Home Featured Bowerman Winner Jaydon Hibbert Highlights Ricky Martin’s Influence on His Career

Bowerman Winner Jaydon Hibbert Highlights Ricky Martin’s Influence on His Career

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Bowerman Winner Jaydon Hibbert Highlights Ricky Martin’s Influence on His Career
Ricky Martin Celebrated by Jaydon Hibbert During Bowerman Award Ceremony

Ricky Martin, a well-known track and field organizer and career trade marketer in Jamaica, has received high praise from triple jumper Jaydon Hibbert.

Jaydon Hibbert, who enjoyed an undefeated collegiate season in the triple jump, swept the SEC and NCAA titles, and broke decades-old collegiate and world U20 records, finishing the year as the world leader. He made these comments after being crowned the Bowerman Award winner on Thursday night in Denver, Colorado.

The Bowerman, debuting in 2009, honors the most outstanding male and female NCAA track & field athletes.

Ricky Martin Receives Special Mention from Bowerman Winner Jaydon Hibbert

He first thanked the Bowerman organizers for “using their platform to recognize the most decorated athletes in collegiate track and field.”
Hibbert then praised Martin for his support from the beginning. “There is a special person in the audience that I want to give a special shout-out to, he is Uncle Ricky,” he said, asking Martin to stand. Martin stood and waved to the audience.

“Now, you all, listen, Uncle Ricky is the blueprint. He saw the talent first. It was one day competing, a Sports Day, or some Championships when I was in kindergarten, and he was like, ‘Hey, little boy, you’re so fast. Where’s your mom?’ I was like, ‘She’s over there in the bleachers,’ and I ran immediately because my mom would always be like ‘don’t talk to strangers’. Anyways, he eventually found her. I don’t know how, but the next day he offered me a scholarship to go to one of the most prestigious preparatory schools in Jamaica, Vaz Prep, and even at Kingston College, he paved the way. So I just want to express my gratitude to you, Uncle Ricky, and I will always love and appreciate you.
He also acknowledged his dad in the audience and his mom, who couldn’t attend due to exams. “What you do in the background is truly commendable; I love you guys.”

Among the six Arkansas finalists in the history of The Bowerman, which started in 2009, Hibbert joins Jarrion Lawson (2016) as Razorback winners of the honor. Arkansas is the fourth school to have a pair of men’s winners, joining Florida State, Florida, and Oregon.

The 18-year-old Jaydon Hibbert is the first freshman to win the men’s honor and becomes the youngest winner overall, male or female. He is also the first Jamaican to claim The Bowerman, with previous finalists from the island including Janeek Brown (2019) of Arkansas and Andrew Riley of Illinois (2012).

Jaydon Hibbert is the third freshman overall to win The Bowerman, joining Sha’Carri Richardson (LSU, 2019) and Athing Mu (Texas A&M, 2021) as previous female winners. A total of three freshmen have been finalists for the women’s award, including Sydney McLaughlin (Kentucky, 2018).
As an international athlete, Hibbert joins four other Bowerman victors and is the first to win since Deon Lendore (Trinidad & Tobago) of Texas A&M in 2014. Other international athletes to claim The Bowerman include Derek Drouin of Indiana (Canada) in 2013, Cam Levins of Southern Utah (Canada) in 2012, and Ngoni Makusha of Florida State (Zimbabwe) in 2011.

Watch the Bowerman Award here

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Anthony Foster is a renowned Jamaican sports journalist, honored twice as the Jamaica sports journalist of the year (in 2004 and 2005). His journalistic achievements are globally recognized. Notably, he authored an award-winning article on Usain Bolt, the iconic 6-time Olympic champion, 11-time World champion, and record holder for the sprint double. This significant piece was published in the Jamaica Gleaner in 2004. Anthony's extensive coverage includes prestigious events such as the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016. He has also provided coverage for seven (7) World Athletics Championships held between 2007 and 2022, alongside various other international sporting events. Noteworthy mentions comprise his coverage of the 2007 World Cup of cricket and his cherished experience reporting on the 2004 clash between his favorite football team, Argentina, and the USA.

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