Eaton Wins 2010 Bowerman Award
Five-time NCAA champion and world heptathlon record-holder Ashton Eaton was named the 2010 Bowerman Award winner Wednesday night by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Eaton becomes the second consecutive Duck to win the award, which is track and field's equivalent of the Heisman. Galen Rupp won the inaugural Bowerman in 2009, when Eaton was also a finalist.
"It's awesome to win this award and to be associated with the University of Oregon," said Eaton, one of three 2010 finalists along with teammate Andrew Wheating and Ryan Whiting of Arizona State. "I am so happy to have gone to Oregon for my collegiate experience, and to now win this award that is named for one of our great coaches. It really means a lot.
"I think all the finalists should have got Bowerman Awards," said Eaton. "We all go to practice every day, we all work hard and we all know what you've got to go through to reach this level."
The 2010 campaign was one for the ages for the senior from Bend, Ore. He began the year by breaking the world record in the heptathlon at the NCAA Indoor Championships, scoring 6,499 points. He set five event PR's to better Dan O'Brien's 1993 world record of 6,476 points. He then came back at the end of the meet to run a leg on the Ducks' sixth-place 4x400 meter relay team as the Ducks tied for second overall.
After opening the outdoor season by scoring an impressive 8,310 points to win the decathlon at Texas A&M in April, he put on a performance for the ages at the 2010 Pac-10 Championships in May at Berkeley, Calif. He opened the meet with his third straight Pac-10 title in the decathlon, scoring 8,154 points. Then, he added titles in the 110 meter hurdles (13.54) and long jump (25-7.5/7.81m) and a second-place finish in the 100 meters (10.33). He also ran a leg on the Ducks' fourth-place 4x100 meter relay squad to help lead Oregon to its fourth straight Pac-10 title.
Then in his final home appearance at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June, Eaton became the first person ever to capture three straight NCAA decathlon titles. His personal-best winning total of 8,457 points set NCAA meet, Pac-10 and school records in helping Oregon finish third overall.
"I was getting kind of nervous until they announced my name, and then I just started thinking about 2010 and all the people who helped me get here," said Eaton. "I think this year really embodied my entire career.
"When I'm 60 years old and they are still giving out Bowerman Awards, and my name will be there with all the future greats of track and field - just to be a part of that is really big," said Eaton.