Jan. 14, 2010
AUBURN, Ala. - Auburn junior sprinter Joanna Atkins is one of 10 women that have been named to the initial watch list for The Bowerman award, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced Thursday. The Bowerman is track and field's version of the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded annually to the top male and top female collegiate track and field athlete.
Atkins was the NCAA Champion in the 400 meters at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a career-best time of 50.39 seconds in the finals, surpassing her previous best by nearly a second and a half. She was one of the nation's most versatile and top all-around sprinters during the 2009 outdoor season, being ranked among the nation's leaders in three events, with career-best times of 11.34 in the 100 meters, 22.89 in the 200 meters and 50.39 in the 400 meters.
During the 2009 indoor season, Atkins was the SEC Champion in the 400 meters and finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. She ranks in the top 10 in Auburn history in seven indoor and outdoor sprinting events.
The Bowerman Advisory Board appointed four of its members to comprise The Bowerman Men's Watch Committee and another four of its members to make up The Bowerman Women's Watch Committee. The committee will release its next list, using only marks from the 2010 season, on Tuesday, Feb. 9, with updates occurring during the first Tuesday of each month leading to the final watch lists on Tuesday, June 7, the week of the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Watch lists will also be released on March 16 to coincide with the conclusion of the indoor season and May 18 to mark the ending of the outdoor conference season. The three men and three women finalists will be named on June 15.
Atkins and the rest of the Auburn men's and women's squads will open the 2010 indoor season Friday and Saturday at the Kentucky Invitational in Lexington, Ky.