View Mobile Site

FINAL KICK

Bowers closes decorated career on high note

Text Size: Small Large Medium
FINAL KICK

Sierra senior and California Interscholastic Federation State Cross Country Championships qualifier John Bowers was named the Bulletin's All-Area Male Runner of the Year.

JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin


POSTED December 22, 2009 12:04 a.m.
John Bowers set three goals at the start of the cross country season: Win the Valley Oak League’s individual title, lead Sierra’s proud program back to prominence by capturing at least a share of the conference crown and qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation State Championships.

Two out of the three wasn’t bad for the Bulletin’s All-Area Male Runner of the Year.

The Sierra senior couldn’t get over the hump that is Ceres standout Alejandro Garcia, who outlasted Bowers in the two dual-scored VOL meets and the league finals. But he leapt over two others.

His failure to beat Garcia in the VOL Championships at Legion Park in Modesto was an afterthought. Bowers helped the Timberwolves win a piece of their fourth league title and first since 2004. A month later, he made his first appearance at the state meet and was the only runner from the area to qualify.

“I had a pretty slow start this year, but overall I’m pretty proud of how it all went down,” he said.

His start wasn’t all that bad.

He took 30th overall and led Sierra to the small-schools title in the Lagoon Valley Classic in the first invitational of the season.

The following week, Bowers was tied for fourth out of 262 competitors in what was the largest field ever in the Sierra Invitational at Legion Park, spearheading the team’s first-place finish in both small- and large-school divisions.

Bowers turned in one more strong showing before the Timberwolves strode into the league season, taking 30th in the prestigious Stanford Invitational’s Division III race.

Bowers and promising sophomore teammate Ricky Morris finished second and third behind Garcia in the first two cluster meets, but it was Sonora that prevailed undefeated in the dual-scored events.

Sierra was narrowly outpointed 27-29 in the opener, and Sonora again edged the T’Wolves, 25-30, in the second league meeting.

The outright title was Sonora’s to lose.

“After we took the first two losses, I told the guys that half a cookie is better than no cookie,” Bowers said. “I just wanted us to go out and do it, and I knew we could because we had the potential to.”

Sierra dominated the league finale, outscoring Sonora 29-40 with East Union being the next best finisher with 102 points.

Sierra’s five scorers all finished in the top 10, including all-league honorees Bowers, sophomore Ricky Morris (fourth) and junior Kyle Furtado (sixth). It was the third all-league finish for Bowers.

Sierra fared well again in the Sac-Joaquin Subsection Meet in Angels Camp, placing fifth to advance for the section’s Division III race. Bowers improved three spots from last year’s subsection meet, taking fifth and making himself a favorite to earn a berth to the state meet.

His ultimate goal was accomplished in Folsom on Nov. 15, when he clocked in at 17 minutes, 10 seconds for a seventh-place finish.

Under less-than-ideal conditions on Nov. 28, Bowers finally got to race against the state’s best at Woodward Park in Fresno, the annual meeting place for the CIF meet. The Division III race was scheduled for a 10:10 start in the morning, and it was colder than what Bowers was used to.

He ended up placing 123rd out of 196. It wasn’t a storybook ending for Bowers, but a happy one nonetheless.

“It was my third time at sections, and the third time was the charm for me,” Bowers said of his state qualification. “I was excited to get there before my high school career ended.”
Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...