Meet Colby Owens, an authentic Baltimore native

Meet the authentic, record-breaker Colby Owens


Samuel Chacko

Colby Owens, who’s a Sophomore at Cerritos College and is part of the Track and Field team, poses for a headshot near the bleachers.

Samuel Chacko, Editor-in-Chief

Colby Owens, the youngest child of two siblings, Kai Roberts (28) and Braxton Owens (24), and said his family is active.

“A lot of my childhood is just staying active, staying in sports, traveling, doing whatever my older siblings were doing,” Owens said, “My childhood was just playing football and just playing outside.”

He was born in Baltimore, Maryland in April of 2001 and said that Baltimore shaped the person he is today, pointing to the love and culture the city brings.

Owens first got into track because he wanted to be faster for high school football and it was something he did in the off-season.

“In 9th grade, I ran indoor track at Owings Mill high school and I was pretty good in my first year and the coaches were excited,” he said about his first experience in track, “Eventually, I stopped playing football because I didn’t like the contact of the sport […] and injuries.”

Track and field was the first sport where he’d chosen his own path; Owens said that he chose football because of his family playing and talking about football, especially his older brother.

Sharon Johnson, Owens’ track and field coach at Milfold Mill Academy high school, talked to his mother after seeing him run during his 9th-grade year and led to him transferring over to Milfold Mill high school.

He revealed that she even helped him get his license, “I asked her and she said it was no problem […] she didn’t have to do that and I still appreciate it to this day.”

Johnson also helped with track and field — whether it’s getting him on a diet, getting the right amount of sleep and motivating him.

Colby Owens is relaxing after his 200-meter race during the conference championships. (Crystal Nguyen)

The Baltimore-born runner said that his family being close together made it easy for him to stay out of trouble and distractions.

Owens mentions the role his brother and sister play in his life, “Just seeing him [brother] going through football and sports made me motivated me and try to model him in that way.

“My sister, she’s super smart and gets straight A’s so even having the balance of both, modeling after them.

He would always do what his brother did, whether it was being in football, moving to California or his love of fashion.

“I think spending time alone is the best way to find yourself and find your true identity,” he said about reflecting on life and isolation, which he points to going on train rides.

He moved from Baltimore to California, after seeing his brother move to California in high school.

Most of his family still lives in Baltimore, Maryland and his family supported his decision, “She [mother] always pushed us to travel and do things we aren’t accustomed to. To take risks and take chances, don’t be too comfortable in your situation.”

His mother, Kiana Jones, a Financial Analyst and Business Consultant while his father owns a food truck and entertainment business called That Dude and His Food” and “Wine & Pasta Events,” located in Baltimore, Maryland.

“She was one of the few parents who didn’t baby her kids […] so she started giving life lessons early on and helped us grow up faster but not too fast to not enjoy childhood,” he said about his mother.

After moving to California, his goal was to go to a juco (Junior college) and transfer to a 4-year university; While he was looking up times, he came across two different Junior colleges — Mt. San Antonio and Cerritos College, which he chose Cerritos.

“A lot of places you can go and they just focus on running […] I didn’t want to feel like I was by myself out here,” he said as Cerritos brought that family atmosphere he always had.

Colby Owens starts the race off strong as he runs during the 200-meter race on April 29. (Crystal Nguyen)

Even when he’s in California, he still stays in contact with his close friends in Baltimore, which he played football with.

Tahj Roberts, a known private tattoo artist and Richard Akers, plays for McNeese State University, “We stayed close and stayed family-oriented […] my friends to me are an extension of family […] It’s a blessing to really have a friend group like that,” Owens said.

One of Owens’ teammates on the Falcons’ track team, Caleb Dunomes, had glowing things to say about him.

Dunomes pointed to his authenticity and Owens’ being a top 400m runner and one of the top sprinters on the team.

Similar to Owens’ is Kyrie Irvine, his favorite athlete, “He shows he makes mistakes, he’s authentically him.”

The sociology major said his goals are to coach/train track and field athletes, open up a juicing smoothie place [a family-owned business] in Baltimore, a dream to be a sports agent/lawyer.