Arkansas freshman Jaydon Hibbert makes history as 2023 Bowerman Award winner

December 15, 2023  -In a season marked by extraordinary performances, University of Arkansas freshman Jaydon Hibbert claimed the prestigious 2023 Bowerman Award, the highest collegiate honor in track and field.

The announcement came during the USTFCCCA convention on Thursday evening.

Hibbert’s remarkable achievements in the triple jump, which included an undefeated collegiate season, SEC and NCAA titles, and the shattering of decades-old collegiate and world U20 records, made him a deserving recipient of the award. He also concluded the year as the world leader in his discipline.

First freshman ever to win the men’s Bowerman Award

Notably, Hibbert became the first freshman ever to win the men’s Bowerman Award and holds the distinction of being the youngest recipient, regardless of gender. He is also the first Jamaican athlete to claim this esteemed accolade, following in the footsteps of fellow Jamaican finalists like Janeek Brown (2019) of Arkansas and Andrew Riley of Illinois (2012).

Among the previous freshmen finalists for the men’s award were notable athletes like German Fernandez (Oklahoma State, 2009), Edward Cheserek (Oregon, 2014), Donavan Brazier (Texas A&M, 2016), and Mondo Duplantis (LSU, 2019).

Hibbert’s historic win continues a trend of outstanding freshmen in track and field, following the footsteps of Sha’Carri Richardson (LSU, 2019) and Athing Mu (Texas A&M, 2021), who were previous female winners of The Bowerman.

Joins an elite group of Bowerman victors

As an international athlete, Hibbert joins an elite group of Bowerman victors, becoming the first since 2014 when Texas A&M’s Deon Lendore (Trinidad & Tobago) received the honor. Other international athletes who have claimed The Bowerman include Derek Drouin of Indiana (Canada) in 2013, Cam Levins of Southern Utah (Canada) in 2012, and Ngoni Makusha of Florida State (Zimbabwe) in 2011.

This accolade also reflects the coaching prowess at the University of Arkansas, as Hibbert becomes the second Bowerman Award recipient under the guidance of Arkansas head coach Chris Bucknam and associate head coach Travis Geopfert. The previous recipient from Arkansas was Jarrion Lawson in 2016, and in 2022, they had a finalist in Ayden Owens-Delerme.

Hibbert’s exceptional season and historic achievement have firmly etched his name in the annals of collegiate track and field history, solidifying his status as one of the sport’s brightest stars.

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