2016 The Bowerman Award Ceremony

Bowerman Award: Blind Resumes Of Women's Finalists

Bowerman Award: Blind Resumes Of Women's Finalists

The blind resumes of the 2016 Bowerman award finalists: Raven Saunders, Courtney Okolo, and Keturah Orji.

Dec 14, 2016 by Taylor Dutch
Bowerman Award: Blind Resumes Of Women's Finalists
Since 2009, The Bowerman Award has celebrated the best collegiate track and field athletes in the NCAA. The Bowerman is an honor given annually to one of three finalists who boast outstanding track seasons. The winner is chosen by a panel of voters made up of previous Bowerman winners, The Bowerman Advisory Board, media, and the fans. Ultimately, one male and one female athlete will be awarded the greatest honor given in the NCAA when The Bowerman is announced on Friday, Dec. 16, in Orlando, Florida. 

WATCH The Bowerman Award LIVE on FloTrack on Dec. 16

The 2016 women's finalists for The Bowerman Award are Keturah Orji, Raven Saunders, and Courtney Okolo. 

You've heard their names all season long, but how well do you know the finalists for this year's award? Test your knowledge with these blind resumes: 

Athlete A
Outdoor American Record
Outdoor Collegiate Record
2 NCAA Titles
2 Conference Titles

Athlete B
4 NCAA Titles
Outdoor Collegiate Record
4 Conference Titles

Athlete C
Outdoor Collegiate Record
Indoor Collegiate Record
1 NCAA Title
2 Conference Titles


Athlete A: Keturah Orji

Keturah Orji had a historic sophomore season for the Georgia Bulldogs. She won all but two triple jump competitions during the indoor and outdoor seasons, highlighted by two NCAA titles and the U.S. record. The momentum began early for Orji who cleared a then-personal best of 14.08m to win the SEC Indoor Championship. Two weeks later, she cleared 14.12m to win the NCAA indoor title, and seven days after that, she cleared 14.14m to place fourth at the World Indoor Championships. 
Orji continued to shine during the outdoor season when she broke the collegiate and American record in the triple jump with a leap of 14.53m to win the NCAA outdoor crown. Prior to winning NCAAs in a record mark, Orji improved upon her personal best in five competitions during the 2016 season. Although post-collegiate season marks are not considered for The Bowerman Award, it's important to note that Orji went on to win the U.S. Olympic Trials and place fourth at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. 

Athlete B: Courtney Okolo

Courtney Okolo ended her career at the University of Texas with stunning accomplishments in the 400m and 4x400m relay. Okolo started the indoor season by setting a then-world leading time of 51.06 to win the Big 12 title and continued to improve at the NCAA Indoor Championships when she lowered the world lead with an indoor PR of 50.69 to claim the crown. In the same meet, Okolo anchored the Longhorns to another NCAA title in the 4x400m relay. She also contributed to Team USA's gold medal in the 4x400m at the World Indoor Championships. Okolo ended the indoor season ranked No. 1 in the world. 

She kicked off the outdoor season by breaking her own college record with a stunning 49.71 at the LSU Alumni Gold meet. Okolo is the first athlete in history to run faster than 50 seconds during the collegiate season. She is also the fastest collegian ever, including times run post-NCAA championships. At the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Okolo claimed the 400m and 4x400m titles. Her winning time of 50.36 is the 10th-fastest time in collegiate outdoors history. 

Watch Okolo's pre-Big 12 championship workout at Texas:

Athlete C: Raven Saunders

In just her second year of college competition and her first year at Ole Miss, Raven Saunders dominated the shot put. To begin the 2016 season, Saunders broke the collegiate record in the indoor shot put with a throw of 19.23m at the Iowa State Classic. Although she finished 12th at the NCAA Indoor Championships, Saunders turned the disappointment into an opportunity to execute a stellar outdoor season. 
She won the NCAA outdoor title in a then-personal best of 19.33m to break the collegiate record, which had previously stood for 33 years. Saunders is the first college woman in history to throw farther than 19 meters. In total, Saunders threw 18 meters or farther 23 times this season and finished 15-1 against collegians in shot put finals. After the collegiate season ended, Saunders went on to place second at the Olympic Trials and fifth at the Olympic Games with a personal best of 19.35m.

Watch The Bowerman Award LIVE on FloTrack on Dec. 16 at 6 PM CT.