SHCP Alumni Runner Claims USA National Championship
Shannon Rowbury ’02 continues on the road to the Olympics
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Coach Andy Chan
Facility Coordinator; Head Cross Country Coach; Head Track and Field Coach
email@example.com 415.775.6626 ext.877
February 25, 2008
BOSTON, MA—Twenty-three-year-old Shannon Rowbury ’02 won the AT&T USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in the 3000 meters on Saturday, February 23, at the Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Center. Rowbury won the event in 8:55.19.
This was Rowbury’s first track race since she won the indoor mile at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships while representing Duke University last March.
A professional runner, Rowbury is sponsored by Nike and coached by John Cook. Cook also coaches Shalane Flanagan (American record holder for the 5000 meters) and Erin Donohue. Rowbury, along with her coach and teammates, were recently in Mexico training at altitude in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Trials to be held in Eugene, OR, June 27–July 6, 2008. The top three finishers in each event at the trials qualify to represent the U.S. at the Summer Olympics in Beijing in August 2008. Rowbury plans to compete in the 1500 meters at the trials and, hopefully, at the Olympics.
“In my opinion, this was Shannon’s arrival race on the U.S. national scene,” said SHCP track and field coach Andy Chan, who coached Rowbury when she was in high school. “This shows she is capable of competing with the best in the U.S. for one of the coveted spots on the Olympic team. This is Shannon’s dream, and it’s exciting for the SHCP community to see her go after it.”
Rowbury’s win is considered a bit of a surprise to onlookers, as she finished more than four seconds ahead of two-time Olympian Jennifer Rhines. Rowbury was part of a lead pack of five runners for much of the race. With two laps (400 meters) to go, she made her move and opened up a sizable lead.
In a Boston Globe article, Rowbury said, “I heard from the announcer that I had a 15-meter lead with 200 to go, and I was like, ‘That’s pretty cool.’ I just kept going and didn’t look back.”
With this win, Rowbury qualifies to represent the U.S. at the 12th International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain, March 7–9, 2008. Immediately after the race, Rowbury was uncertain if she would be attending this meet. She first wants to consult with her coach and decide on the best course of action to prepare for the Olympic Trials.
Rowbury came to SHCP with no running experience. She went out for the cross country team to get in shape for soccer. Thanks to the strong legs she developed doing Irish step dancing throughout her childhood, she started having success almost immediately. During her career with the Fightin’ Irish, she helped the cross country team win two Central Coast Section (CCS) championships and one league championship, won 11 individual league titles, and won seven individual CCS championships (a record-tying four in a row in the 800 meters, one in the 1600 meters, and two in cross country). She was a two-time state champion in track and field (2001: 800 meters, 2002: 1600 meters) and had an impressive 2001 season in which she was undefeated in the 800 meters.
She earned a full scholarship to Duke University, where she was a six-time All-American, won one NCAA individual championship, and helped lead the Duke team to a second-place finish at the 2005 NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Rowbury is often on the road training and preparing for meets, but when she is in San Francisco, she frequently visits the SHCP cross country and track and field teams. Last October, she attended numerous cross country practices, signing autographs, answering questions, and running with the team. She even accompanied the team to a West Catholic Athletic League (WCAL) cross country meet at Shoreline Park in Mountain View. “It’s been exciting to watch Shannon chase the Olympic dream,” said Chan, “and it’s been a privilege to have her come and spend time with our current team. When she’s around she cheers for our kids and asks them about their races as if they were the Olympians. I can’t thank her enough for all that she’s done and that she continues to do for our program.”
Video interview of Shannon after winning the race:
The Boston Globe story (she was the lead-in to their story about the meet):
Video interview of Shannon in the press room after the race:http://www.runnerspace.com