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Aggies Mu and Gittens named finalists for The Bowerman Award

The Bowerman is given annually by the USTFCCCA to the nation’s top male and female collegiate athletes.
Credit: Texas A&M Athletics

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M track & field’s Tyra Gittens and Athing Mu have been named finalists for The Bowerman, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced Tuesday afternoon.

The Bowerman is given annually by the USTFCCCA to the nation’s top male and female collegiate athletes.

Including Gittens and Mu, Texas A&M has had eight finalists for The Bowerman which was first awarded in 2009. Deon Lendore (2014) and Jessica Beard (2011) are the only Aggies to claim The Bowerman trophy.

“These two women are certainly two of the top three athletes in the NCAA, there is no question about it,” head coach Pat Henry said. “For Texas A&M to have two young ladies representing our institution on The Bowerman is a huge accomplishment. It is a tremendous honor and they have earned that honor, they have worked very hard to put themselves in this position. It will be fun to see how this plays out.”

Gittens, the nation's top multi-athlete, had a historic 2021 season finishing as a three-time NCAA Champion winning the indoor high jump and pentathlon titles, as well as the outdoor heptathlon championship. She earned six First Team All-America honors. Gittens scored a total of 50 points, 26 indoors and 24 outdoors, in NCAA Championships action. Her 26-point performance at the NCAA Indoor Championships was the third most points scored by an individual female at an NCAA indoor meet, while her 24-point performance at the NCAA Outdoor meet was the most points scored by an individual female solely in field events.

In Southeastern Conference championship action, Gittens won three titles, one second place finish, a fourth and sixth place finish. She completed the indoor and outdoor championships as the top point scorer, 23 indoors and 23 outdoors

The junior set seven collegiate all-time top-12 list marks, while breaking six Texas A&M records. She broke the all-time collegiate pentathlon record (4,746 points) and became the third best performer in the heptathlon (6,418 points). During her heptathlon performance at the SEC Championships, Gittens long jumped 22-10 (6.96m) and high jumped 6-4.75 (1.95m), becoming the first woman in world history to record such marks during the same heptathlon.

Mu, the nation's top middle-distance sprinter, rewrote the record books in 2021. The freshman set 11 collegiate all-time top-12 marks, including six all-time collegiate records. Individually she owns the indoor 600m (1:25.80), indoor 800m (1:58.40), outdoor 400m (49.57) and outdoor 800m (1:57.73) collegiate records. She anchored two collegiate record relays, the indoor 4x400m (3:26.27/50.27 split) and the outdoor 4x400m (3:22.34/48.85 split). Mu ended the season with eight Texas A&M records.

She finished the campaign a four-time First Team All-American, including a three-time NCAA Champion winning the outdoor 400m title, as well as a member of the 4x400m relay that claimed the indoor and outdoor titles. She combined to score 23 points in NCAA Championships action, 12.5 outdoors and 10.5 indoors.

The speedster claimed the SEC indoor 800m title (1:58.40), outdoor 400m (49.84) and 4x400m (3:26.17) titles.

Gittens and Mu each qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. Gittens in the long jump representing Trinidad & Tobago, while Mu claimed the U.S. Olympic Trials 800m championship bettering her American Under-20 record with a time of 1:56.07.

The duo are joined by fellow finalist Tara Davis of Texas.