Four Pac-12 athletes named Bowerman finalists

Patrick Gee
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Four of the six (three men and three women) student-athletes named finalists for the Bowerman Award are from Pac-12 teams. The men’s finalists include ARIZONA’s Lawi Lalang and UCLA’s Julian Wruck, while the women’s finalists include STANFORD’s Kori Carter and UA’sBrigetta Barrett, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced this week.
 
The field of 10 men and 10 women was narrowed down to the final three by the Bowerman Advisory Board, a ten-person panel of experts in the sport, based on performances recorded during the indoor and outdoor 2013 track & field seasons. Only performances through the conclusion of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are used in consideration. The Bowerman, named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman, debuted in 2009 and is the the highest honor given to the most outstanding male and female student-athletes in collegiate track & field.
 
A junior, Lawi Lalang (Eldoret, Kenya) was the only male athlete at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships to win more than one individual national title, claiming top honors in the 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters. He became just the second man to win four individual distance titles in one academic year, also winning the indoor mile and 3,000-meter titles at the national meet. He ran the best 1,500-meter time in the country during the regular-season (3:38.53), but did not elect to run in the event in the NCAA outdoor meet, opting for the longer distances. Lalang, a 2012 Pac-12 Cross Country Champion and 2011 NCAA Cross Country Champion, was also the 2013 Pac-12 Champion in the 1,500 and 10,000 meters.
 
A junior, Julian Wruck (Brisbane, Australia) dominated the discus competition this season, winning the NCAA outdoor title. The weekend before the national meet, he threw a collegiate all-time best 223-7/68.16m, besting the previous mark by nearly two feet. Wruck also won the Pac-12 title in the event.
 
Brigetta Barrett (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) capped a decorated collegiate career sweeping the outdoor and indoor NCAA high jump titles for the third-consecutive year. At the Pac-12 Championships, she jumped a collegiate-meet record 6-6¼ (1.99m). She claimed the highest mark ever achieved by a collegian and Pac-12 record (6-7/2.03m) at the 2012 London Olympic Games last summer where she was also a silver medalist. Barrett was also a finalist for the Bowerman Award last year.
 
A junior this season, Kori Carter (Claremont, Calif.) swept the hurdles titles at the Pac-12 Championships and went on to claim the NCAA title in the 400-meter hurdles, while finishing a runner-up in the 100-meter hurdles. She finished undefeated in eight races in the 400 hurdles — five of which came against 2012 Olympic Finalist Georganne Moline of Arizona, who finished fifth on the world stage in London. Carter’s NCAA 400-meter hurdles title came in a collegiate-record 53.21, becoming just the second woman to dip under 54 seconds during the collegiate season. Carter will not return for her senior season at Stanford.
 
The Bowerman Watch List is updated throughout the indoor and outdoor track & field season. The winner is announced at the USTFCCCA Convention in December. For more information, visit www.ustfccca.org.