LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky track and field’s Sydney McLaughlin became the first freshman woman to be named a finalist for The Bowerman, collegiate track & field’s top individual honor, on Wednesday.
The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced McLaughlin as one of three finalists alongside Arizona State’s Maggie Ewen and Georgia’s Keturah Orji on Wednesday.
The finalists were selected by The Bowerman Advisory Board. They are considered the most outstanding female athletes during the entire 2018 collegiate track & field campaign selected from a pool of 10 semifinalists that included two more Kentucky event NCAA Champions Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and Olivia Gruver.
McLaughlin is the second woman to be named a finalist after Keni Harrison attained the honor for her 2015 senior season.
This was the second year in a row that Ewen and Orji were named finalists.
Fan voting for The Bowerman begins Thursday, June 21, following the announcement of the men’s finalists and runs through Thursday, June 28. Paper voting for past winners, The Bowerman Advisory Board and select media personnel, statisticians and collegiate administrators will conclude July 20.
McLaughlin set the track world alight all season long, culminating with her NCAA 400-meter hurdles gold earlier this month at the NCAA Championships. She broke the collegiate record by nearly a second running 52.75 to win the Southeastern Conference title in May. The performance was also the 13th-fastest 400m hurdles time ever recorded and smashed her world junior record. The 2016 Olympian became the ninth fastest 400m hurdler on the world all-time list (a few runners have multiple times on the list). She also set the world junior record in the indoor 400m (50.36), an all-time world junior best in the indoor 300m (36.12) and was ranked in the top-4 of the seasonal collegiate best lists in each of the six individual events she contested. McLaughlin also notched three other all-time top-10 marks in the 400 hurdles (No. 5, No. 8, No. 10) to go along with two in the indoor 400m (No. 2, No. 4) and one in the outdoor 400 (No. 5). As a member of the Wildcats’ 4×400 relay team, McLaughlin clocked six sub-51 second splits, including three sub-50 second efforts outdoors. McLaughlin won her lone NCAA title in the 400m hurdles and finished second and fourth at the NCAA indoor meet in the 400m and 200m, respectively. Those results, coupled with a fourth- and fifth-place showing by Kentucky’s 4×400 relay teams, added up to 25.25 points at the NCAA Championships.
Ewen, McLaughlin and Orji will assemble on Thursday, December 20, at the annual USTFCCCA Convention in San Antonio. One of them will take home the highest individual honor in collegiate track & field that same night following The Bowerman Presentation.