Former Cornwall College jumper Owayne Owens looks to the future after successful seasonThursday, June 24, 2021
BY PAUL A REID
Fresh from his first full season in the NCAA Division One track and field, former Cornwall College jumper Owayne Owens of the University of Virginia has set his sights on “big dreams and big goals” for next year.
Owens, who is home for the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association's (JAAA) National Junior and Senior Championships that gets underway today at the National Stadium in Kingston, is hoping to make the team that will compete in the NACAC Under-23 championships in Costa Rica in July.
The 2018 County of Cornwall Athletics Association (COCAA) Boys' Class 1 triple and high jump champion is coming off his best season ever, winning the indoors/outdoors Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) triple jump titles, was first team All-American indoors after placing sixth, and second team all-American after he placed 14th at the outdoors nationals two weeks ago.
The two-time national representative was completing his first full season as he missed the indoors in his first year after undergoing an operation for a knee injury and had a limited outdoors, and only competed at the indoors in his second year as the outdoors was cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The long season did not leave him unscathed however, and he told the Jamaica Observer West last week that, “I am hanging on physically right now, I got a hamstring strain at Outdoor Nationals which is why I did not get to perform at the level that I wanted.”
“It's not a serious injury and I am trying to get it together for JAAA Trials and to make the Under-23 team to NACAC that would be good, but if I don't make the team, then I will take the time and heal the small injuries that I picked up during the season,” he added.
Whether he makes the team to Costa Rica or not, Owens has big plans for next year.
“I want next season to be one that I will dominate...I feel like it's time to start chasing some records, [former teammate Jordan Scott] set them for a reason so I think I need to start chasing them and national titles as well, and even make the national team, that would be great,” he told the Observer West.
“I have some big dreams and some big goals, but I have to take them step by step and if I don't get them next year, I still have another year to chase them,” added Owens, who also said he plans on going into this weekend's championships with a relaxed mindset.
“This weekend I feel like the most important thing for me is to have fun with it, all my competitions this year were tough and filled with tension but now the NCAA season is over and that was the most important thing for me. Now it is just to see if I can compete while having fun. There will be a lot of US-based athletes at Trials who I am friends with, and it will be good to see them and compete against them, and hopefully at the end of that I hope to make the team...the main point is to see family and friends.”
The third-year student, who will have two more years of eligibility left after sitting out the first indoors and last year's cancellation of the outdoors, noted that he had achieved most of his goals for this year.
“I feel like I achieved most of what I wanted to achieve, I wanted to finish the season strong and make first team Outdoors all-American,” he noted.
“But upon reflection, and I think first year, I had a major surgery and I only competed two or three times, second year I made it to indoor nationals and outdoors was cancelled and third year I went all the way, so first and foremost I would say that was a huge accomplishment that I was able to compete the entire season.”
The highlight of the year, he said, was getting first team Indoors all-American honours and winning the ACC champion indoor and outdoor.
“It's a step-by-step process and I achieved the first step with the end goal to win a national championship indoor and outdoor. I wanted to get first team all-American outdoor, but that is just another reason to continue to work hard and stay hungry, so it was a great season and I look forward to next year and hopefully, it will be another full season,” said Owens.
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