Bowie honors state runners

The 1960 440-yard Relay Team, featuring Jerry Miller, Glenn Chokas, Jimmy Hacker, Butch Swinson and Tim Hall.

Past state track and cross country athletes of Bowie High School will be recognized on Friday night as part of the Homecoming festivities.
A reception for the honorees and Bowie athletic Hall of Honor inductees will kick off the night’s events at 6 p.m. in the BHS cafeteria. The athletes also will be introduced during halftime of the football game against Holliday at Jackrabbit stadium. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.
The storied history of accomplished state running athletes for the Jackrabbits dates back to 1954, when Jim Hickman competed on a dirt track in the 100-yard dash and 220-yard dash, earning him a full scholarship to the University of Houston. Bowie’s Clifford McCraw also competed in that year’s finals.
The following year, Richard Bradley competed in the 440-yard dash in the 1955 state finals.
In 1959 the Bowie Jackrabbits advanced to state in the 440-yard relay race. The team was composed of Jerry Miller, Glenn Chokas, Jimmy Hacker, Johnny Floyd and Tim Hall.
However, it was the year 1960 when BHS saw its first state championship title after Miller, Chokas, Hacker, Butch Swinson and Hall set a new divisional record in class 2A with a 42.5 second run in the 440-yard relay, and the gold medal.
Miller also stood out from the pack both years in individual events, bringing home the gold in the 220-yard dash and the silver in the 100-yard dash.
The next year at state, both golds were his as he took first in the 100-yard and 220-yard.
He also earned second place in broad jump that year, giving him the state record for the most points ever scored at the state meet. He held onto that record for 30 years.
Miller will be among the Bowie High School honorees slated to attend the Friday night events.
In 1960, Chokas also competed in the 100-yard dash, earning fifth place, while Hacker earned the bronze in broad jump and sixth place in the 220-yard dash.
In 1968, the 440-yard relay team of Joe Davis, Junior Vassar, Tim Welch and Ronnie Tucker raced to a fifth-place finish.
Billy Ray Roberts competed in the mile run in 1968, finishing fifth.
The next year, BHS sent Danny Jo Nichols to the 1969 state finals, where he competed in high jump.
Lee Campbell represented the Jackrabbits in the 1977 state finals in shot put, while Ralph Stark competed the same year in hurdles. Johnny Rhyne was among the Bowie athletes at the state finals, while Jeff Belz also competed at state either in 1976 or 1977.
It was almost 20 years later before Bowie would have an athlete on the track at a state finals meet, but Terra Rife broke the streak when she competed in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash in the 1994 state finals meet.
In 1997, Aaron Kernek took fourth place at the state finals meet in the 110-hurdles. Just two years later, Bowie athlete Dustin Hunter competed in the 110-hurdles, taking fourth place, and pole vault under the direction of Coach Joel Hood.
Joe Singletary ran the one mile and two mile at the state finals in 1999.
In the year 2,000, Bowie again sent a hurdler to the state finals, where Dean Loper earned sixth place in the 110-meter hurdle race.
Scott Holloway also was among the athletes who competed at state.
Bowie High School was represented by Michelle Hurst Ridenour in 2002 as she threw her way to a seventh-place finish in shot put.
The year 2003 saw Bowie High School athletes make their first appearance at the state cross country meet.
The Bowie Lady Rabbits team raced to a fourth-place finish under the direction of Coach Diane Weber.
The team consisted of Kimberly Bell, Betty Hernandez, Lindsey Pigg, Callie Tyson, Makenzi Tomlinson, Ashley Griffin and Chelsey Reynolds.

6 Comments on Bowie honors state runners

  1. You left out Eddie Anderson. He qualified for state in Cross Country and Track. I believe it would have been around 94-95

    • Thank you Coach Hood, the list of competitors was compiled by a volunteer with the track recognition committee and a few were unintentionally missed. Since she submitted the list, additional names have been found and I am sure there will be a few more to add.


    • The list of competitors was compiled by a volunteer with the track recognition committee and she has found since a few were unintentionally missed. Since she submitted the list, additional names have been found and I am sure there will be a few more to add.

  3. Jeff Belz was 1980. Just spoke with him on phone…in ’76 or ’77 he’d of been a Freshman or Sophomore.

    • Anyone who was left off the list should contact the organizers of the track recognition event who submitted the list that was published. They would love to put together a complete list, but that is all volunteer and any assistance will be appreciated I am sure.

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