The senior, who longed to be Buckeye at The Ohio State University, has decided to continuing his track and field career at Clemson University in the fall.
Gathered at a signing ceremony March 7 in the Midpark library, Owens celebrated his decision with several family members, friends and coaches.
“It was really hard for me when I was at Ohio State and I had to really sit down and decide between moving away from everything I’ve ever known,” said Owens. “I know so many of my friends are going to go there and they’re going to continue their careers there and it was really hard to decide against it.”
As he walked around Clemson’s campus, it just felt right.
“I chose Clemson because it was the first time that I went to a college campus and it stood out to me that people just really liked being there,” said Owens. “Everything about it, people were happy, the student life, the track facility was amazing, just the vibe I got from there.
“I like the coaches and I felt like I could excel there.”
Owens emerged last summer when he placed second in the Division I pole vault at the state meet in Columbus.
It was a huge jump from having not qualified his sophomore season due to suffering mono. Owens joined teammate Branson Repasy at the 2012 state competition. Jerry Hopkins advanced to Columbus in 2011.
Below are some quotes from individuals in the Midpark community regarding Owens:
Bob Johnson, Midpark athletic director **C**
“He’s signing with an outstanding university in Clemson. We’re here to recognize and let him know we appreciate everything he’s done to get to this level.”
Rick Mack, Midpark track and field coach **C**
“It’s been a pleasure having Aaron on the team, watching the maturation process from being a freshman to his senior year, watching him compete week in, week out, deal with adversity and overcome those things not let them become obstacles.
“To know going into the pole vault we are going to win the meet each and every time is a very nice feeling. His peers I think have worked to make him even better so it has been an absolute pleasure. I’m glad that he’s got this opportunity to compete at a major Division I college, kind of wear the orange a little bit longer.”
Jamie Fleming, Midpark pole vaulting coach **C**
“It’s been a pleasure over the past four years and I look forward to continuing to work with him when he comes back from Clemson. We’re real excited about this season now that this is said and done.
“I’m just so proud of Aaron watching him grow the past four years. Having the three guys together on one team has pushed everybody and it’s just gonna be great. Hopefully you all come and watch these guys vault and see what they can do because they’re pretty special.”
Dave McFarland, Midpark football coach **C**
“Integrity is what comes to mind when I think of this kid. Integrity to me is doing the right things when nobody is around. He does the right things academically and he’s just a great citizen and a great example of a Midpark student and I’m sure he’ll carry Midpark’s name to Clemson and it’ll be an awesome experience.”
Branson Repasy, Midpark pole vaulter **C**
“I think it’s just awesome to have somebody like Aaron to compete with and compete against as my teammate. I think that I have helped him get better and he’s helped me become better every practice and every meet.”