Bowman looking to close out career in grand fashion

Parkland's Jahnae Bowman (yellow head band) is No. 5 in the NCRunners state rankings for Class 4-A in the girls' 100-meter dash. Bowman also anchors the

Bowman looking to close out career in grand fashion
May 05
04:45 2016

Photo by Craig T. Greenlee



Even though Jahnae Bowman’s vision of attending college on a track scholarship has come to pass, she’s not about to sit back and admire her handiwork as Parkland’s top sprinter and long jumper.

Bowman still has some business to tend to. The Mustangs senior aims to put the icing on a stellar career with best ever performances in the upcoming Midwest 4-A regionals next week. With a top-four finish, she will advance to the state outdoor championships on May 21.

There’s a distinct tone of excitement in coach Antwan Hughes’ voice when he talks about Bowman, who is one of Parkland’s most versatile track athletes. “Jahnae is still hungry, and that’s great,” said Hughes. “Sometimes seniors get relaxed and they’re not as motivated as they should be. But this young lady still has some goals, which are very reachable for her.”

Bowman, who transferred from Winston-Salem Prep a year ago, is viewed as a solid favorite to medal at the state meet in two weeks. In the NCRunners state rankings for Class 4-A, she’s No. 5 at 100 meters and eighth in the 200-sprint event. In the long jump, she’s not in the top 10 (her 17-feet, 5 ¾ inches leap is 17th in most recent rankings), but she’s capable of cracking the top six.

This spring, the goals for Bowman in the sprints are to run 11.8 seconds in the 100 and 24.8 in the 200. There’s strong evidence that she’ll emerge as a viable contender at the regional meet.

Earlier this season, Bowman clocked 12.2 (100) and 25.2 (200) in heavy rains at the prestigious Arcadia Invitational in California. At the Brent Invitational, she ran 12.36 with a head-wind in her face. At the Blue Ridge Classic two weeks ago, she ran 12.15 in the 100 for a second-place finish behind No. 3-ranked Genaya Johnson of Charlotte Mallard Creek (11.97). Johnson also prevailed in the 200 (24.93), but just barely. Bowman ran a season best 25.01 for second place.

“I’ll keep working hard to achieve my goals,” said Bowman, who signed with UNC Wilmington two weeks ago. “I know I can run faster. I just need help from my coaches to help make that happen.

“My coaches are incredible. Even when I feel like I haven’t done great, they still push me. When I do well, they continue to push me. That makes me feel like there’s always something for me to achieve.”

Aside from UNC Wilmington, Bowman, who plans to major in dentistry, considered East Carolina, the University of Olive Hill and Western Carolina. After weighing her options, she decided that UNCW would be the right fit.

“My decision was based mostly on academics,” said Bowman, who has a 3.6 grade-point average. The coach sat me down with an (academic) adviser who explained everything I would have to do to earn a degree that will lead to a career as a dentist. The advisor showed me how to achieve my goals and I really liked that.

“The other coaches wanted me for track, but they never told me much about the academic side. I’m excited and ready for a better experience. I believe this is the best way for me to go.”

Hughes agrees wholeheartedly.

“UNC Wilmington is getting a tremendous athlete who can do a lot of different things [100, 200, long jump, triple jump, 4×100 and 4×200 relays],” he said. “Work ethic is the biggest area of improvement for her.

“When I first worked with Jahnae, I saw her power right away. I knew then that she could go around 11.7 (in the 100). Even though she hasn’t hit that mark yet, I believe she’ll hit it before she gets to UNC Wilmington.

She’s going to be one of their top sprinters when she gets there.”

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Craig Greenlee

Craig Greenlee

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