​Dolan Owens: From PE to running

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James Island's Dolan Owens talks about goals and becoming a runner.

Name: Dolan Owens
Personal bests: 4:24.10 (1600). 2:00.22 (800). 15:54.77 (5K)
Academic interest: Math and Science
Hobbies: Fishing, Basketball, Sky Zone, Goofing off
Interesting fact: When I was really young, I used to run around the playground. People followed me and that's how I made friends at school.

How did you get involved in the sport and why?
My parents and I have always known that I could run fast, but up until seventh grade, I just didn't have enough confidence in myself to compete in track. Then, in seventh grade, I had the desire to run due to running the mile each week in Coach (Joe) Eshelman's PE class.

How have you seen it change?
Although I'm only in my second season of track, I've still seen changes in the sport, like competitors being more friendly (even on the infield).

How do you feel you have grown in the sport?
Last year, my first season, I got extremely nervous about a week prior to each race. But, this season, I just get the normal pre-race jitters.

What has been your motivation for this season?
My motivation this season has been my injury at the beginning of the season. I had a knee injury, mostly from growing, and I was on the bike for about a month. That really made me want to come back strong and prove myself.

How do you look at the rankings?
I analyze them periodically to know who I need to chase after in races. I kind of use them as a scouting resource.

What goes throughout your mind as the gun is getting ready to go as you are waiting in the blocks or starting line?
I try to focus on running a smart race, but I don't get too nervous, because I know where I am supposed to be.

Do you have a pre-competition tradition? Please explain.
I wear the same socks every race, but other than that, I just have regular warm-ups and strides.

How would you rate your season so far?
I'd say my season has been decent. I've had a couple of setbacks, but the good thing is that I'm ready to peak at the right time.

Do you have any family members involved in the sport? Please explain.
My parents love exercise. My dad runs a boot camp in the mornings and my mom exercises and she ran track when she was younger. But, the big runner in my family is Chip Owens. He ran a 4:10 (1600) and 8:20 (3000) while at The Citadel. He is my dad's cousin and has been a big influence on my running career.

What challenges have you encountered in the sport?
Probably having to deal with injury or sickness, and having to push myself in workouts, alone.

Have you ever been injured? Please explain.
Yes, but really only once. At the beginning of the season, my left knee (and my right knee, just a little) had lots of pain when I put pressure on it. I was stuck on the stationary bike for about a month and I finally got over it with some quality icing, stretching, and other therapy. My coaches and I believe that it was mostly due to growing.

What do you hope to achieve in the sport and in life in the future?
I would like to break 4:00 in the full mile in high school, run competitively in college, and perhaps post-collegiately. As for life, I want to graduate (high school and college) with a great education and either become a doctor or work with marine life.

Do you have post season track plans?
I'm thinking of doing the SCRunners Meet of Champions, and maybe trying to find somewhere to run a fast 800. But, other than that, I'm going to take some time off then train for cross country.

What is your favorite workout and why?
My favorite workout is a nice, long set of 400s. I say this, because, when my goal times are fast and I hit them, it gives me confidence. Also, the added up distance is longer than I race, which provides me strength.

What goals have you set for the rest of the season?
I want to get a PR at state, hopefully sub-4:20, and if I'm in the race at the end, I'll shoot for the win. As an overall team, our boys don't' have a chance to win state, but I'd love for our 4x800 to place in the top five and break our school record.

Looking at the 2014 state meet, what do you remember and how did that make you prepare for the 2015 state meet?
At the 2014 State Meet, I didn't do well. Now, I did PR in the 1600, but I didn't have a good race. Having said that, the 2014 state meet makes me want to prove what I can do this year.

If there is one thing in the world you could do, what it would it be and why?
I would go into space because I would want to search for other life

Fun questions
Pre-race pump-up song: Renegades