LOS ANGELES – UCLA track and field standout Julian Wruck heads to Orlando, Fla., for the Bowerman Trophy presentation. Wruck is one of three male finalists for the trophy that will be handed out on Wednesday, Dec. 18, beginning at 7 p.m. ET, from the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes.
Flotrack.org will be broadcasting the presentation live, beginning with the Red Carpet Show at 6:30 p.m. ET. Red Carpet Show hosts Ryan Fenton and Alex Lohr of Flotrack will greet women’s finalists Brigetta Barrett of Arizona, Kori Carter of Stanford and Clemson’s Brianna Rollins as they enter the presentation, along with men’s finalists Derek Drouin of Indiana and Lawi Lalang of Arizona, along with Wruck.
“Julian being recognized as a Bowerman finalist indicates a return to the excellence, and tradition, that has made UCLA track and field great,” UCLA director of track and field Mike Maynard said. “It is an honor to coach such a bright and talented athlete.”
A national contender and 2011 champion in the discus in his days at Texas Tech prior to his transfer to UCLA, Wruck had a breakthrough year in a big way in 2013, re-writing the record books en route to his second NCAA title in the discus.
“This is Julian's third season as a Bruin, including his redshirt, and he is firmly established as a Bruin,” Maynard said. “UCLA was a perfect fit for Julian from the start. When he decided to transfer from Texas Tech after his sophomore season, he was more knowledgeable and aware of what he was looking for in a university, coach and program, than he was his first time around the recruiting process. He's a team leader by performance and example, both on and off the field. His work ethic, pursuit of excellence, and easy going nature are an example to his teammates.”
Wruck finished the season not only undefeated but nearly untouchable in eight collegiate events in 2013, registering the top 27 throws by any collegian in 2013. He officially owns four of the top 10 throws in collegiate history and is No. 4 all-time at 217-7 (66.32m), and produced an all-time collegiate best 223-7 (68.16m) mark at an exhibition throws meet among four other throws that would have ranked in the all-time collegiate top-10.
“With another season remaining in front of him, it's hard to say where Julian will finally stand among his Bruin predecessors,” Maynard added. “However, his accomplishments during his junior season last year are rivaled, by only a few. With Julian's throw last season, UCLA now owns the collegiate record in both shot put (John Godina) and Discus. I think that Julian will be recognized among the long list of legendary Bruin alumni.”
The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.
Southern Utah’s Cam Levins and LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan are the reigning winners of The Bowerman, which is named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman.
Past winners include Olympic gold medalist, World Champion and decathlon world-record holder Ashton Eaton (2010), 10,000-meter Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp (2009), and 2011 IAAF World Champion at 1500 meters, Jenny Simpson (2009).
In total, the winners from the award’s first four years have won two Olympic Medals, two World Championships and six World Championships medals. When considering finalists for the award, 13 individuals have earned a combined six Olympic medals, four World Championships and 17 World Championships medals.
Bowerman served the sport of track and field in numerous ways. His leadership in the USTFCCCA’s predecessor organization, the National Collegiate Track Coaches Association, and his contributions to NCAA track and field and the running community as a whole are among his many lasting legacies.