Flashback Friday: Laila Owens Sprints to First State Title

As a freshman in 2017, Laila Owens made her first state final in the 400m where she placed sixth with a time of 55.40 seconds. She ran one 200m race that year, at the Walter Heintschel Relays, and stopped the clock at 25.30. The next season, she broke 25 seconds in the 200m and placed fifth at the AAU Junior Olympics.

Owen's junior year was when she showed drastic improvements in both the 200m and 400m. The Fort Bend Marshall graduate (TX) ran one 400m race in all of 2019 and set a personal best of 54.00 (US #32) at the Lancaster Meet of Champions. At the 2019 UIL Outdoor State Championship, Owens showed she had the strength to best the state of Texas' competition.

In her first 200m final, she lined up in lane six with the orange top, to the outside of Desoto's (TX) Jayla Hollis and Rosaline Effiong. The starting gun went off and Effiong made up the stagger on Owens within the first 50m of the race. As the sprinters came off the turn, Effiong led Hollis and Owens. Owens, coming from third place, slingshotted off the curve, pumping her arms down the homestretch. With about 60m to go, Owens closed the small gap on the leaders before taking the lead with about 35m to go. She held on for her first state title in 23.38 seconds, which was the nation's 18th fastest time. 

During the 2020 indoor season, she ran the fastest time in the nation in the 200m with a 23.55 and ranked 11th-fastest in the 60m with a 7.47. This abbreviated outdoor season, she put up the nation's fastest time in the 400m with a 54.37. She will compete for Texas A&M beginning in the fall. 

1	Laila Owens	11	Fort Bend Bush	23.38	1.0	1
2	Rosaline Effiong	12	DeSoto	23.51	1.0	1
3	Jayla Hollis	11	DeSoto	23.52	1.0	1
4	Kenondra Davis	10	Fort Worth Trimble Tech	23.64	1.0	1
5	Dynasty Mcclennon	10	Summer Creek	23.79	1.0	1
6	Mariah Ayers	12	Garland Lakeview	24.47	1.0	1
7	Jasmine Montgom		San Antonio Reagan	24.55	1.0	1
8	Ashlann Cannon	12	San Antonio East Central	25.02	1.0	1