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Track & Field's Henning, Hackett on Bowerman Lists

by Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Track & Field's Henning, Hackett on Bowerman Lists

BATON ROUGE – Two LSU track and field stars will open the 2011 season Saturday with an eye on what has quickly become the most prestigious individual award in collegiate track and field as both senior Walter Henning and junior Semoy Hackett have been named to preseason watch list for The Bowerman.

The Bowerman is collegiate track and field’s equivalent to the Heisman Trophy and is presented annually to the top male and female athlete in the NCAA by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association in conjunction with its annual convention.

Henning enters the 2011 campaign as the reigning NCAA champion in both the weight throw indoors and hammer throw outdoors following a 2010 season in which he was a perfect 12-for-12 in competition.

The senior from Kings Park, N.Y., was the nation’s leading performer in the weight throw indoors during which he established a new personal best and shattered the SEC Indoor Championships meet record with a throw of 78 feet, 1 inch to take the title. He then became the first LSU Tiger to win a national title in the event with his dominating victory at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Henning then carried that momentum into the outdoor season during which he became the first thrower at the NCAA level since 2006 to sweep national titles in the weight throw and hammer throw in the same season. Following the season, Henning was named one of 10 semifinalists for The Bowerman Award.

Hackett, who joins the Lady Tigers program following a brilliant two-year career at Lincoln University at the NCAA Division II level, was also a Bowerman Award semifinalist following the 2010 campaign.

A junior from Scarborough, Trinidad & Tobago, Hackett captured five NCAA Division II championships while setting three championship records and the all-time NCAA Division II best in the 200-meter dash at Lincoln University. She defended her NCAA Division II Outdoor titles in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4×100-meter relay, while adding indoor national titles in the 60 meters and 200 meters in 2010.

Her personal-best time of 22.75 seconds in the 200-meter dash set a new outdoor national meet record and shattered the 17-year-old NCAA Division II all-time record of 22.85 set in 1993 by Norfolk State’s Chandra Sturrup. It was also the third-fastest time among all collegians during the 2010 season.

The Tigers and Lady Tigers will kick off the 2011 indoor campaign Saturday afternoon as they participate in the Purple Tiger Invitational at the Carl Maddox Field House on LSU’s campus.

The Bowerman Preseason Men’s Watch List
Jeshua Anderson, Senior, Washington State, Hurdles
Robby Andrews, Sophomore, Virginia, Distance
Sam Chelanga, Senior, Liberty, Distance
Charles Clark, Senior, Florida State, Sprints
Jeff Demps, Junior, Florida, Sprints
German Fernandez, Junior, Oklahoma State, Distance
Mason Finley, Sophomore, Kansas, Throws
Walter Henning, Senior, LSU, Throws
Kirani James, Sophomore, Alabama, Sprints
Christian Taylor, Junior, Florida, Jumps

The Bowerman Preseason Women’s Watch List
Name, Year, School, Events
Joanna Atkins, Senior, Auburn, Sprints
Jessica Beard, Senior, Texas A&M, Sprints
Ti’erra Brown, Junior, Miami (Fla.), Hurdles
Semoy Hackett, Junior, LSU, Sprints
Amber Kaufman, Senior, Hawaii, Jumps
Gabby Mayo, Senior, Texas A&M, Sprints/Hurdles
Sheila Reid, Junior, Villanova, Distance
Jeneba Tarmoh, Junior, Texas A&M, Sprints
Brianne Theisen, Senior, Oregon, Combined Events
Kim Williams, Senior, Florida State, Jumps