A torn hamstring couldn’t stop him
Post Independent Sports Editor
LAKEWOOD — Andy Bowles wasn’t about to sit out the final race of his junior year.
After all, he had a point to make … and a point to score.
He could have sat out the race. The torn right hamstring he suffered during the finals of the Class 3A 110-meter hurdles finals Saturday stopped him from finishing that race at the 3A Track and Field Championships, and it also stopped him from competing any further in the 3A high jump finals.
The 300 hurdles were much different, though. Bowles, a 6-foot-5 Coal Ridge High School junior who was seeded first in the race, didn’t run the race. He walked it.
“I realized that I should do it for the team,” Bowles said. “My coaches talked to me and told me I didn’t have to do it. But I wanted to do it just so I could finish the race.”
That point he scored for his ninth-place finish almost wound up being the difference in the team scoring for the Titans, whose second-place finish in the team standings was the best in school history. Coal Ridge finished with 57.5 points and was followed by third-place Eaton (56).
In the 300 hurdles, however, Dante Markley of Cedaredge took the state title in 39.35 seconds, with Jonathan Roy of the Classical Academy second in 39.41. Well after the first eight competitors crossed the finish line, however, the public address announcer came on and said, “Hold on everyone. The race is still happening.”
Bowles was clearing his second hurdle as that was said. And as he came around the north curve at Jefferson County Stadium, the standing-room only crowd applauded Bowles all the way to the finish line. Officially, his time in the finals was 3:11.96.
“He definitely wanted to be on the podium,” Coal Ridge coach Ben Kirk said. “He told me he wanted to be on the podium, and he had the No. 1 time in the event coming in. So he deserved to be in that race. It was totally his decision.”
Bowles buckled just after clearing the second hurdle in the 110 hurdle finals, and he was helped off the field by medical personnel and helped to a physician’s tent. He couldn’t finish the high jump, but his final height of 6-3 was still good enough for a fourth-place tie with Manitou Springs’ Jim Slaughter.
Right after the injury, Lonnie Bowles, Andy’s father and an assistant coach for Coal Ridge, said a regular recovery time for an injury of his son’s extent would be four to six weeks. The Titans, prior to Andy’s injury, had an outside shot at winning a team championship.
“Points don’t matter anymore,” Lonnie Bowles said.
Saturday afternoon, they mattered enough for Andy Bowles to finish the race.
“I thought I was done, too,” Andy said. “Then I realized that we needed to score points. Every point counts, you know?”
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