May 14, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee's Sarah Bowman continues to make history. This time, the senior distance runner from Warrenton, Va., has become the first Lady Vol to be featured on the cover of Track & Field News. The nine-time All-American, three-time NCAA champion and 11-time SEC victor appears on the June issue of the magazine, which is now on sale at newsstands and available online at trackandfieldnews.com.
After an NCAA Indoor Championships performance where her meet-record victory in the mile and her anchor leg on the world-record-setting distance medley relay helped the Tennessee women claim their second NCAA Indoor team title in five seasons, Bowman again wowed the track & field world at the Penn Relays in April. She anchored the Big Orange to a world record in the 4x1500m relay, ran on the American-record-setting 4x800m relay and brought home the baton for another victory in the distance medley relay in Philadelphia. Those accomplishments, along with her anticipated appearances at the SEC, NCAA Mideast Regional and NCAA Outdoor Championships over the next six weeks, make her a popular topic of discussion in the sport.
Bowman is only the seventh college woman to appear on the front of the magazine, which touts itself as "The Bible of the Sport Since 1948" due to its global coverage of prep, college, professional and Olympic-caliber athletes. The last collegiate female to grace the cover of TFN was Villanova's Carrie Tollefson, back in August 1999. Dating all the way back to 1948, the only others have been Amy Acuff of UCLA in March 1996, Holly Hyche of Indiana State in August 1993, Carlette Guidry of Texas in July 1991, Dawn Sowell of LSU in July 1989 and Gail Devers of UCLA in May 1988.
"It's a great honor," UT Head Coach J.J. Clark said. "You don't make the cover of Track & Field News because you're slow. She's just had a tremendous year, and she's deserving of being on that cover.
"They could have chosen others, but they felt she was worthy of this distinction. I'm just very happy about it, because it is big for our program. It's big to have Tennessee and Sarah Bowman on the front cover. More importantly, I think she just deserves it."
The Big Orange standout is the second Tennessee student-athlete to be so honored. Vol middle distance great Jose "Tony" Parrilla was the focus on the front of TFN in March 1994.
"Sarah takes things in stride," Clark said. "For her, it's just a matter of getting to the meet and doing the best that she can. She's very humble, and I believe she will just remain Sarah as she goes through this entire process and into her transition as a professional runner."
Bowman and her 12th-ranked UT teammates are in Gainesville, Fla., where they will begin competition Friday at the SEC Outdoor Championships at Florida's Percy Beard Track. The Lady Vols won the league indoor title back in March.
|June 2009 cover of Track & Field News, featuring Tennessee's Sarah Bowman. Photography is by Kirby Lee/Image of Sport. Complete June issue is available to purchase at www.trackandfieldnews.com|