The Bowerman: 2021 Men's Post-Indoor Watch List
NEW ORLEANS – A record-breaking indoor season wrapped up exactly 12 days ago, following the conclusion of the 2021 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, held in Fayetteville, Arkansas (NCAA Division I) and Birmingham, Alabama (NCAA Division II).
Many of those individuals who shaped the collegiate landscape during the indoor season and/or rewrote the collegiate record book found themselves on the Men’s Post-Indoor Watch List for The Bowerman, collegiate track & field’s highest honor.
Here are those 10 men who earned the distinction in 2021 after a careful deliberation by The Bowerman Watch List Committee: Matthew Boling of Georgia, Trey Cunningham of Florida State, Gleb Dudarev of Kansas, JuVaughn Harrison of LSU, KC Lightfoot of Baylor, Turner Washington of Arizona State, Noah Williams of LSU, as well as the Oregon trio of Cole Hocker, Charlie Hunter and Cooper Teare.
The Bowerman Watch List: 2021 Men’s Post-Indoor Update
(Click student-athletes’ names for their TFRRS page)
Boling, a native of Houston, Texas, captured his first NCAA title in dramatic fashion. He edged SEC rival Terrance Laird by 0.01 seconds for the 200-meter crown – 20.19 to 20.20 – for the second closest finish since 2000. It also happened to be the fastest indoor final in both collegiate and meet history as Boling equaled the No. 5 performer in collegiate history and Laird sits No. 7. Boling also led off the fourth-place 4×400 relay team and finished seventh in the long jump.
Cunningham, a native of Winfield, Alabama, finished a close third in 60H final with a season-best mark of 7.53. The Seminole standout now turns his attention to the outdoor season, where he’ll hope to make it to the final site of the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2018.
Dudarev, a native of Vitebsk, Belarus, has yet to compete. He exhausted his indoor eligibility.
Harrison, a native of Huntsville, Alabama, jumped his way to doubled up on history only as he knows how this past weekend at the NCAA Championships. He completed the first high jump-long jump double in meet history, which pairs well with his equally historic high jump-long jump double from the outdoor meet two years ago. It was in Fayetteville, Arkansas, though, where Harrison started things off with a 2.30m (7-6½) victory in the high jump with a near-perfect slate (Harrison only missed his first attempt at 2.24m (7-4¼), but everything else was on the first try). Then Harrison won the long jump at 8.45m (27-8¾), which made him the third-best performer in both collegiate history and meet history.
Hocker, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, completed the mile-3000 double in Fayetteville, Arkansas with a 3:53.71 meet record in the former and a near meet record in the latter (Lawi Lalang’s all-time best held on by just 0.16 seconds). It was a fitting conclusion to the indoor season for Hocker, who made history just about every single time he touched the track. Hocker led off Oregon’s DMR that set an all-time world best of 9:19.42 and then, two weeks later, clocked the second fastest mile in collegiate history (3:50.55).
Hunter, a native of Gosford, Australia, won the 800-meter title in a thrilling race. He out-leaned Finley McLear of Miami (Ohio) at the finish line for the 0.01-second victory – 1:45.90 to 1:45.91 – which matched the second smallest time differential in meet history. Hunter is currently only the second man in collegiate history with two all-time top-10 performances in the 800 at No. 6 (1:45.59) and No. 9 (1:45.90), joining former UTEP star Michael Saruni in that regard. He also has two top-10 performances in the mile – No. 6 (3:53.49) and No. 8 (3:54.54). Hunter was the 800-meter man on Oregon’s DMR squad that set an all-time world best of 9:19.42.
Lightfoot, a native of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, reached never-before-seen heights during the indoor season. The Baylor star became just the 13th man in world history to summit 6.00m (19-8¼) under a roof and cemented his collegiate record at the Texas Tech Shootout on February 13. That was one of three times that Lightfoot bettered his own all-time best this season. He even tied the former all-time best of 5.93m (19-5½) to set the NCAA meet record. Lightfoot ended the indoor season with seven of the top-10 bars in collegiate history (Nos. 1-4, 8-10).
Teare, a native of Alameda, California, set the collegiate record in the mile and became the seventh fastest man in world history back on February 12 at the Tyson Invitational with an effort of 3:50.39. That was just one of several notable performances for Teare this indoor season, who also anchored Oregon’s DMR squad that set an all-time world best of 9:19.42. At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Teare toted the baton last on another sub-9:20 DMR from the Ducks and finished runner-up in the 3000 at the NCAA Indoor Championships to teammate Hocker.
Washington, a native of Tucson, Arizona, polished off an undefeated indoor season with a shot put title in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His 21.36m (70-1) winner from the meet equaled the fifth best performance in meet history. Earlier in the campaign, Washington shattered the collegiate record in the event with his 21.85m (71-8¼) heave at the Texas Tech Shootout.
Williams, a native of Rochester, New York, made a name for himself at the NCAA Indoor Championships with his 44.71 winner in the 400. That left Williams as the third fastest man in collegiate history and the fourth fastest man in world history.
Here are those athletes who received votes, but not enough to land on the Watch List: Devin Dixon of Texas A&M, Johannes Erm of Georgia, Emmanuel Ihemeje of Oregon, Thomas Mardal of Florida, Karel Tilga of Georgia and Micah Williams of Oregon.
The next Men’s Watch List will be released on April 15.