NEW ORLEANS -- A full slate of upperclassmen are represented in the preseason women’s watch list for The Bowerman, the award’s women’s watch committee announced Thursday. The three finalists for collegiate track & field’s top award in 2010 were seniors, and, over the next several months, three different names will come to the forefront, showing themselves as the nation’s elite.

Of the ten final candidates for the award in 2010, only two -- Semoy Hackett and Brianne Theisen -- return for the initial watch list of the year. In what should be a very interesting year in many event areas, the sprints are seemingly the most intriguing as five of the ten on the watch are sprinters.

The Bowerman Official Watch List, Preseason 2011
Joanna Atkins SR Auburn Sprints Stone Mountain, Ga.
Jessica Beard SR Texas A&M Sprints Euclid, Ohio
Ti’erra Brown JR Miami (Fla.) Hurdles Hampton, Va.
Semoy Hackett JR LSU Sprints Scarborough, Trinidad & Tobago
Amber Kaufman SR Hawai’i Jumps San Jose, Calif.
Gabby Mayo JR Texas A&M Sprints/Hurdles Raleigh, N.C.
Sheila Reid JR Villanova Distance Newmarket, Ont.
Jeneba Tarmoh JR Texas A&M Sprints San Jose, Calif.
Brianne Theisen SR Oregon Combined Events Humboldt, Sask.
Kim Williams SR Florida State Jumps Kingston, Jamaica
Updated January 13, 2011, listed in alphabetical order

Joanna Atkins, Auburn
Senior, Sprints, Stone Mountain, Ga. (Stephenson HS)

Atkins was the 2009 NCAA outdoor champion in the 400-meter dash where she ran a personal best 50.39, a time that stood as a top-12 time in the world for the year. In the 2010 season, Atkins finished fourth indoors and third outdoors in respective NCAA Championships at 400 meters, was SEC outdoor champion in the event, and also scored in the NCAA outdoor meet with Auburn’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay squads.

Jessica Beard, Texas A&M
Senior, Sprints, Euclid, Ohio (Euclid HS)

Beard, who mainly specializes in the 200 and 400 meters, helped the Aggies to a second-straight NCAA team title outdoors in scoring second-place national finishes in the 400 as anchor of the squad’s 4×400. Beard accumulated four Big 12 titles in 2010 and an all-time collegiate best as a member of the Aggie 4×200 that clocked 1:29.42 at the Penn Relays. Beard’s star has shined the brightest on the international stage as she lays claim to four world-championship medals. Most notably, Beard was the third leg of Team USA’s 4×400-meter relay squad that won gold at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin. Beard has also been on two gold-medaling IAAF World Junior Championship 4×400 teams to go with a silver medal won individually in the 400 in 2008.

Ti’erra Brown, Miami (Fla.)
Junior, Hurdles, Hampton, Va. (Hampton HS)

Queen Harrison, 2010 women’s winner of The Bowerman, was the first female in NCAA Division I history to sweep national tiles in both the 100- and 400-meter hurdles. Brown could be the early favorite to be the second. Only Harrison, also an ACC foe, stood in Brown’s way for both titles last year as the then-sophomore was national runner-up in both events last year. Brown sent a call to action after running a then-world leading 54.74 in the NCAA’s 400 hurdle quarterfinals – the time would stand as the 13th best in the world in 2010. Over the summer, Brown, along with a NACAC title, would win each round on the way to a USATF 400-meter hurdle title where she put more than a full second ahead of the rest of the field in the final.

Semoy Hackett, LSU
Sprints, Scarborough, Trinidad & Tobago (Bishop’s HS/Lincoln (Mo.))

In 2010, Hackett won five NCAA Division II titles, set three championship records, and added an all-time Division II best in the 200 with Lincoln University of Missouri. It was quite a year for the Caribbean native. And, with a move to Division I with the transfer to LSU, the stage lights are now a little brighter. At the NCAA DII outdoor meet, Hackett took titles in the 100, 200, and 4×100, all for the second-straight year. In the 200, she ran a championships-meet record and an all-time division best 22.75 in the final to break a 17-year-old standard. The time also stood as the third-best among all collegians in 2010, trailing only 2009 Bowerman finalist Porscha Lucas and current watchlister Jeneba Tarmoh.

Amber Kaufman, Hawai’i
Senior, Jumps, San Jose, Calif. (Branham HS)

Kaufman became Hawai’i’s first national track & field champion in 26 years in winning the high jump at the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene. Kaufman was the only to clear 6-1¼ (1.86m) at the national meet to clinch the title. Kaufman was second at the NCAA indoor meet and cleared a season-best 6-3¼ (1.91m) once in each indoor and outdoor seasons. Kaufman’s all-time best is a 6-4 (1.93m) clearance claimed in winning the WAC title in 2009.

Gabby Mayo, Texas A&M
Junior, Sprints/Hurdles, Raleigh, N.C. (Southeast HS)

Mayo is a multi-dimensional athlete, having claimed conference titles and national acclaim in both the short sprints and high hurdles. Last year, Mayo swept Big 12 indoor titles in the 60 dash and 60 hurdles for the second straight year and finished second and fifth, respectively, in those events at the NCAA meet. Outdoors, Mayo was an NCAA qualifier in the 100, 100 hurdles, and in 4×100. However, upon arriving to Eugene for the national finals, Mayo suffered an injury to her quad muscle resulting in her withdrawal. In 2009, she helped A&M claim a collegiate record in the 4×100 (42.36) en route to an NCAA title.

Sheila Reid, Villanova
Junior, Distance, Newmarket, Ontario

Reid is coming off the fall cross country season with individual and team NCAA titles. Reid led the Wildcats to a second-straight NCAA cross country crown with her own national individual title, becoming the first since 1994 to win the individual NCAA title while leading their team to victory. On the track in 2010, Reid finished third in the 3000 at the national indoor meet and followed with a fourth-place showing in the 1500 at the NCAA outdoor meet. Indoors, Reid won Big East titles in the 1000 and mile and added a conference crown in the 800 outdoors.

Jeneba Tarmoh, Texas A&M
Junior, Sprints, San Jose, Calif. (Mt. Pleasant HS/Tennessee)

Tarmoh is another of a number of talented sprinters to watch in 2011. Tarmoh was a top-three finisher at the NCAA indoor meet at 60 meters and at the NCAA outdoor meet in the 100 and 200 in 2010. In addition, Tarmoh led off the NCAA champ Aggie 4×100 squad most of the season in 2010 and was a member of the 4×200 team that set a new collegiate record at the Penn Relays. In addition, Tarmoh swept 100 and 200 titles at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships in May, was a USATF finalist in the 100 in June, and won the NACAC 100-meter title in July. Tarmoh is a three-time international medalist which includes a 100-meter gold earned at the IAAF World Junior Championships in 2008.

Brianne Theisen, Oregon
Senior, Combined Events, Humboldt, Saskatchewan (Humboldt Collegiate Institute)

Theisen won the NCAA heptathlon title for second-straight time in 2010, topping the field by over 400 points for a personal-best and school-record score of 6,094. In addition to also winning the NCAA pentathlon crown indoors, Theisen would lead off the Oregon 4×400-meter squad to a NCAA title last year. Theisen’s all-time best pentathlon score of 4,396, set in 2010, sits as the fourth best among collegians all-time. Theisen has twice won the Pac-10 heptathlon crown, and, in 2009, Theisen was 15th in the same event at the IAAF World Championships.

Kim Williams, Florida State
Senior, Jumps, Kingston, Jamaica (Vere Technical HS)

Williams made quite a mark during the 2010 indoor season in the triple jump. At the NCAA Championships, Williams won her second-consecutive title in the event and could become only the second (Yvette Bates, USC, 1986-88) to win a third with a national crown this March. In winning the ACC indoor crown for a third time, her best leap of 46-8¼ (14.24m) placed her just two centimeters shy of the collegiate record of 46-9 (14.25m). Overall, Williams has won eight ACC crowns and four NCAA titles, which included triple jump indoor-outdoor sweeps in 2009 and a long jump-triple jump outdoor sweep in the same year.

The Bowerman Advisory Board appointed four of its members to comprise The Bowerman Women’s Watch Committee and another four of its members to make up The Bowerman Men’s Watch Committee. The committee will release their next women’s update on Thursday, February 11. The three men and three women finalists will be named late June.

For more information on The Bowerman, the award, the magnificent trophy, and Bill Bowerman himself, visit Keep up with Bowerman candidates on the USTFCCCA’s weekly results page ( and by following the organization’s twitter feed and Facebook page

Also Receving Mention
Marie Louise Asselin SR West Virginia Distance Sarnia, Ont.
Sheniqua Ferguson SR Auburn Sprints Nassau, Bahamas
Melissa Gergel SR Oregon Pole Vault Glenwood, Ill.
Jordan Hasay SO Oregon Sophomore Arroyo Grande, Calif.
Liz Lawton SR Chicago Distance North Easton, Mass.
Lauryn Newson JR Oregon Jumps Richmond, Calif.
Ashton Purvis FR Miami (Fla.) Sprints Oakland, Calif.
Karen Shump SO Oklahoma Throws Media, Pa.
Neely Spence JR Shippensburg Distance Shippensburg, Pa.
Tina Sutej JR Arkansas Pole Vault Ljubljana, Slovenia