Florida’s Mariam Kevkhishvili and Auburn’s Sheniqua Ferguson have won weekly Southeastern Conference track and field awards, based on their performances Satuday in the University of Kentucky Invitational.
Kevkhishvili, from Tibilisi, Georgia, is Female Field Athlete of the Week for her personal-best 60-foot-7 1/4 shot-put victory at UK. Her mark set school, fieldhouse and national records, and also surpassed the automatic qualifying standard for the NCAA Championships. She is a three-time NCAA champion and two-time Olympian.
Ferguson, a junior from Nassau, Bahamas, is co-Female Runner of the Week. Her 60-meter dash victory, in 7.28 seconds, is an NCAA provisional qualifier, ranks fifth all-time at Auburn and equals the fastest time in the NCAA this season.
Sharing honors with Ferguson is South Carolina junior LaKya Brookins. The defending NCAA champion opened her season by winning the Virginia Tech Invitational 60 in the same time as Ferguson, 7.28.
Female Freshman of the Week is Regina George of Arkansas. The newcomer from Chicago won the 800 (2:09.42) and anchored the winning 4-by-400 relay (3:36.43, NCAA provisional qualifier). George’s time ranks second in the SEC this season, ninth in the NCAA and third by an NCAA freshman. The relay time leads the NCAA.
Weekly honors for SEC men go to Georgia’s John Freeman (Field), plus the Arkansas duo of Scott McPherson (Runner) and Cobi Hamilton (Freshman).
Freeman, a junior from Plano, Texas, set a personal best of 66-10 in the 35-pound weight throw at UK. He was the top collegiate finisher in the events, second overall, and the first Bulldog of the season to post an NCAA provisional qualifier.
McPherson, a senior and also from Plano, Texas, led a 1-2-3 Razorbacks sweep at 3,000 meters in the Arkansas-Texas dual. His time of 8:10.66 leads the SEC and ranks second in the NCAA.
Hamilton, from Texarkana, Texas, made his collegiate debut with a 21.25 victory at 200 meters. That is a personal best and ranks third in the SEC this season, fifth in the NCAA and first among NCAA freshmen. Arkansas placed 1-4-5 in the event. Hamilton’s race came 13 days after playing in the Liberty Bowl. He played in 13 football games for the Razorbacks, catching 19 passes for 347 yards and three touchdowns.
Eastern’s Forbes takes OVC award
Eastern Kentucky freshman Bianca Forbes is Female Track Athlete of the Week in the Ohio Valley Conference.
Forbes won her heat at UK, placing 18th overall in a meet that was laden with Big Ten, Southeastern, Atlantic Coast, Sun Belt and Big East conference teams.
The Bowerman ‘watch lists’ are here
Kevkhishvili is among 10 athletes on The Bowerman women’s watch. Another 10 athletes are on The Bowerman men’s watch.
The Bowerman, presented by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), is the sport’s version of the Heisman Trophy.
The women’s watch list, which will be updated Feb. 9, includes 2009 finalist Porscha Lucas of Texas A&M.
The full list, in alphabetical order: Joanna Atkins (jr., Auburn), sprints; Jessica Beard (jr., Texas A&M), sprints; Angela Bizzari (sr., Illinois), distances; Lacey Cramer (soph., Brigham Young), middle-distance; Semoy Hackett (soph., Lincoln (Mo.)), sprints; Kylie Hutson (sr. Indiana State), pole vault; Mariam Kevkhishvili (sr., Florida), throws; Porscha Lucas (sr., Texas A&M), sprints; Brianne Theisen (jr., Oregon), combined events; Kim Williams (jr., Florida State), jumps.
Others receiving mention: Marie Borner (sr., Bethel (Minn.)), distances; Kristi Castlin (sr., Virginia Tech), hurdles); Brenda Martinez (sr., Cal Riverside), middle-distance; Francena McCorory (jr., Hampton), sprints; Liz Patterson (sr., Arizona), high jump.
The men’s list includes 2009 finalists Ashton Eaton of Oregon and German Fernandez of Oklahoma State.
The men’s watch list: Jeshua Anderson (Jr., Washington State), hurdles; Ronnie Ash (jr., Oklahoma), hurdles; Sam Chelanga (jr., Liberty), distances; Will Claye (soph., Oklahoma), jumps; Jason Colwick (sr., Rice), pole vault; Ashton Eaton (sr., Oregon), combined events; German Fernandez (soph., Oklahoma State (distances); Trindon Holliday (sr., LSU), sprints; Andrew Wheating (sr., Oregon), distances; Ryan Whiting (sr., Arizona State), throws.
Also mentioned: Charles Clark (sr., Florida State), sprints; Ramon Gittens (jr., St. Augustine’s), sprints; Ricky Flynn (sr., Lynchburg), distances; Tabarie Henry (jr., Texas A&M), sprints; Ngonidzashe Makusha (jr., Florida State), jumps.