NEW ORLEANS — All-American Whittni Orton was named a candidate for the 2020 Bowerman award by the USTFCCCA in its first watch list release of the season on Wednesday.
The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009 and is named after former University of Oregon coach Bill Bowerman, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female NCAA track & field athletes in the nation.
Orton's appearance marks only the second time a BYU woman has been on the watch list. Lacey Cramer Bleazard was on the award's first preseason watch list in 2010.
The senior has set two BYU school records this season in the women’s mile (4:29.76) and 5000m (15:22.98). She also was a member of the Cougar record-setting women’s distance medley relay (DMR) team that competed at the University of Washington last weekend. The team, who consisted of Orton, Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes, Alena Ellsworth and Anna Camp-Bennett, ran 10:53.95 to not only set the BYU record but also break the previous Dempsey Indoor Track Arena facility record (10:55.01) and earn the seventh-fastest time in NCAA history.
Orton is currently ranked No. 1 in the country in the women’s mile, No. 3 in the women’s 5000m and No. 1 with the DMR team.
Orton is a 2018 first-team All-American in the indoor mile and earned second-team All-America honors at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships.
The full release can be found on ustfccca.org.