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Senior Alex Bowman scored 11 points for the Cavaliers at this past weekend’s ACC Championships to help the men’s squad to a third-place finish. Bowman advanced to the finals of the 800m and the 1500m and was able to finish third in the 1500m to earn his first-ever all-conference honor in the event.

This weekend, Bowman and several other Cavaliers will head to the prestigious Penn Relays to compete. Events are scheduled to run Thursday-Saturday at history Franklin Field.

Question: You made the finals of both the 800m and the 1500m this past weekend. How difficult was that to do?
Bowman: It was definitely a challenge. However, coach (Jason) Vigilante gave my teammates and I a clear plan that made it seem both possible and simple. Once we were clear on the plan, all we had to do was show up and execute.

Question: Was it more satisfying to make the finals of one event over the other?
Bowman: I was honored to make finals in both. The ACC is a high caliber conference, so making either final (better yet both) is a feat I am thankful for.

Question: You were among three Cavaliers in each of the finals. What is it like to train with and then compete against such strong teammates?
Bowman: I am so grateful to work with this group of guys everyday. We are a proud team. It is a privilege to be a part of a team where guys work together and pursue excellence. This is what collegiate athletics is all about – coming together and pushing each other to be the best we can be.

Question: Do you have a strategy and work together through the races or do each of you race individually?
Bowman: During ACCs, coach Vigilante came up with a plan to guide us in qualifying for finals. He also develops strategies for the final, so that we can score as many points as possible for our team.

Question: You earned All-ACC honors indoors last year as a member of the DMR. How different of an honor is it to earn all-conference accolades as an individual, rather than as a member of a relay?
Bowman: Earning All-ACC on a relay and as an individual are both great blessings. I love relays. When you are on a relay, there is a different type of attitude when you toe the line or receive the baton; you are running for three other guys. They need you just like you need them. So you go out there and run with all your heart.

Earning All-ACC as an individual was a similar feeling. I was not only running for myself, I was running for my team. I wanted to do everything I could to help my team score. And, from start to finish, my team had my back. Their cheers are what kept me going down the homestretch. Without them, I would not have received this honor.

Question: Penn Relays is up next. Have you ever been before?
Bowman: I have been to Penn Relays twice in the past. It is one of the greatest track experiences I have witnessed. The excitement and energy from the fans is unmatchable. I am always honored when I am selected to be on a relay. Yet, it is an even greater honor because it’s Penn Relays.

Question: Usain Bolt will compete at the event this year. Have you ever seen anyone of his magnitude compete before?
Bowman: I am excited to see Bolt compete. He is pretty amazing to watch. My first year, I had the honor of running at the Junior US Championships. This meet is run along side the Senior Championships and while I was there, I able to both watch and meet professional track athletes. It’s great to be able to run on the same track as professional athletes like Bolt.

Question: As this season comes to a close, do you know what you want to do next year?
Bowman: I applied for the Teach for America (TFA) program. TFA is a non-profit organization that recruits recent college graduates to teach in a low-income community for two years. I am waiting to here about my acceptance. After TFA, I plan to go to law school. After that, I plan to serve as a juvenile defense attorney.

Question What is something you’ll miss about Virginia track and field?
Bowman: There is something truly special about being a part of a team, especially at this high level where everyone wants to be great. Being in this environment makes success contagious. Even more though, I will miss the guys I get to work with everyday – I really love those guys.

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