Jamaica’s Jaydon Hibbert Becomes First Jamaican to Win US Collegiate Award

Jamaican Jaydon Hibbert, a freshman at the University of Arkansas, has received the highest collegiate athletic award in the United States. He is the youngest recipient of the award and the first Jamaican winner. The Bowerman was established in 2009 and is presented annually to the year’s best student-athlete. It is named for Oregon track and field and cross-country coach, Bill Bowerman and administered by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Winners of the Bowerman Award were announced on December 14, 2023, during a ceremony held at the organization’s yearly convention.

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Hibbert’s Award-Winning Season

Hibbert’s achievements in 2023 provided ample reason for the award. He was undefeated during the college season in the triple jump, gaining the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) titles and breaking long-standing collegiate and world U20 records. He finished the year as a world leader in the sport. Hibbert is the first Arkansas Razorback freshman to win the men’s award. He is the third freshman overall to be presented with the Bowerman, and as an international athlete, joins four other winners of the award. He is the first to win since 2014. Hibbert is also the third Bowerman Award finalist in the men’s program guided by Arkansas head coach, Chris Bucknam, and associate head coach, Travis Geopfert.

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Hibbert’s Record

Jaydon Hibbert’s medal record representing Jamaica is impressive. At the World U20 Championships in 2022, he received a gold medal for the triple jump in Cali and a silver medal in the event at the 2021 Nairobi tournament. At the U20 CARIFTA Games in 2022, he won first place in the long jump and the triple jump in Kingston, and he took first place in the triple jump in 2023 in Nassau. At the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) U18 Championships in 2021, he won first place in the triple jump and a silver in the long jump. His personal bests include 7.87 meters in the long jump in 2022, 17.87 meters in the triple jump in 2023, 17.27 meters in the U18 triple jump in 2022, and 17.54 meters in the triple jump indoor in 2023.

About Jaydon Hibbert

Jaydon Hibbert was born in January 2005 in Kingston, Jamaica. He attended Kingston College and after graduating in 2022 enrolled at the University of Arkansas. There, he joined fellow Jamaicans Wayne Pinnock and Carey McLeod competing for the Arkansas Razorbacks on its track and field team. He made his international debut when he was 16 at the NACAC Under-18 Championships in Athletics in San Jose, Costa Rica, winning the triple jump and coming in second in the long jump. In March 2023, he set the world U20 triple jump record with a jump of 17.54 meters at the NCAA Division 1 Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He surpassed the outdoor distance of 17.50 meters that had been set 38 years before, as well as the 1986 collegiate indoor record. He was ranked 13th on the world all-time list in May 2023, and in July 2023, signed an Image and Likeness (NIL) deal with Puma.

Photo – Nick Ford