NEW ORLEANS – The preseason watch list for the 2014 Bowerman Award announced on Wednesday by the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association includes a pair of Aggies in Wayne Davis II and Deon Lendore. The Bowerman Award is annually awarded in December during the USTFCCCA convention to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track and field athletes of the year.
Ten athletes were named to The Bowerman men’s preseason watch list and Texas A&M was one of three schools to have a pair of athletes chosen. The two other programs with double selections included Florida and Texas. Representing the Gators were Marquis Dendy and Arman Hall along with the Longhorn pair of Ryan Crouser and Johannes Hock.
Also named to the men’s preseason watch list were Sam Kendricks of Mississippi, Lawi Lalang of Arizona, Anthony Rotich of UTEP and UCLA’s Julian Wruck. Lalang and Wruck were two of the three finalists for the 2013 honor.
Aggie senior Davis returns as the NCAA Champion in the 110 hurdles while A&M junior Lendore finished as the NCAA runner-up in the 400 meters a year ago. Both played key roles as Texas A&M shared the NCAA Outdoor men’s team title with Florida. It was the fourth national championship for the Aggie men since the 2009 season.
Indoors a year ago Davis and Lendore each broke Texas A&M school records. Davis claimed the 60m hurdle record with a time of 7.59 while Lendore recorded a world-leading time of 45.15 to garner the 400m record. Davis finished as runner-up in the 60 hurdles at both the SEC Championships and NCAA Indoor Championships with career best times of 7.65 and 7.59.
Lendore won the SEC Indoor title with a 45.23, after setting his record of 45.15 in the prelims, and anchored the Aggies to an SEC and Aggie school record of 3:04.18 in the 4x400 relay with a split of 44.50. In lowering his own Trinidad & Tobago national record in the 400m, Lendore’s 45.15 moved to No. 5 on the all-time collegiate list with the No. 6 performance with the 45.23 equals the No. 8 performance on the all-time collegiate list.
Davis, who was a semifinalist for The Bowerman Award in 2013, won a total of nine 110 hurdle races last season between prelims and finals. He captured four 110 hurdle finals in 2013 and placed second in three other finals on the way to reaching the semifinals of the World Championships in Moscow, Russia.
After opening the outdoor season with a 13.54 win at Arizona State, Davis missed a month of action following an injury at USC. Returning to action at LSU, Davis finish second in 13.65 and then rolled off victories at the Penn Relays (13.67) and SEC Championships (13.46) before claiming the NCAA title with a wind-aided 13.14.
The swift clocking by Davis was the second fastest in the history of the NCAA meet, trailing only a 12.91w mark set by Renaldo Nehemiah in 1979. Under all-conditions, Davis moved to No. 2 performer on the all-time collegiate list with the third-fastest performance.
Summer action for Davis included runner-up finishes at the Trinidad & Tobago Championships (13.30w) as well as the Central American and Caribbean Championships (13.50A). A season best of 13.38 in the prelims of the World Championships preceded a 13.47 in the semifinals. The 13.38 by Davis was just off his school record of 13.37 he set in 2012 to equal the Texas A&M record also held by Larry Wade.
Lendore has established a set of five personal best times over the past two outdoor seasons with the Aggies, improving his time in the 400 from 46.50 to 44.94 seconds.
In 2013 Lendore opened the outdoor campaign with a 45.00 victory at LSU. A 45.02 winning mark followed at the SEC Championships and then Lendore posted a 44.94 to place second at the NCAA Championships. Summer competition included a title at the Trinidad & Tobago Championships in 45.29 as well as advancing to the semifinals (45.47) of the World Championships in Moscow, Russia.