Record-breaking track star will compete for college in California

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One athlete, born and raised in Woodland, will head to Harvey Mudd College in the fall to continue his love of throwing.

Jason Bowman first broke Woodland High School’s javelin record his sophomore year. Then after a year hiatus from competition because of the pandemic, he broke the record again with a throw of 187 feet, 9 inches.

Also during the 2A district track and field meet, he placed second in shot put with a throw of 51 feet, 8 inches and threw a personal record for discus.

Previously, he set his personal best of 179 feet, 8 inches at the district tournament two years ago, Bowman said.

He is excited to start a new chapter at Harvey Mudd College in Southern California where he’ll study engineering and train on the track and field team.

Harvey Mudd College is a private college that puts an emphasis on science and engineering.

When Bowman arrives on campus at the end of August, he will participate in the ROTC program.

“There’s been a lot of changes from what I had originally planned, but I like where it’s at now,” Bowman said.

Bowman grew up playing baseball as he aged through T-ball and coach pitch. He said he enjoyed the friendships and the way the team focused on having fun.

In high school, Bowman also tried basketball, but found football and track to be his strong suit. He throws the shot put, javelin, discus and he is starting to throw the hammer.

In July, Bowman attended the Iron Wood Throwers Development Camp in Idaho to learn more about the hammer. He said Washington high schools don’t offer the hammer throw as an event.

Although schools did not compete in a state competition this year, Bowman can say he competed in one state meet as a sophomore. During the spring, Woodland track athletes participated in six meets compared to the typical 12 or more meets.

When the school gym closed in 2020 because of COVID-19, Bowman found ways to work out at home and practice his throws.

“That’s how I started throwing hammer more, which I ended up liking more than most of the other events,” he said. “Just finding a place to throw and finding coaches was the hard part and sometimes the motivation.”

This season for football, Bowman and the team played fewer games than usual, but Woodland defeated R.A. Long and Mark Morris High School in Longview, and lost to four other teams, according to the MaxPreps website.

Bowman said he owes his success to Woodland coaches who made an impact on him. They include Betheny Musgrove, Mark Greenleaf and Glen Flanagan, among others.

He was debating whether to pursue track and field or football in college, but Bowman’s teammates helped him realize track is where he wanted to be.

“Football is fun, but it’s time for it to be over for me,” Bowman said, later adding, “They saw that I had a passion for (track) and they let me figure that out in my own way.”

Outside of the throwing ring, Bowman helped the Woodland robotics team construct a functional robot. He took the responsibility of using the brand new 3D printer to make parts for the robot.

Bowman is the son of Sheri and Brad Bowman.

“It’s crazy to watch all my friends go their separate paths but I hope we all stay in touch forever,” Bowman wrote in an Instagram post, adding it wouldn’t have been the same without the friends he’s made.

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