Jamaicans Lamara Distin, Brianna Lyston, and Ackelia Smith Listed on 2024 Bowerman Award Watch List

Jamaica’s women athletes Lamara Distin, Brianna Lyston, and Ackelia Smith have made the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 2024 Bowerman Watch List, which was announced at the end of February 2024. The Bowerman award is presented each year to the most outstanding male and female athletes in college track and field.

What is the Bowerman Award?

The Bowerman Award is named in honor of the Oregon track and field and cross country coach, Bill Bowerman, and is the most prestigious honor presented to student athletes in American track and field programs each year. The award is administered by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) and showcases the year’s top talents in the sport.

Jamaican Lamara Distin Sets New National Record in Womens High Jump at SEC Indoor Championships

Lamara Distin – Texas A&M University

High jumper Lamara Distin comes from Hanover, Jamaica, and dominated the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Indoor Championships by establishing a collegiate record in the high jump event with a jump of 2.00 meters. This also set a national indoor record and was the first two-meter jump, indoors or outdoors, in the history of collegiate track and field sport. Distin continued to be undefeated during competitions in the winter of 2024 and achieved two clearances of 1.97 meters to solidify her reputation by holding four of the top 11 collegiate indoor performances in history. Distin has nine appearances on the Watch List during her career to date and is seeking a third consecutive NCAA DI Indoor title.

Brianna Lyston – Louisiana State University

Runner Brianna Lyston of Portmore, Jamaica, is undefeated in three 60-meter final events in the winter of 2024. She brought the year’s two fastest performances. Clocking a time of 7.07 seconds at January’s Razorback Invitational, Lyston took the all-time Number 4 collegiate spot. She also won the event at the SEC Indoor competition on the same track with a time of 7.08 seconds. Lyston ran a single 200-meter race in 2024 and achieved a time of 23.16 seconds. These performances earned her a second-time appearance on the Bowerman Watch List.

Ackelia Smith – University of Texas at Austin

Long jumper Ackelia Smith of Clarendon, Jamaica, had a top jump in the winter of 2024 of 6.65 meters, which made her undefeated in three consecutive meets. In 2023, she achieved a personal best of 6.68 meters. Described as an athlete to watch, Smith is enjoying her fifth appearance on the Watch List of her career. She is ranked Number 3 in the all-time outdoors triple jump and Number 5 in the indoor version. She jumped 13.37 meters to secure a fourth place finish at the Big 12 Indoor competition. She has shown her versatility by running the 60 meters where she has a personal best time of 7.21 seconds. She also provided a fast 53.25 leadoff split with the University of Texas Longhorns’ 4×400 team.

Other Bowerman Award nominees

Among the other nominees on the Bowerman Watch List are  JaMeesia Ford of South Carolina, Jasmine Jones of Southern Carolina, Olivia Markezich of Notre Dame, Hannah Moll of Washington, Maia Ramsden of Harvard, Michaela Rose of LSU, and Parker Valby of Florida.

Photo – Jason Badden