Christian Taylor in the running for The Bowerman award

University of Florida junior Christian Taylor has been named one of three finalists for The Bowerman, collegiate track and field’s biggest award, announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Tuesday.

Finalists were chosen by the ten-person Bowerman Advisory Board based on performances recorded during the indoor and outdoor 2011 track & field seasons. Only performances through the conclusion of the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships are used in consideration.

Taylor was the winner of the NCAA’s outdoor triple jump title with an all-time, all-conditions collegiate best mark of 58-4¾ (17.80m). The wind-aided title clincher came on the final attempt of a back-and-forth battle with teammate Will Claye.

In the same competition, Taylor marked a wind-legal jump of 57-1 (17.40m) in the fourth round to claim the season’s collegiate best mark, current American-leading mark, and performance that places the Gator in the world’s top five so far in 2011.

Taylor also finished second at the NCAA Championships indoors to Claye in the triple jump and qualified for both NCAA meets in the long jump. With Florida’s 4×100- and 4×400-meter relay teams, Taylor qualified for the national finals in both events outdoors. At the Penn Relays, Florida’s 4×100 squad finished second in the Championship of America race.

In the collegiate post-season (and not considered in the award’s determination), Taylor won his first USATF triple jump title with a wind-aided mark of 57-4¾ (17.49m). Once again, Taylor and Florida teammate Claye went 1-2 in the competition and will be on the American team for the world championships in Dageu, South Korea. Taylor also notched his best performance of 2011 in the long jump at the USATF meet where he finished fourth.

Taylor will represent Florida and the SEC as the first Bowerman finalist for both groups. Taylor was a semifinalist for the award in 2010. The other two finalists in the running are senior Jeshua Anderson from Washington State, and junior Ngoni Makusha from Florida State.

The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009 and is named for legendary Oregon track & field and cross country coach Bill Bowerman, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the top male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation.

The winner will be announced in a ceremony at the USTFCCCA Convention on December 14 at the JW Marriott Hill Country, San Antonio, Texas.