The Bowerman 2013 Finalists and Former Winners at Diamond League Herculis Meeting

July 17, 2013   

MONACO – Current finalists for and former winners of The Bowerman — collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor — will be front and center this weekend at the Herculis 2013 IAAF Diamond League meeting, which many consider the crown jewel of the world’s top track & field circuit.

Distance star Lawi Lalang and high jump sensation Brigetta Barrett, both of Arizona, are the two current finalists for the 2013 The Bowerman who will be competing at the meeting on Friday, July 19, at Stade Louis II among the world’s best. Lalang will be in the 5000 meters, while Barrett is entered in her signature high jump event.

For the purposes of their The Bowerman candidacy, the results of this meet and everything that has occurred after the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in mid-June will not be factored into the decision. Only results that occurred throughout the duration of the NCAA indoor and outdoor seasons should be considered when determining finalists.

Also among the entrants to the event are four former winners. Inaugural 2009 The Bowerman winners and distance runners Galen Rupp, formerly of Oregon, and Jenny (Barringer) Simpson, formerly of Colorado, are both scheduled to compete — Rupp at 5000 meters and Simpson at 1500.

Sprint hurdler Queen Harrison, the 2010 winner from Virginia Tech, and 2012 winner Kimberlyn Duncan from LSU are also set to take on elite fields as they prepare for the World Championships in Moscow, which will take place August 10-18. Harrison will take on the 100 hurdles, while Duncan is slated for 200 meters.

Meet Information: Meet Home | Start Lists/Schedule | Broadcast Info

World-leading Barrett, recently announced as a The Bowerman finalist for the second consecutive season, is no stranger to competition on the world stage as her Olympic high jump silver from the 2012 London Olympics proves. She has a personal best of 6-8¼ (2.04m) set at the USA Championships while competing with Nike, which stands as the all-time, all-dates best by a collegian, and is a centimeter better than her silver-winning clearance in London.

The USTFCCCA recognizes marks made by seniors with exhausted eligibility through the end of the World Championships or Olympics as part of a supplement to its collegiate all-time bests.

Her international experience will be vital, as the field she will face in Monaco will likely resemble what she faces in Moscow next month. An Olympics rematch is on tap with 2012 gold medalist Anna Chicherova of Russia and fourth-placer Ruth Beitia of Spain both in the field. Blanka Vlašić of Croatia, the No. 2 high jumper all-time and a 2007 and 2009 world champ, will also push Barrett to her limit.

While Lalang — a senior-to-be on the track at Arizona — will not be competing at the World Championships for his native Kenya, he will run the 5000 in Monaco and look to continue a recent hot streak that began with dual 5000/10,000 meter titles at the NCAA Championships in mid-June. The past several weeks have seen him run the all-time, all-dates fastest 5000 meters time by a collegian with his 13:07.13 in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and a personal best of 3:33.20 at the Paris Diamond League meeting — by far the best by any collegian in 2013.

Conditions will be ideal for him to potentially take a run at lowering his collegiate-best time as the field will be loaded with seven men who have run faster than 13 minutes and two — Isiah Kiplangat Koech and Albert Rop of Kenya — who have dipped below the mark in 2013. American record holder and 2007 world champion Bernard Lagat — a volunteer coach at Arizona and a training partner for Lalang — and 2012 Olympic 10,000 meters silver medalist Rupp will both be in the field tuning up for Moscow. Another notable competitor for Lalang will be Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa of Kenya, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist.

Former winner Simpson, a 2011 world champion at 1500 meters and No. 9 in the world in 2013 at 4:02.30, will be up against perhaps the most formidable and decorated field in the meet. In addition to four other top-10 runners at the distance in 2013 in No. 4 Hellen Obiri (3:58.58), No. 5 Viola Jelegat Kibiwot (4:00.76) and No. 6 Nancy Jebet Langat (4:01.41) of Kenya and USA teammate for the World Championships No. 10 Treniere Moser (4:02.85) she will also have to contend with a number of former world and Olympic medalists.

Chief among those former medalists is Bahrian’s Maryam Yusuf, the world champion in both 2009 and 2007, and a bronze medalist at the 2012 Olympics. Yusuf was beaten out in London by silver medalist Gamze Bulut of Turkey, who will also be in the field. Spain’s Natalia Rodriguez won bronze at the 2011 games behind Simpson’s gold, and USA teammate Shannon Rowbury is a 2009 World Championships bronze medalist.

Harrison, the 2010 women’s winner, is ranked No. 2 in the world in the 100 hurdles at 12.43 (+1.2m/s) behind Brianna Rollins — her World Championships teammate and a finalist for the 2013 edition of The Bowerman. With Rollins not competing at Monaco, Harrison is the fastest hurdler in the field based on 2013 performances, followed by fellow American Kellie Wells at No. 6 (12.54, +1.2m/s). The wild card in the race will be the health and fitness of Australia’s Sally Pearson, the 2011 world champ and 2008 Olympic silver medalist. Pearson has a lifetime best of 12.28 — No. 5 all-time on the IAAF list — but her 2013 best is 12.67 (+0.9m/s).

Harrison and Rollins — the collegiate and American record holder in the 100 hurdles — will both compete at the smaller Luzern Spitzenleichtathletik in Lucerne, Switzerland at 2:30pm ET/8:30pm local time.

Though she was not selected as a The Bowerman finalist this year with a logjam of uber-talented candidates vying for just three spots, Duncan won the award last year and is among the fastest in the world at 200 meters this year as she prepares for her first major international competition in Moscow. With a fastest wind-legal time of 22.35 (+1.3m/s) she is officially No. 4 in the world on the IAAF list, but her 21.80w (+3.2m/s) en route to a defeat of Olympic champ Allyson Felix and a US Championship is the fastest all-conditions time in the world this year.

She will face the fastest wind-legal woman in the world in Monaco in Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist at 200 meters who less than a month ago ran 22.13 (+1.0m/s). Fraser-Pryce also has two Olympic golds and a 2009 World Championships gold at 100 meters to her name. Also lining up in the blocks will be No. 5 Murielle Ahoure of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire (22.36, +1.2m/s).

The meet will be broadcast on Universal Sports Friday, July 19, at 2pm ET.

 

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.