Welcome to Buffaloes Summer Break where CUBuffs.com catches up with Colorado student-athletes and coaching staff members throughout the summer "off season."
Today's installment comes from junior javelin thrower Brian Owens, Jr. A native of Elmer, N.J., Owens didn't compete for the Buffaloes in 2012, but as a freshman in 2011 he recorded the seventh-best javelin throw in team history with a toss of 221 feet at the CU Invite. He placed sixth in the javelin at the 2011 Big 12 Outdoor Championships with a throw of 206'-0".
What is your favorite summer time activity?
Mine is definitely going to the beach, I grew up on the southern New Jersey Shores and almost every weekend of every summer we would go down and spend the days laying on the beach, fishing, swimming and just truly relaxing. There’s something about the ocean that puts me at peace, my family is the same way and some of our greatest times were just sitting around laughing and having a great time together. I hope one day I can get my mom and dad a little place down the shore for us to visit whenever we need a break.
Favorite vacation destination and why?
Yellowstone National Park. Last summer I completed my 18th trip there. My family and I have road tripped from New Jersey to Yellowstone almost every summer of my life, along with a few spring break trips. In a sense I believe I’ve kind of grown up there, I have so many memories there that I will never forget for the rest of my life. My brother Mattie passed away seven years ago and before he died he made the trip 15 times and he wasn’t even 14 years old yet. No matter what was going on in our life my parents and us four sons always made sure we took our trip to the park, and I’m glad my parents made it that way because to this day some of my greatest memories of Mattie come from Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone is my paradise and it will be forever.
What was your first summer job?
Working for my dad; up until recently it was my only job I’ve had. My father builds beautiful custom homes for a living and every summer my brothers and I would take turns helping him on the jobsite. He would purposely make us do all the non-glorious, labor-intensive work, he said it would teach us a good lesson. That lesson being to use our athletic talent and don’t let it be wasted, he wanted us to know we can do that kind of work at any time in life but use your athleticism to make a living while you can...let’s just say I’m still listening.
What was your most memorable summer job experience?
Building our own house in South Jersey. My dad, myself, my brother Mattie and one of our cousins built our home when I was 10 years old. I’ve been to work on a lot of houses with my father but building our own was the first one I got to help on and it was an exciting feeling. I know my mom must have been really excited and proud that her husband and sons were building her home, I hope we get to build another one soon.
What is the most important activity you engage in during the summer months that helps prepare you for the next season?
It would have to be training at a more intense pace because you have a little more time on your hands in the summer. I’ve always liked the feeling of going back to school in elite shape, its made me more confident for any workout/competition that would come up. That’s what I’m doing now because I want to be in the greatest condition for next spring. Although the season is a long ways off I know all my competitors are training hard so I believe I should train even harder so I have a leg up on them all. This kind of thinking has always kept me hungry and ready for more.
If they offered a class in ______________________ at Colorado during the summer I would surely get an A+
Fishing the World 101
What is your favorite moment here at Colorado so far?
Putting on the Colorado jersey before every meet, it instantly revs up my adrenaline and a certain amount of pride and power comes over me. Part of it has to do with all the amazing athletes and coaches that are here with me now and the ones that came before me. The other part of it is I know what I’ve had to go through in my life that certainly has helped me get here, so when I put that jersey on I know I’m making all my loved ones and fellow Buffaloes proud and that’s when I’m ready to rock and roll.
The thing that surprised you the most about the move from the Big 12 to the Pac-12 Conferences is:
I cant say that I was surprised that we switched from the Big 12 to the Pac-12, I’ve always kind of thought that our school, as the student body goes, sort of identified with the Pac-12 schools better. However, I was surprised at how quick we made the move, from announcing that we were going to the time of the first competition was extremely fast.
Best advice for youth that are beginning to compete in athletics.
BELIEVE. This is the attitude my parents instilled in us sons our entire life. I can remember my mom writing my brothers and I little notes before games telling us to “believe” in ourselves and “you can do it.” Then our Dad who was also our coach getting us fired up and ready to take on the world before the games or competitions. They wanted us to know that as long as you believe it will happen or that you can achieve something, then you will do it. I love my parents for that, and without them giving that to me I don’t know if I would be where I am today.
If you could play a single game/event for a CU team that is not your sport, which would it be and why?
I’d have to say football, I played throughout high school and initially I wanted to play in college, but after meeting and talking to coaches Casey and Lindsey Malone I shifted my focus towards the Olympics, which I hope to be part of one day. But I wouldn’t mind jumping out on the field and showing off a little bit. I’d have to talk Casey into being okay with it first though.
If you could bring one famous person to Colorado for a day-long tour who would it be, and what would you do with them?
I’d have to say (New York Yankees star) Derek Jeter, he’s my favorite athlete and when I played baseball my style of play was close to his. I like that he is all class too, he would be someone you would want to be friends with. So after we went out to a field and tested who was fastest and who could make the better plays, I’d take him fly-fishing and backpacking to introduce the city-slicker Yankees Captain to the Rocky Mountain lifestyle.