Memphis athlete Joshua Owten competed in the United States of America Track and Field (USATF) National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championship in Turner Stadium in Humble, Texas and won the bronze medal.
The soon to be Central High School freshman and member of Youth Track and Field of Memphis racked a time of 26.16 in the boys (13-14) 200 meter hurdles final, finishing third to Caleb Roberson of Cal Rising Stars and Jaylon Robinson of 2NDWIND Athletics. Owten also competed in the boys (13-14) long jump flight 2, where he placed 17th.
The 2014 Junior Olympics – held July 21-27 – were the third for Owten. And although participating in track and field opened the door to the Junior Olympics, Owten said his interest in track and field came while he was trying to prepare for another sport.
“I wanted to participate (in track and field), at first, to get in shape for football,” Owten said.
His track-and-field journey has included competing in the Middle School TN State Meet, where he placed first in the 400-meter dash and third in the 100-meter hurdles, and the Area 1 Kirby final, where he placed first in the 100-meter preliminaries, second in the 400-meter dash preliminaries, and 10th in the high jump, according to tn.milesplit.com.
While Owten has been participating in track for three years, this was his first year being involved with Youth Track and Field of Memphis – a nonprofit organization and USATF club.
“I just did what my coach told me in practice, and it (preparing for the event) wasn’t really hard. I was calm because I did this last year, and I was confident that I would succeed,” Owten said.
Owten also plays football, plays the trumpet in the band and bowls. Once while injured and unable to compete, he took part in a missionary trip to the Dominican Republic.
Even with his various activities and accomplishments, Owten still believes there’s room for improvement and he has learned to be open to constructive advice.
“The best advice (I received) is that I should just listen to authority, and always go for my goal,” Owten said. As far as improvement goes, Owten said, “In track and football, I need to work on my technique and balance.”
Owten would like to compete in the World Olympics some day. He plans on attending college in Alabama, studying music and continuing to participate in sports during his college career. He’s open to a professional career in sports, but if it doesn’t happen he’ll be fine with that as well.
Asked what advice he would give to others who may dream of participating in the Junior Olympics or the World Olympics, Owten stressed focus and hard work.
“It’s possible for anybody,” he said. “You just have to put your mind to it, and just work hard.”