Arkansas duo eyes historic Bowerman Award sweep: Jaydon Hibbert's dream for Razorbacks

By December 13, 2023

As the anticipation builds for the 2023 Bowerman Award ceremony, NCAA champion Jaydon Hibbert from the University of Arkansas opens up about the possibility of achieving a historic sweep alongside his fellow Razorback, Britton Wilson. If successful, this duo could make Arkansas the first university to accomplish such a feat since the inception of the prestigious awards in 2009.

However, they are up against formidable finalists Florida's Kyle Garland and Texas' Leo Neugebauer as well as Julien Alfred of Texas and Jasmine Moore of Florida.

The Bowerman Award, named after legendary Oregon track and field coach Bill Bowerman, stands as the highest honor bestowed upon the year's best student-athlete in American collegiate track and field. Administered by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the winners are traditionally revealed in a mid-December ceremony during the USTFCCCA annual convention.

Hibbert, who was a favorite to secure the gold medal at the World Championships in Budapest, faced a setback with a hamstring injury on his opening jump in the final. Despite the disappointment, experiences like these keep him grounded even after a remarkable season of success.

His stellar achievements in the 2023 season include victories at NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Nationals, being named SEC and National Field Athlete, and setting the world lead with a jump of 17.87m. Despite facing a second-place finish in his Diamond League debut in Monaco in July, Hibbert's focus remains on the bigger picture.

 

"I'm super excited to see your ceremonies about having fun, dressed up and all that. But the main aim is just representing my school and country. As I said one time when my media team was doing a video and asked about my dream for this Bowerman, I said that Britton and I should win because that would be so good for my school," shared Hibbert.

Expressing his dream of a clean sweep for both him and Wilson, Hibbert acknowledges the rarity of such an accomplishment. "Like I doubt they ever had a clean sweep. But I pray every day. I say ‘okay, me and Bri are gonna go there, gonna have fun and whatever the results may be, even if we don't sweep or if we do, or whatever, they're gonna have fun. But it's my dream for both of us this week."

While both Texas and Arkansas have previously secured Bowerman Awards in the men's and women's categories, respectively, no school has claimed both titles in the same year.

Reflecting on the setback in Budapest, Hibbert emphasizes the importance of staying humble and grounded in the unpredictable world of sports. "Well, things like what happened at Budapest help me to stay grounded because, you know, it happens to the best of the best. Anything can happen. It's a sport; your body's your business and stuff like that. So most times, I wouldn't say I'm pessimistic, but sometimes I think about the worst too much than the good, and I also prepare for the worst."

He underscores the role of humility in his success, emphasizing its impact not only in his attitude but also in the meticulous preparation required for high-level competition. "Humility takes you far away, like you know what God is, He can also take you. So I think that's one of the things that really pivoted my success. Not just humility, but overall with your body and thinking about the jump and all of that, it's a lot that goes on. So just stay humble and stuff really keeps me in my zone and together."

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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