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Miles Owens: Grafton alumn goes to college

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Miles Owens racing at the Newport News Invitational his senior year at Grafton.

Miles Owens racing at the Newport News Invitational his senior year at Grafton.

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Candid Color

Miles Owens racing at the Newport News Invitational his senior year at Grafton.

Alex Murphy, Staff

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Miles Owens, a Grafton alum, is currently a freshman at the College of William & Mary on a four-year running scholarship.

He was also recruited by the University of Connecticut and George Mason University, but ultimately chose William & Mary.

“I just was very overwhelmed by the recruiting process and William & Mary was the only place I had officially visited, so I just committed here,” Owens said.

Owens is still undecided about what exactly he plans to major in, but he is leaning towards a major in biology or psychology. In the future, he hopes to either become a coach or work in the field of sports medicine.

He said he would possibly want to come back to Grafton and coach with Coach Valenti, the current boys cross country coach and track coach. Eventually, though, he said he hopes to coach at a Division 1 program.

The transition from high school to college athletics was not much of a challenge for Owens.  He said the toughest part about graduating from Grafton was leaving the team and coaches Valenti and sprint coach, Nichols.

Owens said the difference between Grafton’s and William and Mary’s running programs is the speed and depth of the runners. He welcomes the challenge of having faster teammates because it pushes him to work harder.

“Everybody here is just as fast, if not faster than me, so, I’ve got people to train with,” Owens said.

Although his cross country season was short, he said it was a good start.

“It was short since I wasn’t on the official roster, but very productive winning an 8K race and racing pretty well in a 6K and then in a road mile,” Owens said.

It has been a challenge for him running longer distances in college, but by the end of the season, his personal record for the 8K was 25:55.

“Being a mid distance runner, I’m not really running enough miles to run a great 8K, but next cross-country season after really increasing my mileage over the summer, I should be ready,” Owens said.

During outdoor track season, his coach said he wants him to move up to the 800 and 1500, as well as earn a spot on the 4×400 relay team.

Owens has tried to change his high school habits to improve his running in college. Instead of just doing a short run the day before a race, he now also follows it with an ice bath. Then, on race day, he does a 15-minute shakeout run in the morning followed by running drills with a 20-minute warm-up.

Mentally, he tries not to get too nervous and put himself in situations in which he might fail. He said he is learning how to begin races faster instead of starting out at a safer, more comfortable pace. He said he surprised himself at the success he has had in his first two races and hopes he will continue to run well.

“I want to see where my running career can take me, and I’m hopeful for a bright future,” Owens said.

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Miles Owens: Grafton alumn goes to college