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Since 2009, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) has presented the Bowerman Award, which is recognized as the highest and most prestigious award in collegiate track and field.
It is named after Bill Bowerman, the former University of Oregon head coach, and is annually given to the most outstanding male and female NCAA track & field athletes in the nation.
This is track and field and cross country's version of the Heisman Award; the list of Bowerman winners have not only been the biggest names in collegiate track and field, but the award winners have gone on to win US Championships, World Championships, and Olympic Games.
As with the Heisman committee, the selecting finalists for the Bowerman Award is one of the toughest positions of discernment. Each year is full of deserving candidates and the votes for the Bowerman come after the final list gets minimized to three candidates.
2022 Women's Bowerman Award Finalists
The 2022 women's finalists have been decided and the finalists are: Abby Steiner (Kentucky), Camryn Rogers (California), and Anna Hall (Florida).
Steiner had a fantastic 2022 track and field season. She was returning from an injury that hampered her 2021 season, effectively hindering her from competing in the NCAA championships and the US Olympic Trials.
Steiner's come back season saw her win three NCAA track and field championships (two individual and one relay), four collegiate records, an American indoor 200m record, and nine top-10 performances. This past weekend, she won the USATF 200m title in a 21.77 PR to make the US World Championship team.
This season, Rogers was on a mission to continue the momentum she generated with her fifth place finish in the hammer throw at the 2021 Olympics for Team Canada. She won her second consecutive NCAA title along with breaking her own NCAA record in the hammer. You can find Rogers in the record books with eight of the top-10 all time hammer throw performances.
Hall transferred to Florida from the University of Georgia and was eligible to compete this year. That eligibility was put to good use when she won two NCAA Titles (indoor pentathlon and outdoor heptathlon) in 2022. She also produced three collegiate records in the multi events along with four top-10 all-time performances. Hall also won the USTFCCCA Outdoor National Women's Field Athlete of the Year.
Case Made For Jasmine Moore's Resume
As with the Heisman Award, the Bowerman will undoubtedly leave off some well deserving season campaigns led by some outstanding athletes. Thus qualifying my previous statement of this being one of the toughest decisions for a committee to make.
Many in the track and field world believe Mansfield Lake Ridge graduate and current University of Florida jumper Jasmine Moore should have earned one of the three Bowerman Award Finalist positions. While it's hard to say which one of the three finalists should be omitted for Moore, there is a clear argument to be made by Moore's 2022 performances.
To say Jasmine Moore enjoyed a successful 2022 track and field season would be putting it mildly. Her accomplishments this season earned her a spot on the Bowerman Watchlist in the semi-finalist round. However, could she have a case for having one of the three finalist positions?
During the indoor season, Moore won the SEC Championships in both long jump and triple jump events. She went onto take both NCAA Championships in them as well while breaking the NCAA triple jump record. That led to the USTFCCCA naming her the South Region Women's Field Athlete of the Year.
Outdoors, she again won both events at both the SEC Championships and NCAA Championships, totalling 12 top-10 all-time performances.
Winning four NCAA Championships in one season is a club Moore joined. There are six others as the only ones to do so within one season since the inception of the Bowerman. Galen Rupp, Marquis Dendy, Jarrion Lawson, Christian Coleman, JuVaughn Harrison, and Courtney Okolo all accomplished this feat and all six won the Bowerman.
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Where Moore stands alone is at the US World Championship level. Last weekend, at the USATF World Championships, Moore qualified in both events, becoming the only American woman ever to do so in the same season.
Having a resume as equally impressive as the three 2022 finalists and accomplishing what only six previous winners have done raises the question of how Moore isn't a finalist herself. The Heisman Award often times weighs the team accomplishments of the candidates. Although track and field is often times thought of as an individual sport, athlete scholarships and coaches pay scales and overall job performance are weighed on team success. Moore's individual performances not only led to individual gains, but also catapulted her team to two SEC Conference championships and two NCAA National Championships, which were over two of the three finalists.
Fortunately, one of the best NCAA and American jumping event seasons ever continue as she'll compete next month at the World Championships.