Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Jerry Bouma Inducted into Owen Sound Sports Hall of Fame

Jerry Bouma
Before Kevin Dillon, Carmen Douma, Ryan Hayden, Allan Brett, Sheila Reid, and Rob Denault left Canada to compete for Villanova, Jerry Bouma did so. Bouma attended Villanova from 1970 to 1974 and was the first Canadian to attain a full track scholarship to the school. Before attending Villanova, Bouma owned the Canadian junior national record in the mile of 4:09.2, set at the age of 17. He also established various provincial and Canadian records for 800, 1500 and 3000 meters, along with the 4x1500 relay team.

In his senior year at Villanova, Bouma was co-captain of the track team and led Villanova to an IC4A title in 1974. His other career highlights include his first leg of Villanova's 1971 Penn Relays 4 x mile championship relay team (along with Les Nagy, Dave Wright, and Marty Liquori). He ended his Villanova career in style in 1974 by running the 800 meter leg of the IC4A champion DMR squad along with Phil "Tiny" Kane (1200), Greg Eckman (400), and John Hartnett (1600). He left Villanova with a mile PR of 4:05.

Subsequent to Villanova, Jerry returned to Canada to further his education and attained a Masters of Science in Agricultural Economics at the University of Guelph. He also continued to compete and was named the university’s top track athlete for two years. In 1975, he was Canada's top-ranked man at 1000 meters with a time of 2.24.6. Bouma narrowly missed representing Canada at the 1976 Olympics while running 3:44 for the 1500 meters. In his competitive running days, Bouma made three Canadian national teams and in 2001 was co-chairman of the Legend of Gold Track and Field event which brought together 25 of the greatest track and field athletes of all time.

Currently, Jerry is a consultant with Toma and Bouma of Edmonton, Alberta, a leading edge agri-food consulting firm specializing in strategic planning, marketing and economic development in western Canada. He is currently the Chair of the Edmonton Triathlon Academy, an advisor to Athletics Alberta and continues to follow track with a passion. He was recently named to Ontario's Owen Sound Sports Hall of Fame.

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