FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Collegiate-record holder Sandi Morris enters next week’s NCAA Championships listed among the nation’s best in the latest release of the Bowerman Watch List. This marks the seventh-consecutive appearance for Morris who first joined in January. With her record-breaking showing of 4.72m/15-5.75 at last month’s conference meet, Morris is the NCAA leader and No. 3 performer in the world.
Following the NCAA Championships, the 10 semifinalists for the Bowerman will be announced June 23 by the Watch List Committee. A follow-up vote will then be held to narrow the field down to three finalists who will be announced in July.
Morris is one of 17 national qualifiers for the No. 2 University of Arkansas women’s track and field team that caps its 2015 season June 10-13 at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore. All four days of the national meet are televised by the ESPN family of networks. In a format change, the women’s competition will be contested Thursday and Saturday with the men competing Wednesday and Friday. Multi-event action is scheduled for the first two days of the meet.
With one jump at the NCAA West Preliminary in Austin, Morris qualified for the NCAA Championships with a first-attempt clearance at 4.24m/13-11. She joins teammates Desiree Freier and Ariel Voskamp in the field that competes for a national title June 11 at 6:45 p.m. (CT).
Morris opened the championship season by breaking the collegiate record to win her second-straight SEC outdoor title in the pole vault. She became the third Razorback to win back-to-back conference titles in the event. With the first-place effort at the conference meet, Morris enters NCAAs having won 13 of 15 competitions this year including five of six meets during the outdoor season.
Along with her SEC title, Morris’ outdoor season includes wins at the Texas Relays, Stanford Invitational, John McDonnell Invitational and Arkansas Twilight. With her showing at the SEC Championships, she surpassed the previous collegiate mark of 15-5.5 set by Demi Payne of Stephen F. Austin. Morris first broke the record with a clearance of 15-1.75 at the John McDonnell Invitational. She is one of just five women to clear 15 feet in NCAA history.
Morris was the NCAA and SEC indoor champion in the pole vault with meet-record performances on each occasion. She posted her then-absolute personal best with a clearance of 4.66m/15-3.5 at the indoor conference meet in Lexington, Ky. She has seven winning clearance of 15 feet or higher with a minimum clearance of 14-5.25 to win the season-opening Arkansas Invitational.
The Greenville, S.C., native is the fourth Razorback to appear on the Bowerman Women’s Watch List, along with former program standouts Makeba Alcide, Regina George and 2011 finalist Tina Sutej. Overall, an Arkansas student-athlete has appeared on the Watch List 25 times.
The Bowerman award, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the standout male and female collegiate track and field athletes in the nation. In total, the winners from the award’s first five years have gone on to win three Olympic medals, two World Championship titles and six World Championship medals overall.
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