Friday, May 6, 2011
Carlton Bowers Blossoms into Penn Relays Champion
Pingry Grad Carlton Bowers a Winner at Penn Relays
May 2, 2011
by JERRY CARINO
My Central Jersey.com
The beauty of sports is that you never know. Four years ago, Carlton Bowers (on left in photo) was a self-professed "nobody." Today he is a Penn Relays champion.
And not just any champion. The Pingry School graduate earned a winner's watch in perhaps the most prestigious event of the vaunted meet — the men's distance medley. The Villanova University sophomore ran his 400-meter leg in 46.8 seconds to help the Wildcats win a wild race in 9:37.
"If you asked me where I thought I'd be four years ago, back then I was a nobody," Bowers said after taking his victory lap and participating in a post-race press conference with several dozen reporters. "This is a complete 180. Everything has turned around."
Bowers was an excellent high school runner; as a senior he finished seventh in the 400 hurdles at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in 54.15. But Villanova track is a haven for All-Americans. Undaunted, Bowers walked on last year and has flourished ever since. This past winter, he placed second at the Big East Championships with a 48.1 400.
"I came here to do the 400 hurdles but my coach (Marcus O'Sullivan) put me in the 400 because we had a couple of great hurdlers in my class," Bowers said. "I'm always asking him jokingly if I can do the hurdles, but I don't think that's going to happen now because the 400 is working out."