Hocker Named Finalist for The Bowerman
EUGENE, Ore. – In recognition of his standout season, three-time NCAA champion Cole Hocker has been named one of three finalists for The Bowerman as announced Wednesday afternoon. Hocker is the ninth Oregon finalist overall—and fifth UO man—in the award's history.
Named for legendary Oregon head coach Bill Bowerman and first awarded in 2009, The Bowerman is presented annually to the most outstanding male and female performer in collegiate track and field.
At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Hocker completed the mile-3000 double and became the first to sweep the two events since 2013. Hocker's winning time in the mile of 3:53.71 broke the meet record of 2013 finalist Lawi Lalang. An hour later, Hocker was back on the track to lead a 1-2 finish with teammate Cooper Teare in the 3,000 meters to clinch the NCAA team title for the Men of Oregon.
Earlier in the season, Hocker became the No. 2 mile performer in NCAA history and No. 8 on the all-time world list with his 3:50.55 showing at the Tyson Invitational (Feb. 12). He trails only Teare (3:50.39 in the same race) on that collegiate list.
Along with his individual efforts during the indoor season, Hocked helped the UO men break the collegiate record and set an all-time world best in the distance-medley relay at the Razorback Invitational (Jan. 29). Hocker was the lead leg and teamed with Luis Peralta, Charlie Hunter and Teare for a time 9:19.42 to surpass the previous record of 9:24.52 set by Oregon one year prior. Hocker split 2:49.89 on his 1200-meter opening leg.
For his impressive achievements throughout the first two months of the 2021 campaign, Hocker was named the USTFCCCA National Indoor Track Athlete of the Year.
Hocker capped his collegiate season with a victory in the 1500 meters at the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field. He stopped the clock in a then-lifetime best of 3:35.35 to secure his third national title of the year. That time also made Hocker the fourth-fastest performer in NCAA history. Roughly 90 minutes later, the Indianapolis, Ind., native returned to the track for a fourth-place performance at 5,000 meters. Hocker's time of 13:18.95 set another lifetime best and made him a top-15 performer in NCAA history.
In a show of his range, Hocker ranked among the top eight nationally in three events during the outdoor season. His marks at the NCAA Championships in the 1500 and 5,000 meters ranked second and fourth, respectively, and his 800-meter time of 1:46.39 from the Pac-12 Championships was the eighth fastest in the country.
Hocker was the Pac-12 champion at 5,000 meters to go along with a bronze showing in the 800 meters. Heading into the national meet, Hocker added USTFCCCA West Region Track Athlete of the Year to his list of honors.
Following the collegiate season, Hocker turned his attention to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials where he became the U.S. champion in the 1500 meters. Using a familiar kick he'd displayed throughout the season, Hocker crossed the finish line in 3:35.28 on his way to becoming an Olympian.
All-Time Oregon Finalists for The Bowerman
2009: Galen Rupp (winner), Ashton Eaton
2010: Ashton Eaton (winner), Andrew Wheating
2012: Brianne Theisen
2014: Laura Roesler (winner), Edward Cheserek
2015: Jenna Prandini (winner), Edward Cheserek
2016: Edward Cheserek
2017: Raevyn Rogers (winner)
2021: Cole Hocker
Hocker is joined by fellow finalists JuVaughn Harrison (LSU) and Turner Washington (Arizona State). The women's finalists—Tara Davis (Texas), Tyra Gittens (Texas A&M) and Athing Mu (Texas A&M)—were announced Tuesday. This year's winners will be announced Friday, Dec. 17 during the annual USTFCCCA Convention in Orlando, Fla.
The Bowerman voting panel consist of national and regional media personnel, track and field statisticians, NCAA collegiate administrators, past winners and presidents of affiliated organizations. USTFCCCA members and fans receive one collective vote apiece. Online fan voting is now open at http://thebowerman.org/vote and fans may vote up to five times per day. Online fan voting closes Tuesday, July 20 at 11 a.m. (PT).
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