Meeting a legend

Carl Lewis Invitational leads junior to his hero


Photo by Merideth Stanfill

Junior Owen linkins has exemplified exceptional performance throughout his high school cross country and track career. Linkins owes much of his motivation from his Olympic track hero, Carl Lewis

Story by Caden Rainwater, staff writer

Junior Owen Likins chooses to envelop his life into his greatest passion: running. As an example of great diligence and hard work, Likins has been running with the best of Texas High since his freshman year. Many have taken notice of his talent and he has been invited to many cross country meets around the nation. His most recent of which is also his most notable, not only for college coaches to notice, but because it also served as an unforgettable race for him.

Racing in the Carl Lewis Invitational didn’t simply come with the sweet taste of victory and a shiny medal, this specific race was held by one of Likins hero’s, Carl Lewis. Lewis, a former track and field athlete from America who has won many Olympic and world championship medals, has been holding an annual high level cross country meet in Houston, Texas since 2014.

“He’s one of the greatest track athletes of all time,” Likins said.

I’ve always respected how many medals he’s received as an Olympian.”

— Owen Linkins

After making the long drive to Houston, Likins did exceptional, winning his own section. Although some believe his unique cheetah running shorts give him powers, the victory came within a fraction of a second. Despite his narrow victory, Likins’ section win was not the only thing he was able to celebrate at the meet; after his race he was named athlete of the meet, and had the privilege of meeting Carl Lewis on the podium.

“Winning is always fun, but being able to compete at the high level and win was really exciting,” Likins said. “Then, winning athlete of the meet was a privilege.”

However, Owen didn’t take on the invitational alone; he was accompanied by his little brother, freshman Evan Likins. Evan is also apart of the cross country team, this being his first year, and he has already been placed on varsity.

“Running with Evan was really fun, because we ran unattached we were like our own little team,” Likins said. “It was so cool to get to race together at an invitational.”

As he finishes his junior year and goes into the 2019 track season, Owen has gained the motivation necessary from his hero.

“The whole event was motivation to keep working hard and pushing myself,” Likins said. “So I feel like I can really go somewhere one day.”