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League Tabs Two Semifinalists For The Bowerman Award
June 19, 2012
Kansas State's Erik Kynard and Oklahoma's Tia Brooks have been tabbed as semifinalists for The Bowerman Award, the highest honor given to the top male and female collegiate track and field student-athletes.

Each student-athlete is the lone men's and women's league representative out of 10 on their respective sides.

K-State's high jumper successfully defended his NCAA title earlier this month as Kynard became the eighth jumper in collegiate history to clear 7-08.00 or higher. With his jump, the Toledo, Ohio, native tied for fifth all-time in the collegiate ranks.

Kynard went undefeated during the outdoor season and only lost once indoors, when he placed fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. During the indoor season, he twice cleared 7-07.00 (2.31m).

He is the first in K-State and Big 12 history to be recognized as a semifinalist for the honor.

Adding to her two indoor national titles, OU junior Tia Brooks claimed her first NCAA women's outdoor shot put crown with a toss of 60-06.00, becoming the first Sooner to don a national outdoor gold medal in the event. She is the 12th student-athlete to sweep the indoor and outdoor titles in the same season.

At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Brooks won with the collegiate-season's best and overall collegiate best since 2004, with a heave of 62-04.00 (19.00m). On the all-time indoor collegiate list, she is now the second-best performer in history.

In Brooks' series of six throws at the national outdoor event, she claimed four that traveled more than 18 meters, all of which would have won the competition. In the two rounds of NCAA competition, she had seven such throws-- the rest of the field had none.

The product of Grand Rapids, Mich., swept the Big 12 Conference titles in the event this year, and earned her second consecutive outdoor first team All-America honor.

She is the first Sooner and fifth Big 12 representative to be named a Bowerman semifinalist.

In the award's three-year stint, the Big 12 has produced two The Bowerman Award recipients in Jessica Beard (Texas A&M, 2011) and Jenny Barringer (Colorado, 2009).

The Bowerman Advisory Board will deliberate before announcing three finalists on June 29 with the male and female winners announced in December.

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