How Keturah Orji Could Win The Bowerman Award

Image of Sport Keturah Orji

This week, FloTrack will introduce you to all six Bowerman finalists ahead of Friday's Bowerman Awards, which will crown one male and one female as the best track and field athletes in the NCAA for the 2017 season. You can watch the awards ceremony live from Phoenix on FloTrack here.

ATHLETE: Keturah Orji
YEAR: JUNIOR
COLLEGE: University of Georgia
EVENT: Jumps

NCAA ACCOLADES IN 2017:

- Broke the 20-year-old NCAA record in the indoor triple jump with a leap of 14.32m/46-11.75
- Undefeated in the triple jump this year, including the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships, SEC Indoor and Outdoor Championships
- Earned All-American honors in the long jump with a runner-up finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships and a third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships

Why She Will Win: The 21-year-old Orji is simply dominant in her event, the triple jump. She still has one more year of eligibility left and she's already a five-time NCAA champion and two-time U.S. senior champion. The only reason her 14.31m season-best didn't set an NCAA record is because she jumped 14.53m to break the record last year (and later, over the summer, broke the American record with a 14.71m for fourth at the Rio Games). She came very close to pulling off the rare long jump/triple jump double at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, and her combined 18 points between the two events helped Georgia come within two points of the team title against an incredibly stacked University of Oregon squad. Orji is a repeat Bowerman finalist, which bodes well for her chances: of three women to be nominated more than once, two won the award the second time (Kimberlyn Duncan and Courtney Okolo).

Why She Won't Win: While Orji's indoor campaign produced an NCAA record, her outdoor season was not as earth-shattering as her sophomore year. It's hard to conceive the vote swaying in favor of an athlete who didn't PR in the spring. Still, she has one more year of eligibility and is likely to become the first female athlete and second overall athlete behind Edward Cheserek to earn three consecutive Bowerman Award nominations.

Keturah Orji talks to FloTrack after an outstanding NCAA Outdoor double that saw her win gold in the triple jump and silver in the long jump:

Christian Coleman Crushes 60m World Record In His Season Opener

DT8ZhghXkAY1zsK-1.jpg

Today, in his first meet of the year, Christian Coleman set the bar for his season incredibly high and put the world on notice. 

Vincent Crisp Runs Fastest Collegiate Time Ever For 600 Yards

Kirby Lee VincentCrisp.jpg

Texas Tech junior Vincent Crisp posted the fastest indoor collegiate mark of all time over 600 yards on Friday. Competing at the Texas Tech Red Raider Invitational in Lubbock, Texas, Crisp ran 1:08.16 and held off TCU’s Derrick Mokaleng, who ran 1:08.18.

Austin, Texas, Chasing History With Olympic Trials Bid

Capital.png

Austin, Texas, has hosted the NCAA track and field championships and currently stages one of the largest track meets of the calendar, the Texas Relays. The city has a robust road racing scene, bolstered by the presence of elite athletes and high-level training groups. But Austin has never hosted a USA track and field championship event — not for any distance on the roads, cross country or track and field. And certainly not the Olympic Trials. 

Justin Gatlin Switches Coaches After Investigation Uncovers Doping Scandal

Gatlin.jpg

Justin Gatlin has officially begun his career after Dennis Mitchell. Reuters reported on Friday that Gatlin is being coached by Brooks Johnson in Orlando, Florida. Gatlin fired Mitchell in December after Mitchell was implicated in a doping sting facilitated by the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph. 

Robert Kigen, Felix Kandie Headline Napoli City Half Marathon

NCHM-1024x556.jpg

Nobert Kigen and Felix Kandie of Kenya headline a men’s pro field aiming for a sub-60 minute performance at the fifth Napoli City Half Marathon in Naples, Italy.

Olympians, Top Collegians Clash At Larry Wieczorek Invitational

WC17+-+Fred+Kerley+-+400m+semi-1.jpg

The Larry Wieczorek Invitational this Friday and Saturday at the University of Iowa has it all: top professional athletes like Fred Kerley, Olympic champions and world record holders like Aries Merritt, and defending NCAA champions like Mikiah Brisco of LSU. 

Centro Passing On Indoors In 2018

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports CentroWillis.jpg

Olympic 1500m champion Matthew Centrowitz is skipping the indoor season and instead will race outdoors in Australia. 

20 Events You Cannot Miss at The VA Showcase!

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports Tyrese Cooper

The 2017 VA Showcase saw 11 U.S. No. 1 performances, two national records, and its alumni went on to win a staggering 33 indoor national titles. Needless to say, it was the greatest regular season meet of all time. 

Mondo's Swedish Indoor Record, Men's Pole Vault Summit Marks Invalidated

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Mondo eighth at Worlds 2017

By Becca Peter of @PoleVaultPower

The 2018 UCS/Spirit National Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada, featured some of the best elite performances in the event’s 28-year history, including world-leading marks by Mondo Duplantis and Sandi Morris.

FloTrack To Stream 16 International Events For UK And Ireland

© James Lang-USA TODAY Sports Chris O'Hare

FloTrack will live-stream the following 16 events exclusively for subscribers in the United Kingdom and Ireland.