SAN ANTONIO – First impressions are everything.
To the coaches at Roosevelt High School, Rashod Owens made a great one.
"As a freshman, you could just tell that he had a lot of the tools and gifts that many kids wished they had," said Roosevelt boys Head Track & Field Coach Josh Garcia.
Now a Junior, Owens is taking those tools to the big stage: the UIL Track & Field State Championships this Saturday at Mike A. Meyers Stadium in Austin.
For Owens, it's a dream come true.
"I'm really looking forward to it," Owens said. "I'm just excited about the chance to compete and I just hope everything goes as well as planned."
Owens qualified and will compete in both the long jump and triple jump at state, but it's his performances in the latter that are drawing all the attention. Owens broke the San Antonio city triple jump record with a leap of 49 feet, 10 3/4 inches at the District 26/27 6A Area meet April 16.
He followed it up by jumping 49 feet, 1/2 inch April 26 at the Region IV meet, breaking a nearly three-decade-old record.
"It's all just the mindset really," Owens said. "If I want something, I'm going to go get it. I'm just going to be that person that wants to do better in anything and everything."
Garcia attributes that mindset to Owens' work ethic.
"His work ethic is tremendous. He comes in, is an AP student, has taken pre-AP classes since he was a freshman. I honestly think that's the biggest thing. He's not just able to keep his work ethic on the field or on the track or on the court. He keeps it going in the classroom as well."
As for Owens' goals Saturday in Austin?
"To do better than I've done in the past and hopefully get that state record."
The UIL Track & Field State Championships start Friday with the 1A, 3A and 5A events. 2A, 4A, and 6A hit the track on Saturday.