May 14, 2014
By Kelly McHugh
K-State Sports Extra highlights a student-athlete each month through the monthly Q&A Sports Extra special. This month's featured student-athlete is K-State track and field senior Jharyl Bowry.
Bowry, a native of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, came to K-State in 2012 after competing two years at Barton County Community College where he was the 2012 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Indoor Champion in the long jump.
A two-time Big 12 Champion in the long jump, Bowry continued his success upon transferring to K-State. He placed first at the 2013 Indoor Big 12 Championship meet with a jump of 7.54m/24-09.00, marking K-State's first men's conference title in the long jump since 1989.
The following indoor season, on Feb. 28, 2014, in Ames, Iowa, Bowry took home first place at the Indoor Big 12 Championship again by posting a jump of 7.44m/24-05.00.
Bowry placed second at last year's Outdoor Big 12 Championship, but he hopes to step up his game one final time at this year's 2014 Outdoor Big 12 Championship in Lubbock, Texas, on May 16.
Q&A With Jharyl Bowry:
Sports Extra: Coming to K-State from Canada, what were your first impressions of Manhattan?
Jharyl Bowry: Well I think just like every other foreign person that comes abroad, you hear the Wizard of Oz jokes and all of that. (laughing) My initial thought of Kansas was just farmland and grass and just about everything that it is, but I've really come to enjoy it. It's a lot different from the city life - I'm from one of the biggest cities in North America in Toronto, Canada - so coming from a big city life and coming out here to rural middle of America, it's been a trip but it's definitely been enjoyable.
SE: What is your favorite part about being a student-athlete here at K-State?
JB: I really like the fact that the staff here at K-State is very supportive of the student-athletes. From classes to just getting everything you need situated to start your career, I think they're very, very helpful in that way. It's been very enjoyable with being a senior and coming to the end of my road. They have made it very easy to adapt into that life that I'll soon be living.
SE: Looking at your performances on the track, you're a two-time Big 12 Champion in the long jump. What is it like to earn that Big 12 title? How exciting is that?
JB: It was very, very humbling. I was very blessed to be in the position that was in, and it was new. I come from a country that doesn't really do the whole conference battle thing, and being a part of the NCAA now, being a foreign student, I never had this kind of culture in sports that is so strong. With the NCAA and the Big 12, for me to represent my school and to go out there and win two - and hopefully if I can heal up enough for a third Big 12 Championship - that is something that I can keep for my life and cross it off my bucket list.
SE: Does winning this past indoor season's Big 12 title make you hungrier for this year's outdoor championship?
JB: Definitely. This is my second year. I was a transfer student, so basically when I got here I had to hit the ground running and I didn't get a lot of time to train and do all the things necessary for the big meet. Coming back and winning another Big 12 Championship was a great experience and it did make me hungrier for the outdoor season. I did not get the one from outdoor last year, so coming into this season I really wanted to stay strong and keep my progress moving forward. The two Big 12 Championships, they didn't come with a great distance so that made me even hungrier going into nationals and, of course, outdoors. I'm even hungrier now than when I started.
SE: This group of long jumpers seems pretty close. What is it about these guys that makes you all such a close-knit group?
JB: We actually have all come from different walks of life. You have Ifeanyi (Otuonye), who came second last year next to me and he's from Turks and Caicos, and then we have Tyris (Jefferson) from Texas, so we've just all come from different lifestyles, countries, ways of life. To all come here and be around each other and know that we can confide in each other and have each other's backs, it's a really, really close knit group and we've all managed to be really close friends. We have a lot in common outside of track, and that's just made everything better. It's just a really good group. I give credit to Coach (Vincent) Johnson for a great recruiting job from him, and I hope that I'm leaving the torch to these young gentlemen to further K-State's already prosperous jumping program.
SE: Now you're in the final stretch of your K-State track and field career, what are your plans for afterwards?
JB: I'm studying social work - that is my major - so I'll be continuing that next year. Although I'm done with track and field here, I will still be jumping with K-State on my heart, just not on my chest. I'll still be training with my coach and aspiring to be professional athlete, but you've got to take care of business in the classroom too so I'll have something to fall back on, but God forbid that doesn't happen.
SE: Finally, do you have anything to say to K-State fans? What would your shout out be?
JB: I want to say to all the people who are behind what we do here as athletes, there's a lot of people, managers, trainers who don't get the appreciation because they're not on the posters or the highlights. So I want to say thank you to the K-State fans especially, but also to all the people who are behind the scenes with K-State Athletics who do more than just run, jump and throw.
Do you have a student-athlete you'd love to get to know? Email K-State Sports Extra's Kelly McHugh and help choose next month's interviewee!