Senior Sharika Nelvis of Arkansas State, sophomore Courtney Okolo of Texas and senior Laura Roesler of Oregon were named the 2014 Women’s Finalists for The Bowerman Trophy – collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor – by The Bowerman Advisory Board, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Thursday.
Based on their outstanding achievements during both the indoor and outdoor collegiate track & field seasons in 2013-14, these three women were selected to travel to Phoenix, Ariz., for the awarding of The Bowerman Trophy on December 17 as part of the USTFCCCA Convention at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge.
One among them ultimately will join the ranks of
The Bowerman Winners
alongside a number of the world’s best track & field athletes. Among them are Jenny (Barringer) Simpson – a world champion at 1500 meters and American Record holder in the 3000-meter steeplechase – and Brianna Rollins, already an American Record holder and World Champion in the 100-meter hurdles after winning The Bowerman just last season.
Voting to determine both the women’s trophy and men’s trophy – the finalists for which were announced on Wednesday to be Edward Cheserek of Oregon, Lawi Lalang of Arizona and Deon Lendore of Texas A&M – will commence July 28 and conclude August 12.
Fans will have an opportunity to make their voices heard in a fan vote that will ultimately count as one ballot alongside those cast by media members, statisticians, USTFCCCA member coaches and other experts from around the nation.
No matter which of these exceptional women ultimately hoists the iconic Bowerman Trophy this December in Phoenix, it will be the first women's trophy for their respective teams.
, the distinction would go even farther beyond that. Not only is she the first woman to represent Arkansas State and the Sun Belt Conference as a Finalist for The Bowerman, she is the first regardless of gender for both the school and conference.
The senior won each of her 11 finals in sprint hurdles events 100 meters or shorter, including a sweep of both the NCAA indoor and outdoor titles. She came up clutch indoors with a 60-meter hurdles win in 7.93 by just thousandths of a second to move to No. 7 all-time among collegians.
Outdoors she won the 100-meter hurdles national title with a windy 12.52 to jump to No. 6 on the all-time, all-conditions collegiate performances list. She also finished with second-team All-America honors at 100 meters.