Alcovy's Regan Bowers hardly has time for anything besides running. But that's exactly how she likes it, and she's having a blast competing with her cross country team despite her cramp-packed schedule.
On Saturday, Bowers finished fourth overall during the Alcovy Last Chance Invitational, setting a personal best record for that particular course (23:54).
"It was an OK performance," said Bowers, "but I could have done a lot better."
Nevertheless, based on her performance Bowers has been selected as the Chick-fil-A Prep Athlete of the Week.
Had her legs not given out, she would have easily placed higher, as she held second for most of the race. Still, Bowers has plenty of time for improvement. After all, she's just a sophomore, and this is just her first year running.
"Regan demonstrated from the beginning that she was willing to work as hard as anyone else, and was going to make herself the person to beat," said Alcovy head coach Scott Murphy. "She has earned and pretty much dominated the No. 1 spot on the team."
Bowers runs approximately 25 miles each week. When she's not in school or training, she enjoys rifle shooting, tennis and going to church on Sundays. But it makes it difficult for anything else.
"It's pretty much packed - school, cross country and shooting," acknowledged Bowers. "I usually don't have a lot of time for friends because my days are pretty much packed, including weekends."
During the Alcovy Home Meet on Sept. 6, Bowers finished third overall with a time of 26:02. Before that she broke the school record with a time of 22:58. Such a feat is exactly what she is looking for come regionals this weekend.
"I was just in a really good mood and was ready for it," recalled Bowers. "My mind was set. If my mind isn't set for something, I'm not going to do well on it, but I was just pumped up and ready for it."
One thing that is normally set is her routine. Before each competition, Bowers drinks eight bottles of water throughout the day prior to each race.
"This sport is mental; it's more mental than physical," said Bowers. "So you really have to get your mind set. I just think to myself don't worry about it - you're going to do fine. Don't pace off of someone else; just keep your own pace."
Bowers credits Murphy for helping her along the way.
"He's a coach and a friend," noted Bowers. "He helps me with my foot because it especially hurts after sprint work; my feet can't take it."
Bowers enjoys running for several reasons, none higher than competing against herself and trying to progress each time out.
"The best thing about running is getting better," said Bowers. "I find it fun just watching all the runners in front of me and just passing them by. I tell myself I'm not going to let them beat me.
"It just feels good, too, in my legs," added Bowers. "I have this fervor for it."
Murphy is excited about the idea of having Bowers for another two years so that he can help develop her athletic abilities even more.
"Having a leader as young as Regan willing to take charge and set the example is huge," complimented Murphy. "She's a great example to everybody on that team, and I can honestly say there has not been a day this season when Regan has not given us her best."