Georgia’s Kendell Williams has become the second true freshman in history named as a women’s semifinalist for collegiate track and field’s top honor, The Bowerman Award.
From these 10 semifinalists (three of whom are from the Southeastern Conference), three finalists will be announced on July 10 before voting – including an online fan vote – opens July 28. The winner will be announced December 17 at the annual U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention in Phoenix.
The 5-foot-9, two-time All-American is the only freshman on this year’s list, which also features four seniors, one junior and four sophomores. Illinois’ Ashley Spencer is the only true freshman to advance to the semifinal round, accomplishing the feat in 2012.
Williams, a native of Marietta, Ga., won two NCAA titles and one SEC title, set two collegiate records, two American Junior records, one World Junior record, an SEC Championships record, two NCAA Championship records and two school records in her first year with the Bulldogs.
She recently completed the sweep by being named the USTFCCCA indoor and outdoor National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year. The USTFCCCA outdoor announcement came three months after Williams was named the Indoor National Women’s Field Athlete of the Year
Williams won the NCAA heptathlon title outdoors to become a two-time First Team All-American in her first season. She won the NCAA pentathlon crown indoors in March with a collegiate record 4,635 points. At outdoor Nationals, Williams rebounded after being tripped and falling to the track in heptathlon’s final event, the 800 meters, to clock a time necessary to clinch her victory.
Williams established an American Junior record in the heptathlon after scoring 6,018 points to win the Bulldog Heptathlon in Athens in early April. The Kell High School graduate set collegiate, NCAA Championships meet and school records with her 12.99 in the heptathlon 100 hurdles. This marked her second collegiate record in 2014 after she established a new No. 1 mark in the pentathlon as well.
Named the SEC Female Field Athlete of the Year both indoors and outdoors, Williams also garnered USTFCCCA South Region Women’s Field Athlete of the Year honors outdoors.
With her sweep of both the 2014 NCAA pentathlon and heptathlon titles, she becomes only the third person and only the sixth instance in NCAA history where a competitor has won both championships in the same season.
Earlier this month, Williams was named as one of four nominees for the Honda Sports Award for women’s track and field.
Williams’ next competition is at the USATF Junior Championships in Eugene on July 5. She will be competing in the 100 hurdles.
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