Special to Gatorsports.com
ORLANDO – Gators Great Grant Holloway became the second member of Florida’s track and field program to win The Bowerman, collegiate track and field’s highest individual honor and the sport’s version of the Heisman Trophy.
The United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association of America presented the men’s and women’s awards as part of a 90-minute ceremony Thursday night at Orlando’s JW Marriott Grande Lakes.
Holloway joins Marquis Dendy as the program’s only other recipient of The Bowerman. As a former winner, Dendy was on hand to witness Holloway’s coronation. Dendy won The Bowerman following his senior season in 2015. Florida and Oregon are the only two programs with multiple men’s winners of The Bowerman, which was first awarded following the 2009 season.
Yanis David, who won a pair of national titles and swept the horizontal jumps at the SEC Indoor and Outdoor Championships this past season, was a women’s finalist for The Bowerman, but the award went to former LSU sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson.
Although the award was only based on achievements from the collegiate season, Holloway followed his record-breaking junior campaign – after which he turned professional – with a rousing victory in the 110-meter hurdles this fall’s IAAF World Championships in Doha, Qatar.
Holloway, 22, became the first American 110 hurdler to win a global championship since David Oliver at the 2013 World Championships. He also became the sixth man in history to win a global title in the 110 hurdles prior to turning 22 years old.
The Chesapeake, Va., native’s season-best time of 12.98 seconds – which he ran at June’s NCAA Outdoor Championships to break Renaldo Nehemiah’s 40-year-old collegiate record – was the fastest in the world for 2019.
Later that same day, Holloway ran the third leg for Florida’s collegiate record-breaking 4×100 relay team, which won the NCAA Outdoors title in 37.97 seconds. And he capped it all off with a 43.75-second split for Florida’s 4×400 relay team, which finished second and tied the fourth-fastest time in collegiate history (2:59.60).
Holloway also had an eye-popping indoor season, as he demolished his own collegiate record and broke a 32-year-old American record to win the 60-meter hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Championships, crossing in 7.35 seconds. The time was the fourth-fastest in history and made him the No. 3 performer on the world all-time list.
Holloway also won NCAA Indoors title in the 60 meters to become the third man in Division I history to complete the straightaway sweep. Even more impressive, he did it with the fastest single-day 60 meters-60 hurdles combined time in the sport’s history (13.85 seconds).
Additional achievements from Holloway’s 2019 collegiate season include:
- 2018-19 SEC Male Athlete of the Year (story)
- Broke three collegiate records (110 hurdles; 60 hurdles; 4×100 relay)
- Won four NCAA titles (60 meters; 60 hurdles; 110 hurdles; 4×100 relay)
- Finished his career 6-0 in NCAA Championships high hurdles finals
- Finished his career with a school-record eight individual national titles
- Third man in the world to break 13.00 seconds in the 110-meter hurdles since the start of 2016 (Omar McLeod, Sergey Shubenkov)
- Scored second-most individual points in NCAA Indoor Championships history (27.5 – won 60 meters and 60-meter hurdles, third in long jump, third in 4×400 relay)
- Posted five 110 hurdles times that rank among the 11 fastest in collegiate history (12.98 / 13.07 / 13.10 / 13.12 / 13.16), as well as the world-leading time and five of the world’s 10 fastest times this year
- Posted four of the six fastest 60 hurdles times in collegiate history (7.35 / 7.43 / 7.44 / 7.44 – fifth man in history to break 7.45 seconds four times in a season), as well as the world-leading time and seven of the world’s 10 fastest times this year
- Joined South Carolina’s Terrence Trammell (2000) and Tennessee’s Willie Gault (1983) as the only men to sweep the 60 hurdles and 60 meters titles at NCAA Indoors (Gault did it in the 55-meter hurdles and 55 meters, the distance run prior to 1999)
- Only man in outdoor track and field history to break 13.10 seconds in the 110 hurdles and wind-legally long jump at least 8.00 meters, according to athlete bios maintained by the IAAF
- Joined Trammell and Great Britain’s Colin Jackson as the only other men in indoor track and field history to break 7.40 seconds in the 60 hurdles and run 6.50 or faster in the 60 meters.
- Joined Leroy Burrell and Dwight Phillips as the only men in indoor track and field history to run 6.51 seconds or faster in the 60 and long jump at least 8.00 meters, a feat Holloway accomplished in less than 21 hours at January’s Razorback Invitational
- Became No. 8 performer on the collegiate all-time top 10 in the 60 meters with a time equal to 10th-fastest in collegiate history (6.50 seconds – broke Jeff Demps’ school record)
- Ran the third- and fourth-fastest 60 meters times in the world for 2019 (6.50 / 6.51)
- Broke Marquis Dendy’s school record for career individual national titles (eight)
- Scored 28 individual points at SEC Indoor Championships (second man in history to win 60 meters and 60-meter hurdles; took second in long jump), breaking the previous meet record of 22.5