Kendra Harrison on Pre-NCAA Indoor Bowerman Watch List

By Jacob Most
March 5, 2015 -

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kendra Harrison of the fourth-ranked Kentucky track and field team has been named to the latest addition of the Bowerman Trophy Watch List, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announcedon Thursday.

The Bowerman Trophy is awarded annually to the most outstanding individual athlete in collegiate track and field.

Harrisonmade one of the more impressive season debuts in recent memory at the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships last weekend.

Not having competed in a hurdles race all season and having not raced at all since Dec. 19, Harrison opened up with a collegiate-leading 60-meter hurdles time of 7.92. She recorded the time, which ranks No. 6 all-time among collegians, en route to defending her SEC Title.

And she defeated a rival who at time was the collegiate leader in process.

Harrison teamed up with Dezerea Bryant, Morganne Phillips and Ariah Graham to move Kentucky from No. 17 to No. 4 in the 4x400m relay rankings with a Silver Medal and school-record performance of 3:31.53 at SECs.

Harrison will look to bolster her Bowerman Award credentials at next weekend's NCAA Championships, where she is the No. 1 seed in the 60m hurdles. She is the reigning SEC Gold Medalist outdoors in the SEC 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles as well as the NCAA 400m Hurdles Silver Medalist. She finished fifth in the NCAA 60m hurdles last season.

The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA and considered the most prestigious individual award in collegiate track and field.

Past winners include Olympic gold medalist, World Champion and decathlon world-record holder Ashton Eaton (2010), 10,000-meter Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp (2009), 2011 IAAF World Champion at 1500 meters Jenny Simpson (2009), 2013 100-meter hurdles World Champion Brianna Rollins (2013) and 2012 Olympic high jump bronze medalist Derek Drouin (2013).

In total, the winners from the award's first four years have won three Olympic Medals, two World Championships and six World Championships medals. When considering finalists for the award, 13 individuals have earned a combined seven Olympic medals, four World Championships and 17 World Championships medals.

Former Oregon head coach and Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman, who the award is named for, served the sport of track and field in numerous ways. His leadership in the USTFCCCA's predecessor organization, the National Collegiate Track Coaches Association, and his contributions to NCAA track and field and the running community as a whole are among his many lasting legacies.