusha’s run of 9.89 in the NCAA’s 100-meter final broke the 1996 collegiate- and championship-meet record of 9.92 set by UCLA’s Ato Bolden, is the Zimbabwean national record, and places Makusha is the world’s top six in the event this year.

In the long jump, Makusha’s NCAA-winning mark of 27-6¾ (8.40m) was also a new Zimbabwean national record.

Makusha announced shortly after the NCAA Championships that he had decided to forgo his senior season of eligibility and had elected to turn professional. Makusha was the first man in ACC history to be a Bowerman finalist and now the league’s first Bowerman winner.

Watch more video of Bowerman Awards & USTFCCCA Convention on flotrack.org

THE BOWERMAN WINNERS

MEN

2011: Ngoni Makusha, Florida State
2010: Ashton Eaton, Oregon
2009: Galen Rupp, Oregon

WOMEN

2011: Jessica Beard, Texas A&M
2010: Queen Harrison, Virginia Tech
2009: Jenny Barringer, Colorado

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. Oregon’s Ashton Eaton and Virginia Tech’s Queen Harrison are the reigning winners of The Bowerman, which is named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman.

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.