Cavalier Corner

December 2021

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DECEMBER 2021 29 OWAYNE OWENS Graduate Student • Track & Field A native of Montego Bay, Jamaica, UVA graduate student Owayne Owens has been impressive as a triple jumper and long jumper for the Cavalier track and field program. And the two-time ACC cham- pion's desire to help others in the UVA community might surpass his accomplishments on the track. Last winter, Owens placed sixth at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the long jump to earn first-team All-America honors. That perfor- mance came after he captured the ACC title in the event. While the triple jump is considered his better event on the national stage, he also set the UVA long jump record during regular-season competition. Last spring, Owens won the ACC outdoor title in the triple jump to complete the sweep in the event. Hampered by a hamstring in- jury, he went on to place 15th at the NCAA Championships to earn second-team All-America honors. During the 2021 Hoos Choice all-sports awards banquet, Owens was honored by his fellow student-athletes as the recipient of the Ralph Sampson Scholarship Award for excellence in athletics, lead- ership and academics, and also the Ernest H. Ern Jr. Award for the impact he has made on student and community life. Owens' schedule away from the track is as impressive as his leap- ing skills. He has been an executive member of Black Student-Ath- letes Offering Service and Support; co-president of Run Charlottes- ville; the program director for ACE, which connects student-athletes with volunteering opportunities; and he acts as a tutor/mentor for City of Promise. Currently enrolled in the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, Owens has conducted virtual visits for local elementary school students, recorded video messages of encouragement for local senior residents during COVID, participated in virtual visits for Charlottesville Parks and Recreation campers, and organized a toi- letry drive for a local homeless shelter. His interest in helping others stems from his upbringing in Ja- maica. It's an outgrowth, he said, of "coming from a country where we did not have a lot, to coming to a place where we have more than we really need. "I just always try to surround myself with those people and oppor- tunities where I can give back and help out people," Owens added. "One of the things I love is helping people and to see people be- come better. It's my passion to help people that really drives me." Owens hopes to use his degree in public policy to expand his abilities and opportunities to help others after college. "I received my undergraduate degree in sociology, so that helps to understand how the social systems work," he said. "Taking that step into the policy side will give me the opportunity to have a bigger im- pact. I can sit with politicians and policymakers and try to create a more equal world for people of all sorts. "I want to be able to take what I've learned from sociology and policy and figure out how I can change policies in a way to benefit the masses." — Jim Daves • Photo by Matt Riley/courtesy UVA Athletics EXCEPTIONAL UVA STUDENT-ATHLETES

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