Fauquier senior Sarah Bowman, regarded as one of the country's best middle-distance runners, signed a letter of intent Monday to attend the University of Tennessee on a full track and field scholarship, headlining a list of senior girls in the Loudoun area who committed to colleges during the first week of the NCAA's early signing period.
Bowman was the All-Met Athlete of the Year for outdoor track last spring and has garnered All-Met honors six times. She placed first in the mile race at the prestigious Penn Relays in April and won a national title in the 800 meters in June. Bowman will run both cross-country and track and field at Tennessee.
"It's a really good situation to go into for running," Bowman said. "They have a really good program, and the girls are really close knit, so it's just a nice situation."
"She brings a lot of excitement and talent into the team, the excitement being someone coming in that's so talented and gifted," said Tennessee track and field coach J.J. Clark, who said he has followed Bowman since she was a sophomore. "Her personality fits well with our group, so she brings a good combination of talent and personality."
Bowman, the 2002 AA Virginia cross-country champion, left the Falcons' cross-country team in late October after a dispute with Fauquier Coach Anita Murphy. As a result, Bowman was not eligible for this year's AA state meet. She said Tuesday that she plans to run indoor track at Fauquier this winter but declined to comment on her plans for the outdoor season.
Twins Part Ways
Fraternal twins Jennifer and Jessica Everhart, softball players at Loudoun Valley, recently committed to Radford University and Virginia Tech, respectively. They comprised the Vikings' double-play combination last season (with Jennifer at shortstop and Jessica at second base) and helped Loudoun Valley to the Dulles District title and the Virginia AA semifinals.
Jennifer earned All-Met, all-Region II and all-Dulles District honors as a junior after batting .636 in the leadoff spot. Also a key member of the Vikings' Region II champion volleyball team this fall, Jennifer did not make an error all last season.
Jennifer "has played three different positions in three years," Loudoun Valley softball coach Joe Spicer said. "Each year she's raised her game to a higher level. I expect she'll continue that at the collegiate level."
Jessica, an honorable mention All-Met the last three seasons, went errorless in the field and batted .427 with 30 RBI and 26 runs scored her junior year.
"When I went for my visit, [Virginia Tech] was a place I could see myself living and playing and being happy," Jessica said.
JMU Nets Three
Three other area softball players committed to James Madison University: Park View catcher Julia Dominguez, Broad Run pitcher Jenny Clohan and Loudoun County infielder Amber Kirk.
Dominguez, a second-team All-Met last spring who batted .463 with eight doubles, said she went with Clohan to JMU on an official recruiting visit and grew fond of the team.
"They were the coolest girls ever," Dominguez said. "It made it a lot easier for me to pick the school."
Clohan and Kirk both earned honorable mention All-Met honors last season. Clohan struck out 216 batters in 142 innings with a 0.29 ERA for the Spartans. Kirk batted .349 for the Raiders last spring.
Clohan said her decision to attend JMU was influenced by the fact that Dominguez and Kirk would be joining her.
"It made it a lot easier knowing that I would know people there and knowing that I would be comfortable with the people there," Clohan said. . . .
Broad Run's Kim Vargas signed a letter-of-intent to play basketball at Gannon University, a Division II school in Erie, Pa. She was named to the all-Northwestern District first team each of the last two seasons and was an honorable mention All-Met last year as the Spartans won their first district title.