South Wales Native Finds Home at Baylor

Feb. 18, 2010

Media Relations Student Assistant

At the age of 16, Chris Gowell could be found on the golf course working on his short game in his native Newport, South Wales. Eight years later, a 24-year-old Gowell is running laps on a track in Waco, Texas.

Gowell's improbable transformation from a 3-handicap golfer to a world-class 800-meter runner began at the age of 16 when his former coach, Ann Hill, discovered him at a high school skills competition.

"A lady came up to me and said I was talented and she wanted to coach me, so I gave it a go from there," Gowell said.

And "gave it a go" he did as he represented the United Kingdom at the 2004 World Junior Championships and was the U-20 and U-23 800-meter champion in Great Britain. However, Hill passed away when Gowell was 21, leaving the budding runner without a clear direction.

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