Richardson Tabbed as Finalist for The Bowerman

by Aaron Hyder
The Bowerman - Fan Vote +0
Richardson Tabbed as Finalist for The Bowerman

Baton Rouge, La. Sha’Carri Richardson of LSU track and field has been named as a finalist for The Bowerman the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced Wednesday afternoon. The Bowerman is the most coveted award in collegiate track and field and Richardson is one of the three finalists that has a chance to win it on the women’s side.

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The winner of The Bowerman will be announced on December 19 at the annual USTFCCCA coaches convention that will be held in Orlando, Fla., at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes. Richardson becomes the second woman in program history to become a finalist as Kimberlyn Duncan did so in 2011 and 2012; Duncan won The Bowerman in 2012 after she won three NCAA titles, five SEC titles, and racked up five All-America honors during her junior season. Richardson is the second freshman in the history of The Bowerman on the women’s side to be named a finalist along with Sydney McLaughlin (2018/Kentucky).

The freshman speedster from Dallas, Texas, was the unquestioned best sprinter in the NCAA during the 2019 season that saw her set a slew of records, mainly during the outdoor season. People knew Richardson was fast and talented, but her coming out party was the NCAA Championships in early June when she cemented herself as one of the greatest to ever run in the collegiate ranks. At the NCAA meet, she set the collegiate record in the 100 meters, set two U20 world records (100 meter dash & 200 meter dash), and she scored the most points of any athlete at the meet with 20 points between the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4×100 meter relay.

The final day of the NCAA track and field season started on Saturday, June 8 with the 4×100 meter relay for Richardson. She anchored the women’s squad of Tonea Marshall, Kortnei Johnson, and Rachel Misher to a silver with the eighth-fastest time in NCAA history, a 42.29 readout. She returned to the track shortly after for the finals of the 100 meters where she ran a 10.75 to break Dawn Sowell’s collegiate record of 10.78 that had stood since 1989 en route to winning her first-career collegiate national title. The 10.75 was a collegiate record, U20 world record, the fifth fastest in American history, and the ninth fastest in world history. The win made her the third freshman in NCAA history to win the event alongside Angela Williams (1999/USC) and Ariana Washington (2016/Oregon); Richardson went a combined 10-0 in 100 meter races against collegians in 2019 including an unblemished 5-0 in finals to become the first freshman to finish the season undefeated against collegiate runners.

Less than 50 minutes later she returned to the track for the 200 meters and she set her second U20 world record of the day with a 22.17 to garner silver behind USC’s Anglerne Annelus who ran a 22.16. Her 22.17 broke Allyson Felix’s U20 world record of 22.18 that was set at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. With the 10.75 and 22.17, Richardson became the first woman in world history, of any age, to run sub 10.8 and sub 22.2 in a single day, and the 22.17 ranks as the fifth-fastest readout in collegiate history.

A month earlier at the SEC Outdoor Championships, Richardson made some more history of her own becoming the first freshman in league history to win the 100 meters and 200 meters and be a member of an SEC winning 4×100 meter relay. Overall she was the fourth LSU athlete to achieve that feat in program history as Dawn Sowell accomplished it in 1989, Esther Jones did it in 1990 and 1991, and Kimberlyn Duncan did it in 2012.

During indoors, Richardson earned a seventh-place finish in the NCAA finals of the 60 meter dash with a time of 7.27. She narrowly missed out on the finals in the 200 with a time of 23.27.

Richardson closed out her collegiate career as a four-time All-American and a national champion in the 100 meters as she turned pro a week after the NCAA Championships. She won LSU’s NCAA-leading ninth title in the 100 meters on the women’s side. In the LSU record books she owns the No. 1 time in the 100 meters (10.75), No. 2 time in the outdoor 200 meters (22.17), No. 9 time in the indoor 60 meters (7.20), and is a member of the third-fastest 4×100 meter relay in program history (42.29).

Richardson is joined by Yanis David (Florida) and Janeek Brown (Arkansas) as finalists for The Bowerman. The Bowerman, collegiate track and field’s highest honor, is awarded each year to the top male and female collegiate athletes in the sport of NCAA track and field. The three men’s finalists will be announced on Thursday afternoon.