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Democrat Photo by Jeanne Sager

SUSANNE BOWERS IS a senior at Roscoe Central School who competes for the Tri-Valley track team.

Up Close and Personal
With Susanne Bowers

By Jeanne Sager
ROSCOE — March 30, 2004 – Susanne Bowers doesn’t know the meaning of the word “relax.”
The Roscoe senior is up early in the morning to go to school.
She’s in and out of the nurse’s office where she’s doing school-to-work. She’s in her car driving out to Sullivan County Community College (SCCC) for some early college classes.
Then she’s headed to Grahamsville to practice with the Tri-Valley track team.
When she’s done, Bowers is back in her car, heading back toward Roscoe for a meeting of the steering committee put together to discuss sharing services with the Livingston Manor district.
If she has a day off from any of those projects, Bowers is fulfilling her duties as president of student government, working on her final yearbook or sitting down to get some homework done.
It’s the same all year round, only the programs change.
In the fall, Bowers is playing soccer. During the winter, she’s cheering on the sidelines at basketball games. And during the summer, she’s keeping herself in shape pounding the pavement or slipping out of the sun for a swim.
“I don’t stop,” Bowers explained. “I feel I always have to be busy.”
She’s set herself up to stay that way.
Bowers is the only Roscoe student who makes the daily trips to Grahamsville for track practice.
Although her first two years running were spent at Roscoe, the school cut its track program when Bowers was a freshman and she had to look elsewhere.
For the past four years, she’s found her outlet at Tri-Valley.
Playing half the year as a Lady Blue Devil and the spring as a Lady Bear could create a complex for some kids.
Not Susanne Bowers.
“When I’m there, I don’t feel like a Roscoe kid,” she explained. “I feel like I’m part of the team.
“Maybe for the first few weeks when I first started, I was just this kid from another school,” she recalled. “But now I have so many friends on the team, and Coach [Joe] Iatauro is the best coach you could ask for.”
Bowers is a pentathlete, which means she focuses not only on running, but on the long and high jump, the shot put and the hurdles.
She says she’s best at the high jump and the hurdles.
“Those are my thing,” Bowers said.
Those are the events that got her started back in seventh grade, a time when she was looking at track as a way to be more like her sister.
Maggie Bowers holds the Roscoe record in the hurdles. One of her friends holds the high jump record.
Susanne Bowers is aiming to hit that mark, or maybe beat it one day.
“I always wanted to be like my sister,” she explained. “I looked up to her since . . . forever.”
When her eighth grade coach, Chris Russo, saw her talents, he suggested she extend her focus and add on the other pieces of pentathlon.
Bowers was eager to try something new, something that would keep her active all day at a track meet.
“Usually, at a track meet you get to do a maximum of three events,” she noted. “I get to do five.”
It’s become a good way to meet people, she added, because the pentathletes spend the entire day competing against one another rather than moving from event to event.
That’s something Bowers is good with – people.
She’s the kid the school secretary will trust with the keys to the copy room. She’s the kid the superintendent hand picked to sit on an important steering committee.
She’s the kid who earned the vote of her fellow students for student government president.
Now she’s looking at making working with people a career choice.
Bowers will study psychology when she starts college in the fall – she took one class at SCCC last semester and “it hooked me,” she said.
And what will she be doing between now and then?
“Anything,” she said. “I don’t want to be lazy.”

Name: Susanne Bowers

Age: 18

Hometown: Roscoe

School and grade: Roscoe Central School, 12th grade.

Parents and siblings: Bowers is the daughter of Karen and Jack Bowers. She has an older sister, Maggie, and an older brother, Tim.

Favorite sport: track

Favorite professional sports figure: Olympic runner Marion Jones. “She’s really quick,” Bowers noted.

Favorite school subject: Spanish.

Future plans: Bowers will be headed to SUNY Stonybrook in the fall where she will pursue a psychology degree.

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