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The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

The student news site of James Bowie High School

The Dispatch

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Star emerging for Bowie track & field

Junior Owen Langdon has been a key contributor to the Bulldogs’ track squad this year
Junior Owen Langdon has been a key contributor to the Bulldogs’ track squad this year
Nick Wood
THE MAD DASH: Junior Owen Langdon practices sprints, during track practice. Racing against fellow sprinters Langdon starts off strong.

Junior Owen Langdon is waiting at the turn. His hands sweating, heart pounding, waiting for the baton to enter his grasp before he can take off. He feels the baton hit his hand and runs like the wind passing everyone around him, giving the Bulldogs a key lead in the race. This is what Langdon has done time and time again for Bowie and he is looking to continue his success this year.

Langdon has been running track since seventh grade, allowing him to perfect his skills and form over time

“I really did it to help with football because I would be able to become faster and stronger for football,” Langdon said, “But then I really took a liking to track and started taking it more seriously.”

Langdon runs multiple races, including the 4x400m and 110 hurdles. Since Langdon is a dual sport athlete, his training time in the relay race is limited, however his teammate, junior Xander Pratt, has been training with Langdon for several years, helping to compensate for the lack of time.

“I’ve known Langdon since I was ten,” Pratt said. “It helps that I already know his habits like how he hands off the baton and how fast he tends to run.”

Pratt and Langdon have always had a friendly rivalry between them, which help push them to improve their race times

“We’re both competitors and we always want to be faster than each other,” Pratt said. “It really helps us cause we are both training to be better and it’s fun to compete with him.”

This lifelong friendship between Pratt and Langdon has helped them tremendously, allowing both to be in the top four for the Bulldogs 4x400m.

“Getting to run with Langdon is really fun because since we’ve known each other for so long everything is like second nature,” Pratt said. “It really helps the team and everyone run better when you have known them for so long. It feels like a family.”

Because Langdon plays football and track, he has to train differently following the football season in order to prepare for track.

OFF THE BLOCKS: Junior sprinter Owen Langdon bursts out of the blocks during practice. Langdon focuses on a strong launch to give him a good start in his races. (Nick Wood)

“During football season I really just train for strength and speed,” Langdon said. “I don’t care about my running form when on the football field. So, when the season ends and track starts I have to relearn some of my running form so I can run better in meets which is really tough because I’ll be so used to running one way and then I have to change my entire form in only a couple weeks.”

Langdon’s coach, Brandon Pittman, has been around track his entire life. This season will be his 23rd year coaching track. Pittman’s knowledge has helped Langdon in his track career.

“Coach Pittman is a really good coach,” Langdon said. “He’s done a lot for me as a runner and really helps with my training and getting me to take that next step in track to become really good.”

The Bulldogs lost a lot of talent last year according to Coach Pittman. Langdon, a returner to the squad from last year, has had to step up not only as a runner, but as a leader.

“He’s been encouraging guys to come to practice which helps a lot,” Pittman said. “The thing with track is we have so many athletes that also play other sports, so we don’t often get to be together for practice and Langdon being able to get everyone to come to practice together really helps us with chemistry and team flow.”

Pratt has also noticed Langdon’s emergence as a leader, helping the team aim for new heights for this season.

“He’s really become a good leader for us and it pushes us to all be better,” Pratt said. “I think he’s helped us a ton with training and staying positive about the season and getting ready for it.”

Typically in track the fastest person in the relay is the last person, also known as the anchor. Coach Pittman takes a different approach placing his fastest runner, Langdon, in the second spot.

“A lot of people wait and put their fastest runner on the anchor, but a lot of times the race could be over by then and then all of a sudden he’s having to pull from behind,” Pittman said. “So, if you put him on that second leg, you can lengthen your lead a little bit and it makes the race a lot easier for the other guys because they aren’t trailing.”

Langdon thought he was going to be running anchor this year, however Pittman’s philosophy has gave Langdon a new perspective.

“I was really surprised,” Langdon said. “When he said I was running second I was confused but the more I thought about it it made more sense for me to run second and I trusted coach to put me in the best position to succeed and give the team the best shot to win.”

Pittman believes that being a dual-sport athlete has helped Langdon greatly and is a big reason why he is as good as he is.

“The lifting during football season is key because one of the fastest ways to improve your speed is to get strong,”  Pittman said. “So, I think the lifting part of it and then just the mental toughness part of football really helps as well.”

Langdon’s season last year was cut short due to injury. This devastated Pittman who has really made it a priority this season to keep Langdon healthy.

“Last year Langdon came up short for making state in the hurdles because he got injured right at the end,” Pittman said. “What we’re looking for this year is just for him to stay healthy and be 100 percent going into the most important parts of the season.”

Langdon has always wanted to run track in college. However, according to Langdon there are improvements to be made in order to get an offer.

“I want to try to stick to running but I will have to do some field stuff if I want to run in college,” Langdon said. “I’ll probably do pole vaulting, triple jump, or long jump.”

Pittman has bigger expectations for Langdon outside of this season or even in high school, as he believes Langdon has the ability to continue to run at the next level.

“Langdon is definitely able to run track somewhere in college,” Pittman said. “I think he’s got a really good chance and he’s already looked really good this year.”

Because Langdon and Pratt have been running track together for so long, Pratt is considering the possibility that they will be teammates in college.

“That would be awesome,” Pratt said. “Since I’ve known him for basically my entire track career it would be really cool to continue to run together in college.”

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