Phoebe Wright has the best 800m time of any American woman this season.
March 3, 2010
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Wednesday the second update of the official watch list for The Bowerman as selected by The Bowerman Women's Watch Committee. Joining the watch list for the first time is Iowa State's Lisa Koll and Tennessee's Phoebe Wright.
The Bowerman is awarded each year to the top female and male collegiate athletes in the sport of NCAA track & field. The committee will release its next update following the NCAA Indoor Championships on Weds., March 17. The three men and three women finalists will be named on July 13.
Wright finally broke into the elite group after a scintillating performance at the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships over the weekend. The senior from Signal Mountain, Tenn., (Red Bank H.S.) seized her second straight SEC Indoor 800m crown and her third consecutive league title overall in that event, covering the distance in an NCAA-leading and indoor career-best time of two minutes, 1.47 seconds. That mark ranks as the No. 2 readout all-time by a collegiate woman and stands as the best by an American woman in 2010.
Since starting her campaign with a 2:04.00 readout at the Virginia Tech Hokie Invitational on Jan. 23 and lowering it to 2:02.84 at the Texas A&M Challenge on Feb. 13, no one else has led the NCAA ranks in that event this season. Until her 2:01.47 readout over the weekend, Wright's 2:02.84 and the 2:02.39 mark at last year's NCAA Indoor meet had been two of the top15 all-time collegiate clockings ever recorded in the 800m and the best since 2005.
Wright's impact also is felt on Tennessee's relay units. She handles the opening leg for UT's distance medley unit, which ranks No. 3 nationally with a season-best of 11:02.85 and won the school's fourth straight title in that event at the SEC meet in 11:14.59. Additionally, she is part of a 4x400m tandem that charted an NCAA provisional at the Texas A&M Challenge with a 3:39.07 readout earlier this season.
A year ago, Wright swept the SEC Indoor and Outdoor 800 crowns, was the runner-up at NCAA Indoors and finished fifth outdoors. She carded a career outdoor best of 2:00.40 last summer, just missing a berth at the World Championships after earning a bronze medal at the USA Outdoor Championships. She had needed a 2:00.00 mark to make the world cut and earn a trip to Berlin.
In the baton events, Wright was sensational, helping Tennessee win the NCAA Indoor DMR crown in a world-record readout of 10:50.98. She also ran on a trio of baton-event triumphs at the Penn Relays, aiding the DMR unit as well as American-record 4x800m and world-record 4x1500m quartets.
For more information on The Bowerman, the award, the recently-debuted trophy, and Bill Bowerman himself, visit TheBowerman.org. Keep up with Bowerman candidates on the USTFCCCA's weekly results page (http://www.ustfccca.org/weekly-results) and by following the organization's twitter feed twitter.com/TheBowerman.
THE BOWERMAN OFFICIAL WATCH LIST, 2010 WOMEN
(updated March 3, 2010, listed in alphabetical order)
Jessica Beard, JR, Texas A&M, Sprints
Queen Harrison, SR, Virginia Tech, Hurdles
Kylie Hutson, SR, Indiana State, Pole Vault
Mariam Kevkhisvili, SR, Florida, Throws
Lisa Koll, SR, Iowa State, Distance
Porscha Lucas, SR, Texas A&M, Sprints
Shara Proctor, SR, Florida, Jumps
Brianne Theisen, JR, Oregon, Combined Events
Kim Williams, JR, Florida State, Jumps
Phoebe Wright, SR, Tennessee, Mid-Distance
Also Receiving Mention
Joanna Atkins, JR, Auburn, Sprints
Angela Bizzarri, SR, Illinois, Distance
Marie Borner, SR, Bethel (Minn.), Distance
Charlotte Browning, JR/SR, Florida, Distance
Kristi Castlin, SR, Virginia Tech, Hurdles
Lacey Cramer, SO, BYU, Mid-Distance
Shaniqua Ferguson, JR, Auburn, Sprints
Semoy Hackett, SO, Lincoln (Mo.), Sprints
Jordan Hasay, FR, Oregon, Distance
Amber Kaufman, SR, Hawaii, Jumps
Brenda Martinez, SR, UC Riverside, Mid-Distance
Gabby Mayo, JR, Texas A&M, Sprints/Hurdles
Francena McCorory, JR, Hampton, Sprints
Blessing Okagbare, SR, UTEP, Jumps
Liz Patterson, SR, Arizona, High Jump
Barbara Pierre, SR, Saint Augustine's, Sprints
Jessica Pixler, SR, Seattle Pacific, Distance
Shelia Reid, JR, Villanova, Distance
Alicia Rue, SR, Minnesota, Pole Vault
April Sinkler, RS SO, Clemson, Combined Events