With the dust now settled from this past weekend’s NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, ten women have emerged as frontrunners for The Bowerman at the midway point of the 2015-16 collegiate track & field season.
Each of the 10 women announced Wednesday by the Bowerman Watch List Committee have appeared at one point or another this year on the Watch List for collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor.
The Bowerman Women’s Watch List
|Felicia Brown||SR||Tennessee||Sprints||Lithonia, Ga.|
|Akela Jones||SR||Kansas State||Combined Events||St. Michael, Barbados|
|Shamier Little||SO||Texas A&M||Hurdles||Chicago, Ill.|
|Courtney Okolo||SO||Texas||Sprints||Carrollton, Texas|
|Keturah Orji||SO||Georgia||Jumps||Mount Olive, N.J.|
|Demi Payne||SR (o)||Stephen F. Austin||Pole Vault||New Braunfels, Texas|
|Raevyn Rogers||SO||Oregon||Mid-Distance||Houston, Texas|
|Raven Saunders||SO||Mississippi||Throws||Charleston, S.C.|
|Molly Seidel||SR||Notre Dame||Distance||Hartland, Wis.|
|Kendell Williams||JR||Georgia||Combined Events||Marietta, Ga.|
|Also Receiving Votes: Teahna Daniels (Texas); Shelbi Vaughan (Texas A&M); Lexi Weeks (Arkansas)|
|NEXT: April 20|
Fresh off a collegiate record and national title in the pentathlon, Kendell Williams of Georgia rejoined the list as nine of the 10 women from the pre-Championships edition did enough – either at NCAAs or during the regular season – to hold steady in their spots.
Williams did what she always does at the NCAA Indoor Championships: win titles and break records. She scored 4703 points to mark the third consecutive year of winning the pent with a collegiate-record score, this time becoming the first collegian and fourth American ever to surpass 4700 points. She also took fifth in the long jump, but came up short in her bid to become the first woman in DI Championships history to score in the pentathlon and two additional open events as she no-heighted in the high jump.
By no means was she the only woman who had a big weekend in Birmingham. Far from it; in fact she wasn’t even the only pentathlete to make headlines, although Akela Jones of Kansas State did so in much more unorthodox fashion.
Jones squandered her own chances at a pentathlon collegiate record with a fall in the opening hurdles event, but she was dynamite in the field event components. She tied the collegiate record with a 1.98m (6-6) clearance in the pentathlon high jump – an event in which she would claim the open national title a day later – and at 6.80m (22-3½) in the long jump, she matched the mark with which Alabama’s Quanesha Burks would ultimately win the standalone long jump championship. Both marks were the best in pentathlon history by a collegian.
Molly Seidel of Notre Dame was the only woman in the country to win a pair of individual titles, becoming just the fourth woman in meet history to sweep the 3000 and 5000 titles. Her 5000 was particularly impressive, running 15:15.21 for the third-fastest time in collegiate history, and her 8:57.86 was the seventh-fastest time in Championships history.
As a reminder, Seidel won the NCAA Cross Country Championship during the fall of 2015, but that honor must not be considered for The Bowerman, which only takes into account accomplishments during the collegiate track & field seasons.