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NAOMI BOWSER, junior, Smyrna cross country

THE WEEK: Won a quad meet at Dover’s Schutte Park with a course-record time of 19:06 last Wednesday. Ran a personal-best 18:42.93 to finish third in the Joe O’Neill Invitational last Friday at Bellevue State Park.

THE SEASON: Bowser has also finished second at the Lake Forest Invitational, seventh in the Varsity E race at the Six Flags Wild Safari Invitational, second among juniors at the White Clay Creek Classic, first among Delawareans at the Salesianum Invitational and first at the University of Delaware Invitational (19:25.19).

Smyrna High School cross country runner Naomi Bowser has lowered her personal record three times in the last two weeks.

Smyrna High School cross country runner Naomi Bowser has lowered her personal record three times in the last two weeks.

THE WIN AT UD: Bowser didn’t feel right during the UD race, but wound up winning by more than a minute and setting a personal record, which she has lowered again twice in the last week. “I thought my time was going to be really bad,” she said. “I was just waiting to see my time at the finish line and be really disappointed, but when I saw what it was I was like, ‘Wow.’”

THE WORK: Bowser has lowered her best time by more than 2½ minutes this season. “The workouts we do have really been helping me,” she said. “We’ve been doing fast sprints, and we’ve been doing mile repeats, but we have to do 6 miles instead. So it makes the 3 miles seem so much quicker. I don’t realize how fast I’m going.”

THE COACH SAYS: “Naomi is a textbook athlete,” Smyrna cross country coach John Haller III third. “She does everything that she’s supposed to. She is on time, she’s the last to leave. She’s just the type of personality and the type of kid that everyone loves.”

THE VERSATILITY: Bowser plays basketball in the winter and pole vaults in the spring. She believes each sport helps her overall performance. “You work different muscle groups, and your body doesn’t get tired,” she said. “If you do the same run every single day, those muscles are going to wear down and not be as strong.”

THE CLASSROOM: “I like to learn about history,” Bowser said. “I like how it’s a story… It’s more interesting than the other subjects.”

THE FUTURE: Bowser plans to go to college and study to be an occupational therapist. She has yet to decide on a destination.

Send Athlete of the Week nominations to Brad Myers at bmyers@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ

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