Fauquier sophomore Sarah Bowman's solitary workouts are intense but didn't prepare her for the flurry of elbows and knees she encountered at the start of the 1,000-meter run Saturday at the Microtel Invitational.
Bowman had to fight through a crowded start after being placed in the outside lane at Virginia Tech. Competing on a banked track for only the second time, the All-Met runner was pushed and almost stumbled before racing to a two-second triumph in 2 minutes 53.19 seconds, a meet record and the nation's fastest time this season.
The rough treatment in an event that Bowman doesn't often run made her subsequent victory in the 1,600 more impressive, though it was comparatively easier. Lined up on the inside, she bolted to an almost three-second victory in 4:54.68 for another meet record and the season's fifth-fastest time. It also improved her personal record by almost three seconds.
"I was still a little sore" after the 1,000, Bowman said, "but I tried to look confident, I tried to put on the face that I wasn't tired. To be honest, I wasn't feeling very good, and I just hoped I had something left.
"Halfway through, I looked back and saw a couple girls were on my back, so the last three [laps], I just started taking off."
Because Fauquier has an indoor team for the first time, Bowman can compete at the two-day Virginia AA meet in Blacksburg starting Feb. 28. Her primary goal remains an unofficial national championship at the Nike Classic on March 15-16 at Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex.
The state meet is "another chance to get good times before Nike," said Bowman, who took a month off after winning the Virginia AA cross-country championship. "I'm using it to get in shape" for the outdoor season, "but I'm obviously getting in better shape than I thought."
Gavin Loses, but Coach Encouraged
Potomac Falls senior Joe Gavin's only loss last weekend was far from discouraging, according to Panthers Coach Kris Kelican. Clarke County senior Matt Parr defeated Gavin, 11-6, in the 145-pound weight class on Saturday. Parr won the Virginia A championship at 140 pounds a year ago.
The loss was the most recent result Kelican can cite in development of Gavin (22-4), who picked up wrestling a couple of years ago and has made significant strides this season.
"He's really peaking right now," Kelican said. "He's a hard worker. He hasn't had a lot of experience . . . but he's beating kids with more experience because he's got a lot of heart."
Potomac Falls has won all 21 of its dual meets and is ranked eighth in the Washington area. The Panthers defeated Park View (55-15), Liberty (61-11) and Clarke County (48-15) on Saturday.
-- Kynan W. Kelly and Drew vanEsselstyn