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It’s Breakout Season for NCAA Women’s Track and Field Stars

Updated: Feb 20

Meet the 10 outstanding female athletes on the latest Bowerman Award watch list.

College track and field is officially back in season! The NCAA released its 2024 watch list for the women’s Bowerman Award, given to the best track and field student-athlete, on Feb. 7. The list includes some of the NCAA’s top athletes, as well as D1 fan favorites. Let’s take a look at the 10 prospects who have been selected as potential candidates for the Bowerman.

Three freshman phenoms made their career debuts on the list thanks to outstanding indoor performances: Texas Tech’s Temitope Adeshina in jumps, South Carolina’s JaMeesia Ford in sprints, and Washington’s Hana Moll in pole vault. Adeshina currently sits at second in the NCAA with a high jump of 1.96 meters (6 feet and 5 inches), ranking ninth in collegiate history. Ford’s blazing speed landed her a first place ranking in the 200-meter dash, with a time of 22.36 seconds. Her impressive performances also earned her the title of SEC Women’s Freshman of the Week four times this season. Moll pole-vaulted her way to the top of the NCAA’s list with a season-best clearance of 15 feet and 2.75 inches. This year’s Bowerman watch list included the most freshman to ever be considered for the award.

LSU’s athletic programs never shy away from success, so it's no surprise that three Tigers locked in spots on the recent list. Sprint hurdler Alia Armstrong continues to make noise with her ninth appearance on the list. She leads the nation in the 60-meter hurdles with her time of 7.90 seconds. Distance runner Michaela Rose returns as one of two semi finalists from last year’s watch list. Rose holds two of the top three 600-meter times in collegiate history and currently sits at first in the 800-meter with a time of 1 minute and 59.49 seconds. Sprinter Brianna Lyston makes her debut on the list after an amazing start to her season. Lyston was named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week after tying LSU alum Aleia Hobbs’ 60-meter time of 7.07 seconds. That time secured her the No. 1 spot in the event.  Armstrong, Rose, and Lyston’s appearances marked the first time three female athletes from LSU made the same watch list.

Jamaica native Lamara Distin made her third appearance on the watch list for Texas A&M alongside UT’s Ackelia Smith, another Jamaican. Distin is a three time NCAA Champion and leads the nation in the high jump with a high of 1.97 meters (6 feet and 5.5 inches). Smith, the 2023 NCAA outdoor long jump champion, leaped her way to an astounding mark of 6.85 meters (22 feet and 5.75 inches), making her the NCAA leader in the long jump.

Distance stars Olivia Markezich and Parker Valby (from Notre Dame and Florida, respectively), who hold the No.1 times in their events, also secured spots on the Bowerman watch list. Markezich, the 2023 NCAA 3000-meter steeplechase champion, leads the nation in the 3000-meter with a time of 8 minutes and 40.42 seconds. Valby leads the nation in the 5000-meter with a time of 14 minutes and 56.11 seconds, earning her the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week honor. Their dedication and hard work, along with those of all the athletes on the watch list, have made them frontrunners for the Bowerman Award. Stay tuned for the next updated list, which drops on Feb. 28.


Edited by Ella Chang

Social media content created by Daryl Batt

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