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Stan Becton | NCAA.com | July 7, 2022

Track and Field awards: Breaking down the 2022 Bowerman Award men's finalists

Men's 110m hurdles - 2022 NCAA outdoor track and field championships

The 2022 men's Bowerman finalists have been named, with three athletes making the final cut. Since 2009, The Bowerman is given each year to the most outstanding track and field athlete in the nation.

The Bowerman considers performances during the collegiate indoor and outdoor seasons, meaning the upcoming 2022 World Athletic Championships and its more recent qualifying competitions do not count towards votes. Moreover, Bowerman voting officially closes July 15, before the Worlds start. 

RELATED: Complete history of The Bowerman award

That said, let's take a look at the finalists.

2022 Bowerman Award Finalists

*Finalists listed alphabetically

Trey Cunningham | Hurdles | Florida State

Florida State's Trey Cunningham dominated the short hurdles in 2022, winning the 60-meter and 110-meter hurdle championships during the indoor and outdoor seasons, respectively. His championship-winning times of 7.38 seconds (60H) and 13.00 seconds (110H) both are the second-fastest times in NCAA history. Cunningham's indoor championship win was the largest margin of victory in championship history, further displaying his dominance.

In 2022, Cunningham went undefeated on the short hurdles, averaging 0.20-second and 0.17-second margin of victories in finals for the 60 meter hurdles and 110 meter hurdles, respectively. Cunningham ran faster than 7.42 in the 60 meter hurdles four times and faster than 13.15 in the 110 meter hurdles five times — the only athlete in collegiate history to do either feat.

Such dominance has only been displayed by one men's collegiate hurdler in recent memory, Florida Gator and 2019 Bowerman winner Grant Holloway. That's great company for Cunningham as he looks to take home a Bowerman of his own.

Championships:

  • NCAA DI Indoor 60 M Hurdles Champion
  • NCAA DI Outdoor 110 M Hurdles Champion
  • ACC Indoor 60 M Hurdles Champion
  • ACC Outdoor 110 M Hurdles Champion

All-time marks:

  • 13.00-second 110M Hurdles (DI outdoor championships) — Tied for No.2 in NCAA history
  • 7.28-second 60M Hurdles (DI indoor championships) — No. 2 in NCAA history
  • 2022 Indoor 60M Hurdles — owns No. 2, 3, 5 & 6 all-time NCAA marks
  • 2022 Outdoor 110M Hurdles —  owns No. 2, 4, 5, 7, 8 & 9 all-time NCAA marks

🏆: Recapping the 2022 Division I outdoor track and field championships

Ayden Owens-Delerme | Combined Events | Arkansas

In 2022, Arkansas' Ayden Owens-Delerme swept the combined event Division I championships, becoming the fourth-ever athlete in DI history to do so. Owens-Delerme's indoor season kicked the year off at a record-setting pace, scoring 6,272 points in the heptathlon at the Razorback Team Invitational — the second-highest score in NCAA history. He then finished with the fifth-best heptathlon performance at the indoor championships to win the title.

With the indoor season behind him, Owens-Delerme continued his record-breaking year in the outdoor season. His 8,528 points at the Mt. SAC Relays set a wind-legal NCAA decathlon record. Months later at the DI outdoor championships, Owens-Delerme tied the meet record in the decathlon with 8,457 points. If that wasn't enough, he set the 400 meters decathlon record in the same meet.

Owens-Delerme's record-setting season puts him in the company of Oregon's Ashton Eaton, the 2010 Bowerman winner. If votes fall Owens-Delerme's way, he too could take home the hardware, becoming the second Razorback to win The Bowerman.

Championships:

  • NCAA DI Indoor Heptathlon Champion
  • NCAA DI Outdoor Decathlon Champion

All-time marks: 

  • 8457-point decathlon (DI outdoor championships) — Tied for No.1 in Meet history, No. 8 in NCAA history
  • 46.10-second decathlon 400M (DI outdoor championships) — No. 1 in NCAA history
  • 8528-point decathlon (Mt. SAC Relays) — No. 3 in NCAA history (then NCAA wind-legal No. 1)
  • 10.27-second decathlon 100M (Mt. SAC Relays) — No. 1 in NCAA history
  • 6272-point heptathlon (Razorback Team Invitational) — No. 2 in NCAA history
  • 2022 Indoor Heptathlon — owns No. 2 & 5 all-time NCAA marks
  • 2022 Outdoor Decathlon —  owns No. 3 & 8 all-time NCAA marks

👀: Here are the DI track and field teams with most NCAA championships

Randolph Ross Jr. | Sprints | North Carolina A&T

North Carolina A&T's Randolph Ross Jr. is the first Bowerman finalist from an HBCU in the award's history. Ross finished the 2022 indoor and outdoor seasons undefeated in the 400 meters, sweeping the Division I titles in the events. His title-winning time of 44.62 seconds at the indoor championships is the third-fastest in world history. Ross finished the indoor season as the only collegian ever with two top-10 all-time marks in the indoor 400. In addition, Ross finished sixth in the indoor 200-meter finals.

During the outdoor season, he ran the ninth-fastest 400-meter time in collegiate history, winning the championship to cap off the undefeated season. Ross also competed in North Carolina A&T's 4x400 meter relay during the indoor and outdoor seasons; each relay advanced to the finals.

Championships:

  • NCAA DI Indoor 400 M Champion
  • NCAA DI Outdoor 400 M Champion
  • Big South Outdoor 400 M Champion
  • Big South Outdoor 4x100 M Relay Champion

All-time marks: 

  • 44.13-second 400M (DI outdoor championships) — No. 6 in Meet history, No. 9 in NCAA history
  • 44.62-second 400M (DI indoor championships) — No. 3 in NCAA & World history
  • 2022 Indoor 400M — owns No. 3 & 7 all-time NCAA marks
  • 2022 Outdoor 400 M —  owns No. 9 all-time NCAA marks

💨: Wind and scoring in track and field, explained

Voting

Here's where voting stands for the three finalists after the fan vote and USTFCCCA membership vote:

Voting Leader Fan Vote USTFCCCA membership vote
First Trey Cunningham Randolph Ross Jr.
Second Randolph Ross Jr. Trey Cunningham
Third Ayden Owens-Delerme Ayden Owens-Delerme

Per USTFCCCA, only five fan vote winners (41.6%) have ever won the men's Bowerman. 2022's award is still anyone's to win, with votes still to come from The Bowerman Advisory Board, media personnel, statisticians, collegiate administrators and past winners of The Bowerman. 

The winner of the 2022 men's Bowerman will be announced on Thursday, December 15, at the USTFCCCA Convention at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center.

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