St. Paul., Minn. – Gustavus Adolphus senior men’s track and field athlete Josh Owens (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) has been featured on the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s (MIAC) Stedent-Athlete Spotlight. The MIAC Spotlight highlights student-athletes from around the conference twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
A graduate of Champlin Park High School, Josh will graduate this spring with a degree in biology. Owens was recently named the March Student-Athlete of the Month after winning his second straight MIAC title in the pole vault and earning All-America honors with a fourth place finish at the NCAA Championships.
The Gustavus track and field team will kick off the outdoor season this weekend at the Wartburg Select being held April 5-6 in Waverly, Iowa.
Josh Owens, Gustavus Adolphus College
Senior, Men’s Track and Field (Pole Vault)
Brooklyn Park, Minn./ Champlin Park
What do you like most about competing in the MIAC?
I would say all of the friends I have made, not only on the Gustavus Track team but from other schools as well. I was in the Twin Cities for a January term internship my sophomore year and was able to go to Bethel and pole vault with them twice a week. The MIAC has a very competitive atmosphere among schools, but when it comes right down to it we are all student athletes doing what we love to the best of our ability. The willingness to help the competition improve is so refreshing and heartwarming.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a student-athlete?
I would say the greatest lesson I have learned from being a student-athlete is that you can take any one piece of your life and apply it to every other aspect of your life. I am truly a student-athlete during all times of my day whether I am in the classroom, working on things for other organizations I am involved in, or on the track.
Who has been the most influential person in your athletic career?
I have to pick two people for this question. The first is my high school swim coach, employer and friend Joe Thiel. Not only did he teach me the fundamentals of good sportsmanship, but he taught me about hard work, dedication, having fun, time management, and many other things. I went through many high school swim practices absolutely hating Joe for putting me through a hard set, making me wake up for 7 a.m. practice on a Saturday or having me swim a ridiculously hard set just an hour before a meet. However, at the end of the day, it was Joe who taught me that when it comes to sports, if you’re not having fun you shouldn’t be doing it. When I got to college I chose to solely pursue my pole vault career and gained a phenomenal mentor and coach, Fred Berg. It’s hard to describe Fred and all that he has done for me. Fred has built on everything Joe taught me, solidifying the reasons that I work hard, why I am a dedicated individual and why I have so much love for my sport and being active. I can say with complete confidence that I would not be where I am today without Fred’s coaching and mentorship (which he will humbly deny, stating it’s us pole vaulters who do all the work). I learn so much from Fred everyday whether it pertains to pole vaulting or life and because of him, I have renewed and strengthened my dedication for the sport that now takes the cake in my heart.
What is your greatest sports moment?
I would have to say clearing 5.05m (16 ft 6.75 in) at the Meet of the Unsaintly my Junior year. I had just come off of a no height at Mankato State the Wednesday before and being able to bounce back and have the best meet of my athletic career was so exciting and fun.
If you could be famous for something, what would that be?
I have a goal to do a transcontinental bike tour across the United States on my road bike sometime within the next few years. Going off of that, I would want to be famous for being the first person to
bike across Antarctica.