By Fred Wallace
There are many mythical characters in local sports; performers and teams who have achieved greatness in their respective activities.
For the longest time, I've wondered about Jerry Bouma.
Jerry Bouma, a West Hill Secondary grad, who holds the longest standing record in Bluewater Track & Field; the Senior Boys 1500 metres established in 1970 at 4 minutes & 1 second.
In fairness, when Bouma established the record it was for the mile, or 1600 metres, and the time that is listed for the record is the equivalent time.
So be it. It's the recognized standard.
Nevertheless, one night at Hanover Raceway, a friend of Jerry's wondered if I'd be interested in interviewing him.
I nearly fell over.
And so it was set up, a quick call one morning to Edmonton, Alberta where I caught Bouma, who's running almost as fast these days in his various professional activities as he did when he was a Raider.
Jerry Bouma definitely remembers the Friday in 1970 that he set the Bluewater mark.
But moreso, he remembers the following day at Hamilton when he ran the first leg of the distance medley in the Corneilius Relay, where he ran 1,200 metres in 3:02 and gave the Raiders a huge 100 metre lead on their way to taking the event.
Bouma also remembers his teammates Blaine Courtney, Lyle Marshall and Morrison Reid and what a thrill it was for all of them to win that event.
Now 56 years of age, Jerry Bouma marvels that tremendous Bluewater athletes through the years; Jason Weppler, Andrew McKessock and especially Kurt Benninger have not been able to crack that record time.
Some day he know, someone will beat that standard.
But for now, Jerry Bouma's record in the 1500 metres stands and is as significant to him today as it was on that Friday in 1970.
I'm Fred Wallace