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Kelly Cummings Bowden holds the distinction of being the first member of the women's cross country program to be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame.
Bowden (1994-97) was a founding member of the women's program as the program began in 1994. She set a school-record time of 19:13.00 at the 1995 Peach Belt Championships. She owned the top spot for 12 years. Entering the 2009 season, the former Lady Rifle owned 10 of the top 50 times in school history.
Bowden earned several awards during her time in Spartanburg. She was a three-time All-Peach Belt Conference member (1994, '95, '97). She was also named to the Peach Belt Presidential Honor Roll four times.
In 1995, Bowden competed at the NCAA Division II Southeast Regionals. She turned in a performance of 19:47.59, which was her second fastest time and the 25th fastest in school-history entering the 2009 season.
Bowden graduated from Upstate with a bachelor's degree in Spanish in 1999. She stayed in the Spartanburg area as a teacher and assistant cross country and track coach at Broome High School. She moved to Wilmington, N.C., and began teaching at Ashley High School. She is currently the Department Chair for Foreign Languages at the school. She has remained active in running, participating in various road races throughout the years since leaving Upstate.
Bowden is originally from Buffalo, N.Y., and graduated from Sweet Home High School.