Jay Bowers was a standout member of the cross country and track and field squads for the Crusaders, serving as the captain of both teams during his senior year. He won the New England championship in the 880-yard run as a junior with a time of 1:55.2. Bowers also set what were then Holy Cross and Fitton Field records in the 880-yard run with a time of 1:52.7 in May of 1960. In addition, he was a member of the two-mile relay team which won the IC4A championship and the National AAU championship in 1961, while going undefeated in the 880-yard run in dual meet competition as a senior. Following his senior year, Bowers received the John C. Lawlor Medal, awarded to the top student and athlete at Holy Cross throughout the college course.