NEW ORLEANS – Fan voting for The Bowerman award, collegiate track and field’s highest individual honor, concluded on Tuesday with Texas A&M’s Deon Lendore and Oregon’s Laura Roesler earning the most votes.
Lendore topped the men’s field with 8,812 votes to earn 52.56 percent of the vote over Oregon’s Edward Cheserek (5,515) and Arizona’s Lawi Lalang (2,409). Roesler totaled 8,239 votes for 41.71 per cent of the women’s vote over Courtney Okolo of Texas (6,731) and Sharika Nelvis of Arkansas State (4,784).
The results of the fan vote count as one ballot in the overall process along with the ballots of former winners as well as track and field media members, administrators, statisticians and experts from around the country.
With the fan vote victories, Lendore and Roesler each receive three points in the overall voting process for The Bowerman trophy. Cheserek and Okolo each pick up two points while one point is awarded to Lalang and Nelvis.
Winners of The Bowerman trophy will be announced on Wednesday, December 17, in a live ceremony at the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association convention in Phoenix, Arizona.
Two of the past three winners of the men’s fan vote have gone on to win The Bowerman – Florida State’s Ngoni Makusha in 2011 and Southern Utah’s Cam Levins in 2012 – while Texas A&M’s Jessica Beard in 2011 is the only female to claim the fan vote and win The Bowerman.
Amid an undefeated junior season in the 400 meters Lendore won a total of 14 races, eight of which were finals. He established Texas A&M school records in the 400m indoors and outdoors during the 2014 season and was part of school record relay efforts in the 4x100, 4x200, 4x400 (indoor and outdoor).
Lendore became the 12th sprinter to capture NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor 400m titles in the same year dating back to 1970 when it was first achieved by Villanova’s Larry James.
In addition Lendore also swept the SEC Indoor and SEC Outdoor titles in the 400m and became only the third sprinter to win a set of four titles, two conference and two NCAA races, in one season since 1997. Lendore became the first to accomplish the feat since Florida State’s Ricardo Chambers in 2007.
Among those four title victories for Lendore in 2014 he averaged a time of 44.91 seconds, becoming the first sprinter to produce a sub 45-second average among conference and national wins. Lendore’s winning efforts included 45.03 at SEC Indoor, 45.21 at NCAA Indoor, 44.36 at SEC Outdoor and 45.02 for the NCAA Outdoor.
The previous best average for those four titles was a 45.52 by LSU’s Xavier Carter in 2006 (46.98, 45.28, 45.26 and 44.53) while Chambers averaged 45.87 in 2007 running in the ACC (46.00, 45.65, 47.15, 44.66).