NEW ORLEANS – With an impressive season that included a collegiate record in the decathlon along with sweeping NCAA Indoor and Outdoor combined events titles, Razorback junior Ayden Owens-Delerme has been named one of the 10 semifinalists for The Bowerman, collegiate track & field’s highest individual honor.

Accolades for Owens-Delerme have included being named USTFCCCA’s National Field Athlete of the Year for the indoor and outdoor seasons in 2022. In addition, Owens-Delerme collected the SEC Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year along with the South Central Region Field Athlete of the Year honors.

Owens-Delerme becomes the third Razorback to earn a semifinal berth for The Bowerman, joining Omar McLeod (2015) and Jarrion Lawson (2016). Lawson advanced as a finalist and claimed the award in 2016.

The three finalists for the 2022 Bowerman will be announced next Tuesday, June 28.

“His attention to detail is a very important skill that he has,” noted Arkansas men’s head coach Chris Bucknam. “That ability to compartmentalize and be able shift from one event to another is so beneficial for our athletes to see.

“His level of confidence he has, day in and day out, along with his work ethic is amazing. He wants to contribute and be a part of the team even on weekends he is not doing a combined event. He wants to help where he can. He has totally embraced our team atmosphere and our quest for winning championships.”

Having been on The Bowerman watch list eight times, including the semifinalist list, Owens-Delerme first appeared on the watch list in February after defeating Georgia’s Kyle Garland at the Razorback Invitational. Owens-Delerme’s winning score in the heptathlon totaled 6,272 points, the No. 2 mark on the all-time collegiate list.

During the NCAA Indoor heptathlon, in fourth place going into the final event, Owens-Delerme delivered a Bowerman moment when he claimed the 1,000m in a career best of 2:31.55 for 970 points to earn the overall victory by 11 points over Garland, 6,211 to 6,200.

After Garland improved the collegiate record in the decathlon at the USATF Championships, Owens-Delerme defeated his rival once again for the NCAA decathlon title.

Owens-Delerme equaled the meet record score of 8,457 held by Ashton Eaton of Oregon while Leo Neugebauer of Texas finished runner-up (8,362) after placing third indoors and Garland was third (8,333). Those were the top three marks-for-place in NCAA history.

“Those two wins, and especially the way he won the indoor heptathlon title, a couple of hundred points behind going into the last event, and being able to run that phenomenal 1,000m and win was amazing to watch,” said Bucknam.

“Then to come back outdoors, going head-to-head with Kyle Garland, the other great athlete in our league, and beat him and come out on top in the NCAA decathlon just speaks on his ability to stay focused and believe in what he is doing.”

The next level for Owens-Delerme to challenge is the World Championships decathlon this July in Eugene when he represents Puerto Rico on the world stage.

“I’m thrilled for him and couldn’t be happier for Ayden to show his talent on the next level,” stated Bucknam. “The collaboration he and Coach Geopfert have is amazing. You can write a book on it, because the vibe and how in sync they are together.

“How detailed they are with the way they go about things, whether it’s the goals to get to this point and all the things in between is fascinating to see. A ton of credit goes out to Ayden, especially, also to Travis for the wonderful program they put together to get to this mark. I hope they enjoy, because it’s well earned.”

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