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INTRODUCING 4-SPORT STAR BOWMAN

Alison Bowman is a multi-talented athlete who plays basketball, volleyball, runs track, and surfs to top it all off! Get to know Bowman, who has made Guam her home and as she thrives in the local sports community.

By Nate San Nicolas

Standing at 5 feet 11 inches, Alison Bowman is a young athlete that is hard to miss. One moment she’s towering over opponents on the basketball court then the next she takes off her basketball shoes to break records on the track.

When the current JFK Islander is finished blocking shots and burning rubber, she moves to the beach, where her board and the waves let her shine just as much in the water as she does on land. Just when you think she’s had enough, Bowman decided to give volleyball a swing for the first time and did considerably well for a first-year.

Simply put: she’s everywhere.

Where did this long-haired blonde girl come from? In the midst of it all, Bowman seemed to appear out of thin air, but when she arrived, she never left the radar. Having moved from Virginia Beach to our beautiful island, Bowman has an interesting backstory, and one can be rightfully curious on this young star’s journey from halfway around the globe.

IT’S A FAMILY THING

Height does not seem to be the only quality inherited by Alison. Her parents, Mark and Andrea Bowman, both have their fair share of experience in sports as well.

Mark Bowman is a current pilot for United Airlines, but before he was flying the friendly skies, he was a Pilot at the University of Portland who earned himself a spot on the track and field and cross country team. Alison’s mother Andrea also has her experience at the track and field collegiate level, having coached at William & Mary and the University of Florida for a good number of years. Being exposed to the track at a young age, it seems fitting to say Alison was born in to a family with athletic prowess.

(photo courtesy of Alison Bowman's Facebook.)

(photo courtesy of Alison Bowman’s Facebook.)

Alison definitely did not disappoint. Taking after her father on the track and with her mother’s coaching expertise, she was able to recently break the record for the 800 meter event with a time of 2 minutes, 28 seconds in the final regular season IIAAG meet.

With the All-Island Meet coming up this Friday, May 30, one can expect all eyes to be on this young lady as she competes to help her Islander team defend the track and field girls title.

But when Alison isn’t breaking records, she’s hitting up the beach to catch a good set of waves with the new surfing community she has grown a part of. Surfing has been a part of Alison’s life for as long as she remembers. She’s already considered the top female surfer on Guam.

“Although surfing is a sport, it’s more of a lifestyle to me. I grew up surfing with my family and don’t really ever remember learning how to surf. It’s a community sport and coming here, the surfing community really took me in,” replied Alison when asked about her surfing experience.

Moving from the less consistent waves of Virginia Beach to the infamous reef of Guam, Alison had quite the transition.

However, her integration to the Guam surfing community was smooth not only because she’s able to hold her own, but also because of the positive reactions and acceptance received by surfing regulars.

Soon enough, she was representing Guam at the 2013 Melanesian Cup in Fiji. She finished first in the Female Shortboard division and thanks to a last minute spot opening, Alison borrowed a longboard and displayed her versatility finishing second in the Female Longboard division.

TRAVELING WITH SPORTS

“Living on Guam, surfing has helped me travel a lot. At the Melanesian Cup I competed against people around the world, from Fiji, New Caledonia, and Samoa. I’ve gone to Hawaii, North Shore, Singapore, and even places I’ve never heard of until I moved (to Guam), like Yap. I’ve also ran track in the Philippines and Japan for (Far East) basketball. These are experiences I wouldn’t get in the mainland. Sports is an outlet for these opportunities.”

Bowman running a track meet in the Philippines. (courtesy photo)

Bowman running a track meet in the Philippines. (courtesy photo)

Guam has given Alison many great experiences with sports, but she has also brought to our island new perspectives of her previous experiences travelling around the world. She exemplifies the rich connection between culture and sport, as she explained some of the personal experiences she’s had assimilating herself to our island: “It’s a very family-knit community here. For surfing, Kenny and Shane Pier were like big brothers out in Fiji… When I joined volleyball, I had no clue, no experience. But (my teammates) were so friendly, asking who I was and just helping me out.”

ISLANDER COMMUNITY

Acculturating to the island community can be a difficult challenge for some, but fortunately, Alison had her JFK Islander team ease the transition for her. Getting her education through online schooling, she does not have the luxury of attending school with her teammates, however, the team still approached her with open arms and made her feel very welcomed.

“I really like it here. My family and I are very appreciative of the teammates and friends I’ve made. Coming in, I didn’t know if I wanted to continue running track, but when I started with JFK, it’s been nonstop, thanks to them,” said Alison. Thanks to the hospitality of the JFK community, it was an easy decision to finish her senior year attending JFK starting in August.

JFK Islanders' Alison Bowman doing work in the paint against the ND Royals. (GSPN file photo)

JFK Islanders’ Alison Bowman doing work in the paint against the ND Royals. (GSPN file photo)

Alison gives much credit to her family, friends and coaches that she’s met when arriving here. As an athlete, one can agree that success is made easier with the great support from the people around you, and the support behind Alison stands firmer than ever. What is also humbling about Alison’s story is her sense of humility through it all.

When commenting about her accolades on earning First Team All-Island as a center for basketball or breaking the track record, she quickly reverted to how her parents made it possible or how her coaches helped her prepare. The humility and experiences this young lady has will take her far, and you can bet she will definitely be making more headlines in the near future.

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