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June 20, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Florida State's Maurice Mitchell and Virginia Tech's Alexander Ziegler are semifinalists for The Bowerman, collegiate track & field's biggest award, as announced this week. The ACC is the only conference to have two male athletes named as semifinalists.
The Bowerman Advisory Board will now deliberate who shall be the three finalists for the award to be announced on Friday, June 29. The winner of The Bowerman will be presented on December 19 in conjunction with the USTFCCCA Convention in Orlando, Fla. The three finalists will be invited to take part in the award ceremony.
At the NCAA Outdoor Championships, Mitchell won the 200 meters and placed third in the 100. For his second-straight crown in the 200, Mitchell clocked 20.40, winning by a quarter of a second and despite a 4.2 meters-per-second headwind. In the 100 meters, Mitchell was third in what was likely the closest finish in NCAA history. The final clocking of 10.28 (10.277) was just five thousandths of a second behind Illinois' Andrew Riley (10.272).
At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Mitchell placed third in the 200 meters (20.66) and sixth in the 60 meters (6.62).
He won the 200 meters (20.65) and was the runner-up in the 100 meters (10.21) at the ACC Championships and was named the league's Track Performer of the Year. He was also the ACC's Indoor Track Performer of the Year and, at the league meet, won the 200 and was runner-up in the 60.
Mitchell was also a semifinalist in 2011 and is now only the fourth man to make a second semifinalist appearance, joining Liberty's Sam Chelanga, Alabama's Kirani James, and Florida's Christian Taylor. Taylor was a finalist in 2011.
Ziegler won the hammer throw at the NCAA Outdoor Championships by more than 20 feet, unleashing a fifth-round attempt of 248-7 (75.78m) that was the best winning mark since 2000 and made him the fifth-best performer in meet history. All six of Ziegler's throws at the NCAA finals would have won the competition as he marked no worse than 230-7 (70.29m). The 248-7 stands as Ziegler's and the collegiate best from the season and moved him to No. 8 on the all-time collegiate performer list. With the victory, Ziegler claimed his second-straight NCAA crown in the event, becoming the first since Virginia Tech's Spryidon Jullien who did the same in 2005 and 2006.
Ziegler was undefeated against collegiate competition with the hammer this year.
Indoors, Ziegler claimed third place at the NCAA Championships in the weight throw. Ziegler won the ACC Outdoor crown with the hammer and was second indoors at the league meet with the weight. He was named the ACC's Outdoor Field Performer of the Year.Ziegler is the first from Virginia Tech to be a semifinalist for The Bowerman.
The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.
Florida State's Ngoni Makusha and Texas A&M's Jessica Beard are the reigning winners of The Bowerman, which is named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman.
Bowerman served the sport of track and field in numerous ways. His leadership in the USTFCCCA's predecessor organization, the National Collegiate Track Coaches Association, and his contributions to NCAA track and field and the running community as a whole are among his many lasting legacies.
For more information on The Bowerman, the award, the trophy, and Bill Bowerman himself, visit TheBowerman.org.