Everything that one needs to know about Dacre Bowen ’73 can be summed up in two words: Fast. Good.
Bowen was one of Punahou’s most dominant track athletes in the early 1970s, helping the buff ’n blue to three state championships in his four varsity seasons. So fast was the sprinter that three of his times – in the 100, 220 and 440 – are still top-12 of all-time in the School’s record books even 50 years later.
In his final state meet in 1973, held at War Memorial Stadium on Maui, Bowen won the 220, 440 and anchored the winning mile relay team. He finished second to Hilo’s Rodney Pacheco in the 100, both officially timed at 10 seconds, in what was considered one of the most exciting races of the meet. The buff ’n blue literally ran away with the boys championship with 66.5 points, with Kamehameha second with 29 points.
Two weeks earlier at the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship, Bowen warmed up for states with wins in the 100, 220 and 440. Sandwiched in between the two title meets was the legendary Punahou Relays, where Bowen did not disappoint. He anchored all three of Punahou’s winning relay teams – half-mile, sprint medley and one-mile – en route to sharing the Most Outstanding Male Athlete Award with Kaimuki’s Willard Gouveia.
“All I remember about Dacre was he was good, and he was fast,” said Radford’s Waynette Mitchell, named the ’73 Relays’ Most Outstanding Female Athlete.
Bowen went on to run for the University of Oregon, capping his four-year career as the school’s Track Athlete of the Year in 1977. Prior to his senior season, he competed for the Canadian Olympic Team in the 440 at the Montreal Games in 1976, and was also a member of the Canadian national track and field team, twice winning the 200 at the Canadian national championships.
Bowen returned to Punahou to coach track, winning five state titles, including four in a row (1996 – 99). Bowen continues to coach both American and Canadian athletes at the state, national and international level. Among his most renowned students was 2008 Olympic decathlon gold medalist Bryan Clay.
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