Friday, May 6, 2011

Carlton Bowers Blossoms into Penn Relays Champion

Pingry Grad Carlton Bowers a Winner at Penn Relays
May 2, 2011

My Central

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."

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