Kansas State high jumper Erik Kynard successfully defended his NCAA title earlier this month and became only the eighth jumper in collegiate history to clear 7-08.00 or higher.
For his performance this season, the USTFCCCA has named Kynard a semifinalist for The Bowerman Award.
The Bowerman — the Heisman Trophy of track and field — was introduced in 2009 and is presented annually to the top male and female NCAA track and field athletes in the nation and sponsored by the USTFCCCA.
The award honors former University of Oregon head coach Bill Bowerman. In addition to his history of success at Oregon, he was instrumental in helping establish the system of autonomous federations to control individual sports in the United States today and also is credited with helping fuel the jogging craze in America during the 1970’s.
Bowerman was a cofounder of Nike and is most recognized within the company for his creation of the waffle sole by pouring rubber on a waffle iron.
Kynard was announced as one of 10 semifinalists for the award. The list reads like an exclusive club with all 10 semifinalists winning at least one NCAA title this season. Two semifinalists won two events at Drake Stadium earlier this month.
With his jump of 2.34 meters (7-08.00), Kynard tied for fifth all-time in the collegiate ranks. He has turned his attention from defending his NCAA crown to making the 2012 Olympic Games. Kynard is set to jump at the U.S. Olympic Trials on Saturday afternoon in Eugene, Ore. If he makes the top 12 during the qualifying round on Saturday, he will make next Monday’s final in hopes of finishing in the top three and earning the right to wear Red, White and Blue in London.
The Bowerman Advisory Board will deliberate before announcing three finalists on June 29 with the winner announced in December.
Kynard is the first semifinalist for the award from the Big 12 in its brief history.