Kelati Named to The Bowerman Preseason Watch List
THE BOWERMAN RELEASE
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— University of New Mexico junior Weini Kelati has been named to the preseason watch list for The Bowerman, the highest honor bestowed to collegiate track and field’s most outstanding student-athlete of the year.
Monday’s announcement marks the first time that the distance runner has been named to the award list, however, it is the second straight year that UNM has had a runner appear on the list, following Ednah Kurgat last season.
Historically, Kelati is the fifth Lobo to be named to a Bowerman list at any point, with Courtney Frerichs being a semifinalist in 2016 and Josh Kerr a semifinalist in 2017 and 2018. Kurgat was not a semifinalist but was named on several watch lists throughout the season last year, including the preseason watch list as well as the mid-indoor watch list in 2018.
Kelati enters the 2019-20 track season coming off of a stellar 2018-19 track season in which she earned four All-American honors, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the NCAA indoor championship in the 5000-meter, a third-place result at the NCAA indoor championship in the 3000-meter and winning the NCAA outdoor 10,000-meter national championship.
The 2019-20 season is already off to another promising start for the Lobo, which comes after winning the 2019 NCAA Cross Country Championship. Kelati opened up the indoor track season at the Boston University Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener, setting the UNM women’s indoor 5000-meter record as well as the Mountain West record with her time of 15:14.71. Furthermore, her time places her fourth all-time in NCAA history, improving her standing from fifth on the chart at 15:15.24 that she ran in 2018 at the BU meet, an improvement of 0.53 seconds.
In her career, Kelati owns three indoor school records, including the mile (4:33.34), the 3000-meter (8:53.98) and the aforementioned 5000-meter, and an outdoor school record in the 10,000-meter (32:09.10).
Kelati is one of 10 on the preseason watch list, five of which are from the distance category, and is the only nominee from a non-Power 5 school.
THE BOWERMAN 2020
Women’s Preseason Watch List
Angie Annelus, Southern California (Sprints)
Chanel Brissett, Southern California (Sprints/Hurdles)
Katie Izzo, Arkansas (Distance)
Dani Jones, Colorado (Mid-Distance/Distance)
Weini Kelati, New Mexico (Distance)
Alicia Monson, Wisconsin (Mid-Distance)
Samantha Noennig, Arizona State (Throws)
Laulauga Tausaga, Iowa (Throws)
Twanisha Terry, Southern California (Sprints)
Taylor Werner, Arkansas (Distance)