Christopher Bowman, "The Showman," finished second in the world in 1989 as his seemingly carefree old self. He finished third in the world in 1990, coming back from injury, as his old self. He doesn't have a world-championship or Olympic gold medal as his old self.

So it's a new Bowman who finished the senior men's free skate Friday with eight (of 14) scores of 5.9 to win the overall title in the Pacific Coast Sectional men's competition that is a qualifying meet to the 1991 National Figure Skating Championships in Minneapolis next month.He has changed his attitude and his skating, as well as his coach, all with the idea of taking that one last step that will lead to a gold medal. "I want to be remembered as doing something important," he says.

Erik Larsen of Los Angeles Figure Skating Club, Bowman's teammate, placed second, ahead of Rudy Galindo and Doug Mattis. The top four advance to nationals.

In the senior ladies' first event, the optional program, Tonya Harding of Portland's Carousel club has the lead going into tonight's final event that starts at 8:10 p.m. at the Bountiful rink. Like Bowman, Harding was also ill at the Salt Lake nationals and didn't place.

She's far enough ahead going into tonight's freestyle she said she might throw in her triple axel - very few women in the world do it - just to compete it again or to help if her competition tonight looks hot.

In the other senior event Friday, Jeanne Miley and Micahel Verlich led the original program that concludes at 12:15 p.m. today.