FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) – Arkansas junior Ayden-Owens Delerme, one of three finalists for the Bowerman Award, is currently preparing for the World Athletics Championships which is coming to the USA for the very first time.

“It’s been a long time coming but like you said I’m 22 years old and I’d love to have a long career in this sport and I think this is the beginning,” Owens-Delerme said.

This will be the first time he will be competing in an adult international competition. However, that isn’t something that phases Owens-Delerme since the decathlon is still the decathlon.

“They say it’s a grown man’s event, I’m now a grown man so I’m ready to go out there and get in the ring with some of these guys and honestly I say it’s a competition between me and myself. I’m really not worried about any other person in this whole world and whoever lines up at the line, it’s me, my lane, the track is still 400 meters,” Owens-Delerme said.

Owens-Delerme won’t just be representing the Razorbacks at Worlds since he’s also competing for a place that’s near to his heart.

“My mom’s side of the family is all from Puerto Rico, I’ve been visiting every summer as often as I could since I was a little boy so I’ve always had a strong connection , my grandparents were straight out of Puerto Rico, wore the flag, wore the culture and heritage with pride. They instilled that in me and wanted me to carry that along and they’ve passed so I wanted to dedicate my career to them,” Owens-Delerme said.

After all he’s been able to accomplish at Arkansas after just a year, it’s likely he will make both his family and Hog nation proud at Worlds.

The World Athletics Championships will be held in Eugene, Oregon from July 15- July 24. Owens-Delerme will be competing alongside 15 other former Razorbacks, current Razorbacks, and Razorback volunteer assistants.