Kendra Harrison on Pre-NCAA Bowerman Watch List

By Jacob Most
June 4, 2015 -

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association considers Kentucky's Kendra Harrison a leading candidate for the Bowerman Award, as she was named to the Bowerman Watch List for the sixth time in a row on Thursday.

The watch list committee had good reason to include Harrison on the latest list, as she has emerged as an elite hurdler this season. The UK senior will look to keep her momentum going at the NCAA Championships next week in Oregon.

Harrison will contest the 100-meter hurdles and 400m hurdles as the top seed from the Prelims in both events and could also participate in the 4x400m relay.

Harrison won the 100m hurdles and took second in the 400m hurdles at the Southeastern Conference Championships in May. She won the SEC and NCAA 60m hurdles during the indoor season. Her NCAA-winning 7.87 60m hurdles time ranks third in college history--the same place she has on the outdoor short hurdles all-time list after her 12.50 en route to the SEC Title.

Dezerea Bryant, who ran personal bests in all of her races at the NCAA East Preliminary Championships last week, is listed as receiving votes on the latest watch list.

Bryant was the top seed from the East in the 100 meters, and ranked second on time in the 200m.

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

With Thursday's latest list having included Harrison, Kentucky moved into a tie with Georgia for eighth on the all-time list of schools' watch list appearances.

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.