Story courtesy of Princeton Athletic Communications, photo courtesy of Chris Pietsch
NEW ORLEANS -- Princeton hammer throw phenom Julia Ratcliffe has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Bowerman Trophy, it was announced by The Bowerman Advisory Board on Tuesday.
From these 10 women, three finalists will be announced on July 10 before voting – including an online fan vote – opens July 28. The winner of collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor will be announced December 17 at the annual U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention.
"It's really an honor to be listed amongst these world-class athletes," Princeton assistant coach Brian Mondschein said. "Julia had a great year, capped by a pressure filled NCAA championship. To some small extent, the people who compile these lists just love the fact that a woman from Princeton could be in this elite, arguably professional, group. I don't know if it's harder to carry a 3.7 GPA in economics at Princeton or win an NCAA individual title. It's a pretty small subset of student-athletes that can do both. She's a great kid, too. Loves her team and our school. We're so lucky she's here."
Ratcliffe won the NCAA championship in the hammer throw with a winning mark of 66.88 (219-5) and had the top three best marks of the competition. She had an undefeated season in the hammer throw setting a number of records along the way, including the New Zealand national record, Ivy League record and Princeton record with a PR of 70. 28 (230-7). That throw is the fifth best in collegiate history and the furthest throw in collegiate hammer since 2011.
Ratcliffe, the 2014 USTFCCCA Regional Field Athlete of the Year, won at Penn Relays with the third-best throw in Relays history (65.89m). She was named the Ivy League Heptagonal Outdoor Championships Most Outstanding Field Performer after winning her second straight Heps title in the hammer, while also capturing the title in the ECAC Championships. In addition she was named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week on April 14 the Monday after she set a collegiate dual/tri/quad meet record with a 69.60 (228-04)
Ratcliffe is Princeton's first female semifinalist for the Bowerman Trophy. Donn Cabral was the first for the men in 2012.
The Bowerman Trophy, which was first awarded in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.
Indiana’s Derek Drouin and Clemson’s Brianna Rollins are the reigning winners of The Bowerman, which is named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman. In addition to their collegiate achievements, Rollins is the reigning World Champion in the 100 meter hurdles — an event for which she also holds the American Record — while Drouin has won bronze medals at both the 2012 Olympics and 2013 IAAF World Championships.
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); and 2011 IAAF World Champion at 1500 meters, Jenny Simpson (2009).
In total, the winners from the award’s first four years have won three Olympic Medals, six World Championships (one relay, two indoor) and 11 World Championships medals (two relay, one indoor). When considering finalists for the award, 13 individuals have earned a combined six Olympic medals, eight World Championships (one relay, four indoor) and 23 World Championships medals (three realy, six indoor).
Former winners of and finalists for The Bowerman currently hold 21 national records. Each former winner of the men’s Bowerman Trophy holds at least two national records, while two of the five women’s winners are current national record-holders.
Bowerman 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.
For more information on The Bowerman, the award, the trophy and Bill Bowerman himself, visit TheBowerman.org.