In a historic triumph for St. Lucia, Julien Alfred, representing the University of Texas in Austin, claimed the prestigious Bowerman Award last Thursday night in Denver, Colorado. The 22-year-old athlete's remarkable achievements has drawn praise from her country’s government, specifically from St. Lucia's Sports Minister, Kenson Joel Casimir, who expressed immense pride in her accomplishments.

The 22-year-old Alfred, in her senior year, contributed to five NCAA titles for the Longhorns, becoming the first female athlete to win the 60- and 200-metre indoor championships, along with the 100- and 200-metre outdoor crowns in the same year. She was also part of Texas winning the 4x100 relay at the Division 1 outdoor final, helping the Longhorns secure the women’s team title.

Alfred, who has since signed a professional contract with PUMA, set collegiate indoor records in the 60 at 6.94 and 200 by clocking 22.01, both the second-fastest times in history, at the Division 1 finals in Albuquerque. She also produced the fastest all-conditions outdoor marks in NCAA history, with wind-aided efforts of 10.72 in the 100 and 21.73 in the 200, in addition to contributing to the collegiate record of 41.55 in the 4x100, all at the NCAA championship on her home track at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin.

Minister Casimir, in an exclusive interview with Sportsmax.TV, commended Julien Alfred's dedication and hard work throughout her athletic journey, acknowledging her commitment to training and improvement from her days at the Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School to high school in Jamaica and finally to the University of Texas.

“The government of St Lucia is exceedingly happy with the achievement of Julien Alfred. Of course, it came through a lot of hard work on her part. I want to, as the Minister of Sports for St Lucia, congratulate Julien and her family first and foremost.

"We've known of her commitment towards training and improvement from a very young age, from her alma mater at the Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School all the way to Jamaica and over to Texas. And so we're very proud that she has made those strides as she continues to make St. Lucia proud," Minister Casimir remarked.

Highlighting the government's commitment to supporting its athletes, Minister Casimir outlined the specific measures taken to aid Julien Alfred in her athletic endeavors. He emphasized the groundbreaking decision to allocate a line item in the national budget to ensure comprehensive support for the athlete.

"The government of the St. Lucia Labour Party has ensured that we put our athletes first. And of course, this year, for our last budget, we took the position that we, for the first time in our history, have a line item specifically to ensure that an athlete was furnished with all that she needed to flourish."

Minister Casimir detailed the crucial steps taken to provide Julien Alfred with the necessary resources, including a diplomatic passport, a first in the nation's history. The minister underscored the significance of this decision, recognizing the challenges international athletes face in terms of travel and logistics.

"Never in our history was that done before, simply because we understood that an individual was going to do two-a-day training, calorie restriction in terms of her nutrition, mental training, and doing all of that, making all the sacrifices for her country, it would not be right for an international athlete of that level to have to stand up on the line to either get home or go anywhere in the world."



The government's support extended beyond paperwork, as Minister Casimir detailed financial assistance for psychosocial support, physiotherapy, and mental well-being. The comprehensive backing aimed to ease Julien Alfred's transition from a collegiate athlete to a professional.

"I, being a former athlete, would understand that there are certain things that you will just not be able to afford unless you get the support, especially when she was transitioning from a collegiate athlete over to a pro athlete. And so we made those things available to her readily."

Minister Casimir concluded with optimism for the future, stating, "We've seen the fruits of that and we are very proud of what she achieves and we looking forward to 2024 and, of course, we are just expecting bigger and better things from Julien Alfred."

Alfred represented St Lucia at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest in August. In her first-ever World Championship 100m finals, Alfred finished fifth in a time of 10.93. She was fourth in the 200m final in a handsome time of 22.05.

Alfred won a silver medal in the 100m at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.





St Lucia's Julien Alfred made history on Thursday night by clinching the coveted 2023 Bowerman Award in Denver, Colorado, becoming the first athlete from St Lucia to win the prestigious award.

In the wake of that momentous occasion, President of the St Lucia Athletics Association, Brendaline Descartes, has commended the sprinter for her outstanding achievement.

In her senior year at the University of Texas in Austin, Alfred, contributed to five NCAA titles for the Longhorns, securing victories in the 60- and 200-m at the NCAA indoor championships and the 100- and 200m outdoor crowns in the same year. She also played a crucial role in Texas winning the 4x100 relay at the Division 1 outdoor final, contributing to the women's team title.

She also became the first female athlete to break the seven-second barrier in the 60m dash in the NCAA, a feat she accomplished three times culminating in a lifetime best of 6.94, the second fastest time in history. She also ran the second fastest time over 200m indoors, clocking an incredible 22.01. Only Merlene Ottey, who ran 21.87 in 1993 has run faster.

Alfred's win, alongside Jamaica's Jaydon Hibbert who secured the men's award, marked a significant Caribbean sweep of the prestigious accolade.

Descartes, elected as the president of the St Lucia Athletics Association in January, expressed her pride in Alfred's accomplishment and highlighted the broader significance for the sport and the country.

"Well, for me as president, it means that one, that this sport is growing and there is an opportunity for others to go out there and to also shine, but even more so for the country as well," Descartes stated.

"It means that there are no limits really. So beyond your shores, you can go out there and be somebody. You can go out there and stand tall. You could go out there and basically get the world to look in your direction," she added, emphasizing the transformative power of athletics on the global stage.


Descartes praised Julien Alfred's discipline and highlighted the athlete's calm demeanor, noting that Alfred's achievements were a result of meticulous preparation and focused expectations over the years.

"You could see her growth and her outstanding season. It's a testament to her winning this specialist award. So I think overall as a country, I think we are all very pleased that she has won this award, and of course, we support her wholeheartedly."

On behalf of the Saint Lucia Athletic Association, the sporting community in Saint Lucia, and the entire island, Descartes extended congratulations to Alfred and expressed continued support for her future endeavors.

"So all the best to Julien. And of course, again, it is an encouragement to all of us that yes, you can become something as long as you put your mind to it and you keep working hard at it."

Julien Alfred's historic win not only brings pride to St Lucia but serves as an inspiration for aspiring athletes in the Caribbean, showcasing that with dedication and hard work, they too can make a significant impact on the international stage.


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."

Jaydon Hibbert and Julien Alfred took a big step towards winning the 2023 Bowerman Award after coming out on top in the USTFCCCA Membership Vote as well as The Bowerman Fan Vote, respectively.

Hibbert and Alfred both get two first-place votes toward their overall tally.

More than 35,000 votes were tabulated in The Bowerman Fan Vote over the past 48 hours, marking the third consecutive year with such a turnout.

The order of the Men’s Fan Vote and the USTFCCCA Membership Vote were identical: Hibbert at the top, followed by Leo Neugebauer and Kyle Garland.

The Women’s Fan Vote and USTFCCCA Membership Vote both had Alfred at the top, while Jasmine Moore and Britton Wilson switched places between them.

Texas senior, Julien Alfred, has been named among three finalists for the prestigious Women’s Bowerman Award alongside Florida’s Jasmine Moore and Arkansas’ Britton Wilson.

The St. Lucian dominated the sprints all year. It started during the indoor season when she entered the year with the 60m collegiate record, only to break her own record six times en route to the NCAA title. Alfred also added a collegiate record during the indoor 200 meters during an NCAA-title winning race, scoring 20 points to lead Texas to a second-place team finish.

During the outdoor season, the fireworks continued as the reigning Commonwealth Games silver medalist kicked off her season with three collegiate records in the relays as the leadoff runner in the 4x100, 4x200 and sprint medley relays. It wouldn't be the last time Alfred set a collegiate record in the relays, ultimately setting the standing record in the DI championship semifinals.

She might've set more collegiate records in the outdoor 100 and 200 meters at the DI championships too if not for a windy day during the finals.

Nonetheless, Alfred ran the fastest all-conditions times in NCAA history to win the outdoor 100 and 200m crowns. Alfred scored 22.5 total points at the DI championships to lead Texas to the team title on its home track, the first for the Longhorns in 18 years.

She becomes the fourth female Longhorn to be named a Bowerman finalist, hoping to become the second Longhorn to take home the award after Courtney Okolo did so in 2016.

The winner will be announced at the USTFCCCA Convention in Denver on December 14.

St Lucia’s Julien Alfred and Jamaica’s Ackera Nugent and Ackelia Smith are among the semi-finalists for the 2023 Bowerman Award.

The Bowerman is the premier award in collegiate track and field, highlighting the top athlete in the sport for both men and women. While the award isn't officially announced until December at the annual USTFCCCA convention, the Bowerman committee releases watch lists throughout the year before the award's final announcement.

Alfred, 22, has been on every watch list update, including the preseason watch list. It's the second time in her career she has been named a semi-finalist having made the list last season. Alfred dominated both the indoor and outdoor season, winning five NCAA titles, four being individual events.

The 14-time All-American completed the indoor double with wins in the 60m dash and the 200m dash where she broke the collegiate record. Her dominance continued outdoors where she defended her 100m title and went back-to-back seasons without losing a collegiate 100m race. She added an outdoor 200m title to her name with the fastest all-conditions time in NCAA history and helped the Longhorns defend their 4x100 relay title on her home track.

Alfred was also named both the Indoor and Outdoor National Women's Track Athlete of the Year honoree this season by USTFCCCA.

Nugent, a transfer from Baylor, arrived at Arkansas with lofty career best times of 7.27 (60), 7.89 (60H), 11.09 (100), 24.13 (200 indoor), 24.18 (200 outdoor), and 12.45 (100H) and proceeded to better her times in four of the five events.

Opening the season with an 8.00 victory in the 60m hurdles, Nugent bettered her career best with a 7.88 victory two weeks later.

In the SEC Indoor Championships, Nugent lowered her 60m hurdle best to 7.81 as silver medalist and her 60m best fell twice – 7.22 in the prelims and 7.20 as the bronze medalist.

Prepared to face the same elite hurdlers she raced in the conference meet during the NCAA Indoor Championships, Nugent broke the collegiate record in the semifinal with a 7.72 to top the previous record of 7.75 set by Kentucky’s Masai Russell earlier in the season.

Nugent also became the Jamaican national record holder, bettering the 7.74 by Michelle Freeman from 1998. On the world all-time list, Nugent ranks as the No. 6 performer with the No. 10 performance.

In the NCAA 60m hurdle final, a 7.73 for Nugent delivered her second gold in the event over a 7.78 for Russell. Nugent previously won the indoor title in 2021.

Outdoors, Nugent opened in the 100m hurdles with a windy 12.95 (3.9) in the Texas Relays prelims but didn’t contest the final. Russell won the final in a collegiate record of 12.36 (2.0) with LSU’s Alia Armstrong runner-up at 12.57.

Racing at the LSU Invitational, on the same venue hosting the SEC Championships two weeks later, Nugent edged out Armstrong for a 12.52 to 12.56 victory.

On the return visit to Baton Rouge for the conference meet, Nugent clocked a windy 12.49 (2.2) in the prelims and set a career best 12.43 to earn a silver medal in the final, moving to No. 6 on the all-time collegiate list.

Armstrong claimed the victory in 12.40 with Russell third at 12.47. Nugent added a fourth place in the 100 with an 11.13.

In the NCAA Outdoor final, Nugent flew down the track to earn the victory with a scintillating 12.25w (3.8), which became the collegiate all-conditions best time ever. A 12.32w for Russell claimed silver while Armstrong finished with bronze at 12.49w.

 Smith finished in the top-three spots in both the long jump and triple jump at both NCAA meets this season. She was the NCAA runner-up in the long jump and finished third in triple jump during the indoor season.

Smith dominated the long jump during the outdoor season, setting the No. 2 mark in NCAA history at the Big 12 Championships with a jump of 7.08m and went on to win the NCAA title at 6.88m. She finished as the runner-up in the triple jump at NCAA with a personal-best mark of 14.54m and became the only Longhorn, male or female, to finish in the top-two of both events at the same NCAA championships.

The Bowerman will announce the three finalists on Monday, June 26.

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