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: Fred Kerley
COLLEGE: Texas A&M
NCAA ACCOLADES IN 2017:
- Became the first collegiate to break 44 seconds in the 400m with a 43.70 at the NCAA West Preliminary; he broke the 25-year-old NCAA record of 44.00 set by Quincy Watts
- His NCAA record is the second-fastest time in the world this year, behind only world record holder Wayde van Niekerk, and ranks No. 18 in the world all-time with Kerley as the seventh-best performer in world history
- Helped Texas A&M break the NCAA Division I Indoor record in the 4x400m relay (3:02.80)
- Was undefeated against collegiate competition this year in the 400m, including NCAA DI, SEC indoor and outdoor titles
- Won a total of four NCAA DI titles, two in the 400m and two in the 4x400m relay
Why He Will Win: If the 100m is track and field's glamour event, then the 400m is the hot new meme-worthy kid on the block with all the retweets. Wayde van Niekerk's world record at the Rio Olympics renewed public interest in the event, which Kerley has dominated at the collegiate level this year. With his fearless approach to racing and catchphrases like "just wait," the Texas A&M senior had the entire stadium riveted every time he hit the start line.
In addition to four NCAA titles and two collegiate records, Kerley also helped the Aggies win the DI Indoor team title — while competing at home in College Station, no less.
Why He Won't Win: Aggies fans may be split between Kerley and his teammate, Lindon Victor, who is also up for the honor.
Watch Fred Kerley destroy the collegiate record by running 43.70 at the NCAA West Preliminary in Austin: