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Bowman hits right notes as anthem singer

Spring Valley's Riley Bowman has the spotlight to herself and a crowd of over 12,000 in the Kohl Center in Madison to sing the national anthem before the finals of the WIAA State Wrestling Meet Saturday evening. -- Photo by Sean Scallon.

MADISON--Brady Webb, who is a member of the Spring Valley-Elmwood prep wrestling cooperative, was competing in the finals of the WIAA State Wrestling Meet Saturday evening in the Kohl Center. He goes to Elmwood High School.

But Spring Valley High School was not unrepresented at the meet.

Riley Bowman, a 15-year old freshman at SVHS, was also there on the arena floor. Although not a competitor, she was important, too, singing the national anthem to kick-off "Championship Saturday Night."

And just as a wrestler gets the thrill of competing on the big stage in front of the big crowd, so too did Bowman.

"It's the same as sports," Bowman said. "It's just the thrill and the excitement you get singing in front of an audience. That's what motivates me and helps me feel confident rather than nervous singing in front of all those people."

It would be hard for Bowman to feel nerves by now because she's sung the anthem in front of large crowds at the American Birkenbiner cross country ski race and before a Minnesota Timberwolves game too. Since the sixth grade, Bowman has sung in school musicals and plays in Spring Valley, and has gone to state competitions as a soloist in the Wisconsin State Music Association competitions as well. She'll also be singing in the Spring Valley's school musical this month, "Into the Wood."