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Mannford’s Ryan Owens – Track Spotlight – Presented by OrthoOklahoma

Mannford High School junior Ryan Owens is expecting more success on the track to come his way this spring.

His sophomore year “went great” by his own standards.

“I made it to state in the 4×200. I believe we got 12th, and I made it in the open 100. I got 15th,” Owens said.

As he rounds the second curve of his varsity running career, Owens is anticipated to be one of the Pirates’ most productive sprinters. He’ll run the open 400m and 800m relay again this year and will carry the stick on the 400m and 1600m relays, too. Owens also runs cross country and plays basketball for the Pirates — the kid hardly ever stops running.

“I started cross country in fifth grade. That’s where I learned I loved running, and now I run it ever since, and I also did basketball in fifth grade,” Owens recounted. “I started track in fifth grade, but fifth-sixth grade, I would only race people from my school, which was Cushing at the time.”

Owens would move to Ripley in seventh grade, but his running career was delayed by the pandemic.

“I couldn’t run track because of Covid, then I moved to Mannford in eighth grade,” Owens said. “That’s when I really got serious about track. I ran the 800 and the 4×800. Freshman year, I did the same thing.”

After two moves, the dynamic athlete made another change, transitioning from middle-distance to short-distance races.

“I got faster and started running the 4×100, 4×200, 400 and 4×400,” Owent said. 

It wasn’t easy, he admitted.

“Really, just moving schools was my biggest challenge. I had to meet new teammates and coaches,” Owens said. “[Track] was one of the only things I was good at, and being around the people here, they’re so supportive, and that’s what makes me love track.”

Being a Mannford Pirate, Owens said, is about camaraderie. That support, not only from his teammates and coaches, but his classmates, teachers and the community — it’s a rare thing.

“It means family, hard work, dedication and a lot of effort and heart in whatever you do,” Owens said.

Owens’ heart is in this thing, and you’ll have a hard time finding a more dedicated teen athlete. This year, it’s not just about running the races, passing the baton and crossing the finish line. It’s also about the purple uniform he’s wearing.

“My goals are to make it to state in the 400m again and PR, hopefully get a low :50,” Owens said, “and to make it [to state] in some relays. That would be nice.”

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