Former Middle Tennessee Christian School and current MTSU track and field junior middle distance runner Asa Bowman is currently in the final phase of his junior season as the Conference USA outdoor championships are approaching.
Bowman competed at the Coach O Invitational this past weekend.
After a successful high school career at MTCS in both football and track and field, which included trips to the TSSAA Spring Fling, he decided to stay at home and run for legendary MTSU head coach Dean Hayes.
During his time with the Cougars, Bowman was named all-state as a linebacker and competed in the 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter, 800 meter and relay races for MTCS. He hopes to become a physical therapist after college.
“I wanted to stay close to home and help my dad take care of my mom,” Bowman said. “I could be around if anything needed to be done. I am currently living at home right now, and that really was the best option.”
It has been a busy winter and spring for Bowman and the rest the Blue Raider track and field team as they have competed in both indoor and outdoor meets. The indoor season ended in March, and the outdoor season is near completion. The Conference USA meet will take place in Houston starting on May 15.
“I am just getting ready, getting a pace set and setting myself up to do well at the C-USA meet,” Bowman said.
Bowman’s best outdoor finish this season in the 800m was 18th during the Yellow Jacket Invite in Atlanta on March 30. He also has finished in the top 10 in his three outdoor relay races this season, with his best finish of third in the 4x800 meter relay during the Tennessee Relays on April 12. However, Bowman believes he has a lot of work to do preparing for the upcoming C-USA meet.
“This season has been a bit of struggle,” Bowman said. “School is catching up with the travel and everything, but I am trying to get back to it before the C-USA meet.”
However, Bowman has shown in the past he is ready to go in big meets during his career. In 2011, he ran for MTCS in the TSSAA Spring Fling Track and Field Championships at the same track he currently practices on at MTSU. He has also competed well at the Sun Belt Conference Outdoor Championships last season, finishing sixth in the 800.
Bowman has also shown his strengths during the recent indoor season during the winter. He had three top-10 finishes in the 800, including a third during the Christmas Invitational on Dec. 7, 2013 at Murphy Center. His personal best indoor time came a few weeks later with a 1:54.63 at the Vanderbilt Invitational on Jan. 25. Bowman has adjusted to the differences between racing indoors and outdoors.
“Indoor races are usually a lot more physical,” he said. “You are in that 200 meter track, usually an oval with hardly any straightaway. It is pushing and shoving the whole time. If you take one missed step, or someone trips you up, your race may be done for the day.”
“Outdoor is more of a strategy race. It is all about pacing yourself, and not let you get caught up in racing. I know the last couple of weeks I have done that. I let myself get way too slow of a first lap, and there is no way to recover after you are 400 meters into a race.”
The next outdoor meet for the Blue Raiders will be the Billy Hayes Invitational in Bloomington, Ind., on May 2. The C-USA Outdoor Championships will be two weeks later in Houston.