USTFCCCA

NEW ORLEANS -- The Bowerman Men’s Watch Committee in conjunction with the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) gave their first look at the 2011 male contenders for The Bowerman -- collegiate track & field’s biggest and best award. With all three finalists from the 2010 season graduating, a fresh new crop will be among those vying for the award over the several months.

The watch list includes three out-right sophomores and 2009 finalist German Fernandez. Washington State’s Jeshua Anderson returns to the watch list for a record ninth time. Anderson, along with 2010 finalists Ashton Eaton and Ryan Whiting, was on the award’s watch lists for each of the updates last year.

THE BOWERMAN OFFICIAL WATCH LIST, PRESEASON 2011 MEN
NAME YEAR SCHOOL EVENTS HOMETOWN
Jeshua Anderson SR Washington State Hurdles Woodland Hills, Calif.
Robby Andrews SO Virginia Distance Englishtown, N.J.
Sam Chelanga RS SR Liberty Distance Nairobi, Kenya
Charles Clark SR (out) Florida State Sprints Virginia Beach, Va.
Jeff Demps SO/JR Florida Sprints Winter Garden, Fla.
German Fernandez JR/SO Oklahoma State Distance Riverbank, Calif.
Mason Finley SO Kansas Throws Salida, Colo.
Walter Henning SR LSU Throws Kings Park, N.Y.
Kirani James SO Alabama Sprints Gouyave, Grenada
Christian Taylor JR Florida Jumps Fayetteville, Ga.

(Updated January 12, 2011, listed in alphabetical order)
 

Jeshua Anderson, Washington State
Senior, Hurdles, Woodland Hills, Calif. (Taft HS)

Anderson, the NCAA 400-meter hurdle champion in 2008 and 2009, was the national runner-up in the same event in 2010. Only once last year was Anderson bested in the 400 hurdles and that was in the national final to South Carolina’s Johnny Dutch. In running a 48.63 for his third-straight Pac-10 title, Anderson recorded the second-best time by a collegian in 2010 and matched UCLA’s Kevin Young as the only to win three straight league crowns in the event.

Robby Andrews, Virginia
Sophomore, Distance, Englishtown, N.J. (Manalapan HS)

In his 2010 freshman campaign as a 800-meter specialist, Andrews was responsible for some of the more thrilling moments of the collegiate track & field season. Shortly after being named ACC Freshman of the Year after notching indoor conference crowns in the 800 and as anchor of the DMR, Andrews would gain quick national attention at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Andrews used a deadly kick to surge from seventh at the 600-meter split to first, nipping 2010 Bowerman finalist Andrew Wheating for the national indoor crown by a hundredth of a second. Andrews would go on to catch Wheating again in anchoring UVa to a 4x800-meter victory at the Penn Relays, but Wheating would take the tape to Andrews’ second at the NCAA outdoor meet. Over the summer, Andrews won bronze at the IAAF World Junior Championships, becoming one of the first two Americans to medal in middle-distance at the world junior games.

Sam Chelanga, Liberty
RS Senior, Distance, Nairobi, Kenya (Bartolimo HS/Fairleigh Dickinson)

Chelanga’s greatest successes in 2010 came at the 10,000-meter distance where he won his first NCAA track & field national title and established a new collegiate record. His NCAA title came by an 18-second margin, the largest margin of victory in the NCAA men’s final since 2002. In addition, Chelanga’s collegiate record time of 27:08.39, set May 1 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, shattered his own collegiate standard by 20 seconds and finished No. 4 in the world for 2010. Chelanga also finished as the NCAA national runner-up in the 5000 meters, both indoors and outdoors. The pair of NCAA 5k finals were the only two individual races Chelanga lost to a collegiate opponent all year, and the setbacks came by a total of just 1.14 seconds. In the fall of 2010, Chelanga won his second-straight NCAA cross country crown.

Charles Clark, Florida State
Senior (outdoor eligibility only), Sprints, Virginia Beach, Va. (Bayside HS)

Clark is an all-around three-time NCAA Champion, garnering a 2009 outdoor title in the 200-meter dash and two relay national titles (2007 4x100, 2009 outdoor 4x400). Clark redshirted the 2010 outdoor season, but added a ninth ACC crown to the case in winning the 2010 league indoor 200-meter crown in a tied collegiate-season best of 20.67.

Jeff Demps, Florida
Sophomore (indoor)/Junior (outdoor), Sprints, Winter Garden, Fla. (South Lake HS)

Demps claimed the indoor 60-meter and outdoor 100-meter crowns in 2010, becoming only the 12th person in NCAA men’s DI history to accomplish the short-sprint sweep. Demps won the 100-meter final in a wind-aided 9.96 in June and set a new Florida record with a 6.56 clocking in the 60-meter national preliminaries in March. Demps added a national crown in anchoring the Gators’ 4x100-meter relay squad and notched SEC crowns with the 100 and 4x100.

German Fernandez, Oklahoma State
Junior (indoor)/Sophomore (outdoor), Distance, Riverbank, Calif. (Riverbank HS)

Fernandez was one of three finalists for The Bowerman his freshman year in 2009, a year in which he set a new collegiate record in the indoor mile (3:55.02) and won the NCAA outdoor 1500-meter crown in a wire-to-wire victory. In 2010, Fernandez succumbed to injury shortly after clocking 7:51.02 over 3000 meters at Washington’s Husky Classic in February and did not race during the outdoor season. Fernandez would run in the Big 12 Indoor Championships in 2010, and qualified for the final, but left the track during that final race. However, Fernandez had a successful cross country season this past fall, finishing eighth at the NCAA Championships, third individually in the NCAA Midwest Regional and second at the Big 12 Championships.

Mason Finley, Kansas
Sophomore, Throws, Salida, Colo. (Buena Vista HS)

Finley staked claim as the next collegiate throwing phenom in 2010 with runner-up showings in the shot put and discus at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, finishing second to only Bowerman finalist Ryan Whiting in both events. Finley also topped highly competitive fields in winning the shot put-discus double at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships.

Walter Henning, LSU
Senior, Throws, Kings Park, N.Y. (St. Anthony’s HS)

Very few dominated their events in 2010 like Walter Henning. The Tiger was 12-for-12 in weight throw and hammer throw competitions during the collegiate seasons and captured NCAA crowns in both events. During the indoor season, Henning was the best among all collegians in recording a weight throw of 78-1 (23.80m), a toss that topped the SEC Championship record and delivered victory by over 11 feet. With an NCAA hammer crown, captured on his final throw, Henning became the first to sweep the national weight-hammer crowns since 2006.

Kirani James, Alabama
Sophomore, Sprints, Gouyave, Grenada

At just 17 years old, James won the NCAA 400-meter crown in 2010 with a clocking of 45.05. And, during the entire outdoor season, “all he did was win”. It started with a 400-meter title in the CARIFTA Games in April, followed by an SEC crown with a personal-best 45.01. Following the NCAAs, in July, he would win the IAAF World Junior title in the same event. James won every race in every round in which he participated in 2010 with the lone exception being the NCAA Indoor Championship final where he finished runner-up to Georgia’s Torrin Lawrence.

Christian Taylor, Florida
Junior, Jumps, Fayetteville, Ga. (Sandy Creek HS)

Taylor won the NCAA indoor-outdoor double in the triple jump in 2010, becoming the first to accomplish the feat since LSU’s Walter Davis in 2001 and 2002. The indoor crown was his second-straight and, a third possible this March, would equal Arkansas’ three-timers Michael Conley (1983-85), Erick Walder (1992-94), and Robert Howard (1996-98). Taylor swept SEC triple jump crowns with the indoor version again being a second-straight. Taylor was also the NCAA runner-up indoors with the long jump and was the USATF outdoor runner-up in the triple jump. In addition, Taylor is also a member of the Gators’ 4x400 relay team and finished third with the group at the NCAA outdoor meet.

The Bowerman Advisory Board appointed four of its members to comprise The Bowerman Men’s Watch Committee and another four of its members to make up The Bowerman Women’s Watch Committee. The committee will release their next men’s update on Tuesday, February 9. The three men and three women finalists will be named in late June.

For more information on The Bowerman, the award, the magnificent trophy, and Bill Bowerman himself, visit TheBowerman.org. Keep up with Bowerman candidates on the USTFCCCA’s weekly results page (http://www.ustfccca.org/weekly-results) and by following the organization’s twitter feed twitter.com/TheBowerman and Facebook page facebook.com/TheBowerman.

ALSO RECEIVING MENTION
NAME YEAR SCHOOL EVENTS HOMETOWN
Will Claye SO Florida Jumps Phoenix, Ariz.
Derek Drouin JR Indiana Jumps Corunna, Ontario
Leford Green JR Johnson C. Smith Sprints St. Catherine, Jamaica
Torrin Lawrence JR Georgia Sprints Jacksonville, Fla.
Josh Scott SR Saint Augustine's Sprints Winter Haven, Fla.
Dorian Ulrey SR Arkansas Distance Port Byron, Ill.