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Illinois Frosh Spencer Now Appearing on The Bowerman Women’s Watch List
Collegiate leader in the 400 meters swept 200 and 400 titles at the Big Ten Championships, both indoors and out
May 17, 2012
NEW ORLEANS – Illinois freshman Ashley Spencer is the latest to be placed in the women’s watch list for The Bowerman – collegiate track & field’s biggest award. Spencer last weekend won the 200 and 400 meters and helped her squad to victory in the 4x400 at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships. In the 400 meters, Spencer clocked a collegiate-leading time of 51.02.
Spencer also won titles in the same three events at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in the winter. This is Spencer’s first appearance on the watch list and the second for an lllinois woman (Angela Bizzarri, January 12, 2010).
The next updates to The Bowerman Watch List will occur following the preliminary rounds of the NCAA Championships. The NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships begin May 24-26 with preliminary rounds in Austin, Texas and Jacksonville, Fla. The national championships for Division I will conclude June 6-9 in Des Moines, Iowa.
THE BOWERMAN OFFICIAL WATCH LIST, 2012 WOMEN
(updated May 17, 2012, listed in alphabetical order, always ten names)
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Lake Wales, Fla.
Ashley Spencer (N)
(P) – Promoted from the “also receiving mention” list
(N) – new to either list
QUICKLY – The Watch List
Brigetta Barrett, Arizona – OUTDOOR: Barrett leads the collegiate ranks by over three inches with a season’s best jump of 6-4¾ (1.95m) and is now among the all-time top ten outdoor collegiate performers in the event. The mark is also among the top five in the world so far this year. In five outdoor competitions, she won each and cleared at least 6-4 (1.93m) on all occasions. Dating back to the 2011 outdoor season, Barrett has won 15 collegiate competitions. Barrett won the Pac-12 title with a best leap of 6-4¼ (1.94m).
INDOOR: Barrett completed a perfect indoor season in the high jump, winning all five contests in which she was entered, including the NCAA Championships where she won for the second-straight year. Barrett is the first to win back-to-back indoor high jump crowns since Georgia Tech’s Chaunte Howard (2004-05).
Barrett’s season’s best in the event occurred when she cleared 6-5½ (1.97m) on the way to winning the Razorback Invitational’s event in January. The leap was just one centimeter (half inch) from the collegiate record set in 2009 by Destinee Hooker. Barrett took attempts at the collegiate record at both the Razorback and NCAA meets. Barrett finished No. 3 on the world on the performer’s list for the 2012 season. Barrett also won the MPSF title with a clear of 6-4 (1.93m). Barrett made eight clearances at 6-2 (1.88m) or above during the indoor season.
Tia Brooks, Oklahoma – OUTDOOR: At the Drake Relays, Brooks won the shot put title with a collegiate-leading throw of 60-7¼ (18.47m). The mark is second-best among Americans this season. Brooks won the Big 12 shot put title with a best of 59-9½ (18.22m).
INDOOR: Brooks won the NCAA shot put title with a fantastic series that included three throws over 60 feet and the best in round five that sailed to 62-4 (19.00m). The mark places Brooks second on the all-time collegiate indoor performers list and was the best throw by a collegian since 2004. Brooks also claimed the Big 12 title in the shot with a mark of 60-6¾ (18.46m).
Kimberlyn Duncan, LSU – OUTDOOR: Duncan is the current collegiate-leader in the 100 and 200 meters. As part of a three-event sweep of the SEC Championships, Duncan won the 100 meters in 10.96 seconds, the second-fastest low-altitude time in collegiate history. In the 200 meters, Duncan won in a wind-aided time of 22.12 which stands as the world’s all-conditions best time of the year. Duncan also anchored LSU to a conference crown in the 4x100. At the Texas Relays, Duncan won the 100 meters in with a wind-aided time of 10.94. In relays, Duncan helped LSU to a Texas Relays sweep of the 4x100, 4x200, and sprint medley relay and was named the Most Outstanding Performer of the Meet for her efforts. At the Penn Relays, Duncan and LSU won the 4x200 relay and finished runner up in the 4x100 and sprint medley.
INDOOR: Duncan notched her second-consecutive NCAA indoor title in the 200 meters with a 2012 world-best time of 22.74. Duncan became the first to win back-to-back national indoor crowns in the event since LSU’s Muna Lee (2002-03). Duncan also claimed an eighth-place finish at the national championships in the 60 meters.
Duncan won the 200-meter title and finished as runner-up in the 60 meters at the SEC Championships. Duncan notched sub-23.25 times in the 200 on seven occasions. Duncan won 200-meter titles at the Tyson Invitational and New Balance Collegiate Invitational and has now won 14-straight finals in the 200. In the 60 meters, Duncan had a season best of 7.26, carded in a runner-up Tyson Invite performance.
Octavious Freeman, UCF – OUTDOOR: Freeman holds the No. 4 NCAA seed and has a season best in the 200 meters of 22.80, captured in winning the title at the Florida Relays. Freeman was the Conference USA Champion in the 100 meters with a time of 11.09 that places her as the No. 4 seed in that event as well. Also at the C-USA meet, Freeman placed third in the 200 meters as led UCF to a 4x100 title. At the Penn Relays, Freeman led UCF to a third-place showing in the 4x100.
INDOOR: Freeman was second in the 60 meters (7.15) and fourth in the 200 meters (23.18) at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Freeman swept 60-200 titles at the Conference USA Championships and was the 60-meter winner at the Tyson Invitational. Her best of the season in the 60 of 7.15 was second-best among collegians during the season and she three time ran 7.20 or better during the season. Freeman also now ranks seventh on the all-time collegiate performers list in the 60 meters. In the 200, she twice ran season bests of 23.18 – both occurring at the NCAA Championships.
Whitney Gipson, TCU – OUTDOOR: Placed third overall in the long jump at the Texas Relays with a wind-aided best of 21-10¾ (6.67m) to currently sit as the No. 3 NCAA seed. Gipson was the Mountain West Champion in the long jump and helped TCU to the 4x100 title as well. Gipson holds a wind-legal best of 21-8¾ (6.62m), a mark that ranks in the top ten in the world this year, which also occurred at the Texas Relays. Gipson was the long jump winner at the Penn Relays.
INDOOR: Gipson had a breakthrough performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships where she won the long jump with a collegiate-record-equaling best of 22-8 (6.91m). Gipson tied the 2002 collegiate record set by Auburn’s Elva Goulbourne in the championships’ fifth round and finished the season No. 4 on the world’s indoor performance list. In addition, Gipson had a total of three jumps of 6.20 meters (20-8) and four over 20 feet in the series at the NCAA meet. Gipson was also impressive at the Mountain West Championships where she won with a leap of 21-10¾ (6.67m) and notched three jumps over 6.50 meters (21-3¾).
Christina Manning, Ohio State – OUTDOOR: Moved into the collegiate all-time top ten with a winning time of 12.68 at Arizona’s Jim Click Shootout, a time that also stands as the collegiate-leading mark and has her as a top-ten performer in the world this year. Manning swept the 100 dash and hurdles at the Big Ten Championship, matching the sprint-hurdle combo from the indoor season. She also finished second in the 200 meters and led the Buckeyes to the 4x100 crown at the league meet. She also won the 100 dash at the Jim Click Shootout in 11.43 which ranks among the collegiate top 35 this season.
INDOOR: Manning won the NCAA indoor title in the 60 hurdles with a blazing time of 7.91, the fourth-best performance in collegiate history. Along with a 7.98 clocking in the national preliminary, Manning ended the season with four-straight sub-eight-second performances. Manning also placed fifth at the national championships in the 60 meters.
Manning also captured the 60 meter-60 hurdle double at the Big Ten Championships during the indoor campaign where she clocked her season best in the 60 dash of 7.23. On five occasions this season, Manning has notched times of 8.07 or better in the hurdles. The time of 7.23 in the 60 dash places Manning in the top five among all collegiate performers this year in that event as well.
Jeneva McCall, Southern Illinois – OUTDOOR: McCall is the collegiate-leader in discus and in the NCAA’s top four in the hammer (second) and shot put (fourth). McCall swept conference titles in all three events for Southern Illinois in the Missouri Valley. She became an all-time top ten collegiate performer in the hammer with a throw of 227-8 (69.39m) to win Vanderbilt’s Black and Gold Invitational. In the shot put, her best of the year of 58-3¾ (17.77m) ranks fourth among collegians this year. She leads the NCAA discus ranks by nearly a foot with a season’s best of 195-0 (59.45m). McCall won the hammer throw at the Drake Relays and has not lost to a collegian in the event this year.
INDOOR: McCall won the NCAA indoor title in the weight throw and finished as the meet’s runner-up in the shot put. McCall moved to No. 4 on the all-time collegiate performers list this season with the weight with a season’s best of 77-11½ (23.76m). McCall recorded, at least, the top 15 throws among all collegians with the weight, showing a complete dominance of the event in the 2012 indoor season. McCall notched a personal best of 58-11½ (17.97m) in the shot put for the second-place national finish.
Ashley Spencer, Illinois – OUTDOOR: Swept the 200- and 400-meter events at the Big Ten Championships and led Illinois to victory in the 4x400. In the 400, Spencer clocked 51.99 in the preliminary round and came back to win the league title with a collegiate-leading time of 51.02. Her time in the 200 of 22.99 was also a season best and among the NCAA’s top 12 seeds this year.
INDOOR: Placed sixth at the NCAA Championships in the 200 meters and was a member of the Illinois squad the finished 11th nationally in the 4x400 relay. At the Big Ten meet, Spencer swept the 200 and 400 and helped the squad to the 4x400 relay victory. Notched season bests of 23.24 in the 200 (Big Ten) and 53.45 in the 400 (Tyson Invitational).
Tina Sutej, Arkansas – OUTDOOR: Holds the collegiate-leading vault of 14-11 (4.55m) from winning at the Texas Relays. She went on to make attempts at 15-1¾ (4.62m) in an effort to best her own collegiate record at the Texas Relays. Sutej also won the Drake Relays title. Sutej was had won a string of ten competitions, but that ended with a second-place showing based on misses at the SEC Championships.
INDOOR: Sutej topped her own collegiate record in the pole vault at the SEC Indoor Championships with a clearance of 14-11 (4.55m) to win her fifth-consecutive overall conference title in the event. Sutej won six meets during the indoor season, which includes a second-straight national title, continuing her indoor winning streak that now spans 13 meets and dates back to beginning of the 2011 season.
Brianne Theisen, Oregon – OUTDOOR: Winner of the Pac-12 heptathlon title with a personal-best score of 6,353. Theisen’s mark is the collegiate-leading score by over 350 points and is the world-leading mark as well. On the all-time collegiate heptathlon list, Theisen now sits third, having notched the best score by a collegian since 1995. Her season’s best in the 100 hurdles, 13.21, ranks among the NCAA’s current top 25 seeds. In the high jump, she’s tied for tenth nationally with a Pac-12 leap of 6-0 (1.83m).
INDOOR: Theisen capped off her indoor season with a third-straight NCAA crown in the pentathlon (4,536). Theisen joined Arizona State’s Jacquelyn Johnson (2006-07-08) as the only three-time champions in the event. Earlier in the season at the Texas A&M Challenge in January, Theisen broke her own collegiate record in the pentathlon for the third time with a tally of 4,555. In that event’s high jump portion, Theisen cleared 6-2 (1.88m) in the high jump and finished the season tied for second among all collegians with that mark. Theisen’s 4,555 also broke the Canadian record of 4,550 that was set in 1982.
At the MPSF Championships, Theisen performed in individual events, scoring 22 points with a victory in the 400 meters, a second-place in the 60 hurdles, and fifth-place showing in the long jump.
ALSO RECEIVING MENTION
Brittany Borman (D)
Baton Rouge, La.
Crested Butte, Colo.
Des Moines, Iowa
Trinidad & Tobago
Arroyo Grande, Calif.
University Hts., Ohio
Academy of Art
San Jose, Calif.
Lucy Van Dalen
(D) – Demoted from the watch list
(N) – new to either list
ALL-TIME WATCH LIST APPEARANCES
(last appearance date also listed)
THEISEN, Brianne (Oregon)
WILLIAMS, Kim (Florida State)
SUTEJ, Tina (Arkansas)
DUNCAN, Kimberlyn (LSU)
BEARD, Jessica (Texas A&M)
By Current Conference
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.
Florida State’s Ngoni Makusha and Texas A&M’s Jessica Beard 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.
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