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Athlete Spotlight: Nikki Bowen from Valley Vista High School
Nikki BowenIn Nikki Bowen’s second year as a golfer at Valley Vista High School she has exceeded expectations through hard work and dedication to the game.  In early November, Nikki competed in the state tournament with all the top golfers in Arizona. She placed 12th improving on last year's 24th place finish. 

Nikki is no stranger to commitment to her craft and sport.  She was an all-star cheerleader for eight years and fell upon golf by accident. She visited a PGA Superstore by her cheer gym to try something new and hit some golf balls. 

“I told my parents, “Hey I like this!” and a couple days later I told them I want to play golf.” 

She shifted gears at the age of eleven and began to focus on golf and utilized the discipline she learned in cheer.  

“Cheer definitely helped with my flexibility as an athlete and my focus,” said Bowen. “I always want to practice and get better, no matter what I am doing.” 

In just playing the game a few years, Nikki made the Valley Vista High School golf team as a 9th grader in 2020.  She trained hard with her teammates but consistent practices deemed to be difficult with the condensed season and quarantines due to the pandemic. 

In spite of the challenges, Bowen qualified for state and looked forward to competing at the top level.  In addition to being an integral part of the Monsoon Golf Team, Nikki does year round training with her personal coach a couple of days each week in Palm Valley in Goodyear to help supplement her skills.   

Bowen had lofty goals as a Freshman in her inaugural trip to the AIA State Golf Tournament hosted at Omni Tucson National last year. She set her sights on top 20 placement as she entered the tournament. Weather proved to be a barrier to her game as she competed on an unusually chilly Fall day in Tucson with wind gusts blowing 30 mph.  

“I had a ton of layers on and the bulky clothing affected my swing,” said Bowen.

Even with less than ideal conditions, she still managed to earn 24th place in her debut in state her freshman year.

Bowen continued to train in the off-season and entered her sophomore year with experience and a new state goal for the Fall season.  

“Going into state this year, I wanted to make the top 15,” she shared.  “I was the only golfer from Valley [Vista], so there was pressure but my team was rooting for me and wished me good luck as we traveled to Tucson.” 

Nikki did well in the practice round and met her goal by placing 12th in her second state performance.

Bowen looks to her role models for inspiration including pro golfers Brooke Henderson, the youngest golfer to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open, and Lexi Thompson who won the LPGA tournament when she was only 18. 

“They both did so much for the game of golf and at such a young age,” she shared.

Her coach, Mr. Trezzo also keeps her motivated and encourages her. 

“Coach Trezzo helps me with my game and to mentally overcome any doubts I have,” she shared. “If I had a bad hole, he keeps me calm and focused on the next shot ahead.”

“I am so proud of her. In her short time playing the sport, this is the second appearance at state,” said Trezzo.  “This young lady is putting together a career of excellence and district bests.”   

In addition to her impressive state performance, Nikki led the Monsoon to District Champions in the Dysart Cup, and was named Section 1 Division 1 Best Girl’s Golfer.

While the season ended in early November, Nikki continues to practice year round with her personal coach, she is a member Junior Golf Association of Arizona (JGAA), and plays in local and out of state tournaments. Nikki is focused on academics as well taking both honors and AP classes.  She has aspirations to play at the collegiate level after she graduates with her sights set on a D-1 school including UCLA, Sacred Heart in Connecticut, ASU, or NAU.  

“I’m aiming for top ten in state next year,” said Bowen. “I want to grow my game and get a better average.”  
Posted : 12/16/2021 | Direct Link
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