STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - Anderson Peters, Mississippi State’s national champion in the javelin, has been selected as one of 10 semifinalists for The Bowerman, collegiate track and field’s highest honor.
Peters had not appeared on any of the watch lists throughout the season, but his performance at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore., last week caught the voters’ eyes. The freshman from St. Andrews, Grenada, shattered the meet record with a toss of 82.82m (271-9) on his third throw.
“It’s been incredibly exciting to watch Anderson this season,” head coach Steve Dudley said. “He’s our first-ever semifinalist, which just shows you how much this program has grown this year.”
The Bowerman was created in 2009 and is given annually to the top male and female athlete in track and field by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Of the 18 prior winners, seven have gone on to become Olympians. The men’s winner has come from the SEC in each of the past four years.
“I’m very happy for him,” throws coach April Thomas said. “This is a very big opportunity for him. The Bowerman is the biggest collegiate honor he could win besides his national title.”
Members of the watch list committee considered all performances from the 2018 indoor and outdoor seasons, including international competition. Peters first collegiate season saw him break the MSU freshman record by 7.20m (23-7), win a bronze medal for Grenada at the Commonwealth Games, take the SEC javelin crown with a meet-record throw and finish just six centimeters shy of State’s school record in the event.
No thrower has ever won the award, though multi-event athlete and Olympian Ashton Eaton – who holds the world record in both the outdoor decathlon and indoor heptathlon – claimed it in 2010.
This year’s group of men’s semifinalists includes an all-time-high five underclassmen. The 10 semifinalists will be narrowed down to three finalists to be announced next week. The Bowerman will be presented four months later at the USTFCCCA’s annual convention in San Antonio, Texas.