NEW ORLEANS — The Bowerman Advisory Board in conjunction with the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the three male finalists for the highest honor given to collegiate track & field student-athletes — The Bowerman. Representing the best in collegiate track & field during the 2011 seasons, the finalists are Washington State senior Jeshua Anderson, Florida State junior Ngoni Makusha, and Florida junior Christian Taylor.
Finalists were chosen by the 10-person Bowerman Advisory Board based on performances recorded during the indoor and outdoor 2011 track & field seasons. Only performances through the conclusion of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are used in consideration.
The award, in its third year of existence, will be presented in a ceremony at the USTFCCCA Convention on December 14 at the JW Marriott Hill Country, San Antonio, Texas. John Anderson, ESPN SportsCenter anchor and co-host of ABC’s Wipeout, will host the evening’s festivities for the second-straight year. The three female finalists will be made public tomorrow.
The Bowerman Finalists (Men)
Jeshua Anderson, Washington State
Senior, Hurdles, Woodland Hills, Calif.
Anderson joined BYU’s Ralph Mann (1969-70-71) and Iowa State’s Danny Harris (1984-85-86) as the only three to win a third NCAA-championship title in the 400-meter hurdles. Anderson took the 2011 NCAA title in 48.56, over a half-second ahead of the rest of the field in the event’s finals. Anderson earned the season’s collegiate best and fifth-fastest all-time collegiate 400-hurdle time of 48.13 in winning a fourth consecutive Pac-10 crown.
In the collegiate post-season (and not considered in the award’s determination), Anderson at the USATF Championships unseated four-time champion Bershawn Jackson and reigning Olympic champion Angelo Taylor with a tape-stealing lean to win a blanket, photo finish in 47.93, setting a new personal best and current American-leading time. Anderson has also moved to No. 2 in the world in 2011 with the clocking. Anderson will join Jackson and Taylor on the American team of 400-meter hurdlers for the IAAF World Championships later this summer.
Anderson is the first from Washington State to be a finalist for The Bowerman and was the lone person to have been on each release of the award’s watch list for the past two years. The Pac-12 has been represented by at least one male finalist in each of the award’s three years.
Ngoni Makusha, Florida State
Junior, Jumps/Sprints, Seke, Zimbabwe
Makusha won NCAA outdoor titles in the 100 meters and long jump, joining Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens, and Michigan’s DeHart Hubbard as only the fourth man in NCAA Division I history to claim such a double at a single championship. Makusha also claimed the NCAA long jump title during the indoor season, becoming the first since 2006 to sweep the event’s two titles (Arturs Abolins, Nebraska). The Seminole notched a third NCAA outdoor championship title as second-leg of 4×100-meter relay. In addition, Makusha clocked 9.97 to win the ACC outdoor 100-meter crown, and he also swept league titles in the long jump.
Makusha’s run of 9.89 in the NCAA’s 100-meter final broke the 1996 collegiate- and championship-meet record of 9.92 set by UCLA’s Ato Bolden, is the Zimbabwean national record, and places Makusha is the world’s top six in the event this year.
In the long jump, Makusha’s NCAA-winning mark of 27-6¾ (8.40m) is also a new Zimbabwean national record and places Makusha as the world’s No. 2 long jumper so far in 2011.
Makusha announced shortly after the NCAA Championships that he had decided to forgo his senior season of eligibility and had elected to turn professional.
Makusha, having made his first appearance on the award’s watch list on May 4, is Florida State’s first Bowerman finalist. Makusha is also the first man in ACC history to be a Bowerman finalist.
Christian Taylor, Florida
Junior, Jumps, Fayetteville, Ga.
Taylor was the winner of the NCAA’s outdoor triple jump title with an all-time, all-conditions collegiate best mark of 58-4¾ (17.80m). The wind-aided title clincher came on the final attempt of a back-and-forth battle with teammate Will Claye. In the same competition, Taylor marked a wind-legal jump of 57-1 (17.40m) in the fourth round to claim the season’s collegiate best mark, current American-leading mark, and performance that places the Gator in the world’s top five so far in 2011.
Taylor also finished second at the NCAA Championships indoors to Claye in the triple jump and qualified for both NCAA meets in the long jump. With Florida’s 4×100- and 4×400-meter relay teams, Taylor qualified for the national finals in both events outdoors. At the Penn Relays, Florida’s 4×100 squad finished second in the Championship of America race.
In the collegiate post-season (and not considered in the award’s determination), Taylor won his first USATF triple jump title with a wind-aided mark of 57-4¾ (17.49m). Once again, Taylor and Florida teammate Claye went 1-2 in the competition and will be on the American team for the world championships in Dageu, South Korea. Taylor also notched his best performance of 2011 in the long jump at the USATF meet where he finished fourth.
Taylor will represent Florida and the SEC as the first Bowerman finalist for both groups. Taylor was a semifinalist for the award in 2010.
Winner Selection Process
The next step in selecting a winner will be carried out in the next months with voting. The Bowerman Voters will receive ballots listing each of the finalists and must rank them by first, second and third choice. First-place votes will receive three points, second place will notch two, and third will receive one point. The finalist with the highest point total will be declared the winner.
The Bowerman Voters consist of:
• The Bowerman Advisory Board, media personnel, statisticians, collegiate administrators
• Galen Rupp, 2009 men’s winner of The Bowerman
• Ashton Eaton, 2010 men’s winner of The Bowerman
• Jenny (Barringer) Simpson, 2009 women’s winner of The Bowerman
• Queen Harrison, 2010 women’s winner of The Bowerman
• Online voting by the public will constitute one collective vote (ranking of choices will be made by order of total single votes)
• Online voting by USTFCCCA members will constitute one collective vote (ranking of choices will be made by order of total single votes)
Paper balloting will conclude in August while online voting will begin on Monday, Aug. 1 and will last until Tuesday, Aug. 16. An independent accounting firm will collect, tabulate, and certify final results and will keep the result secret until the envelope is opened in December.