Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Kennedale senior Leon Powell's dedication earns him SportsDay boys track athlete of year honors and scholarship to his dream school
Leon Powell didn’t believe a college track career would be possible two years ago.
As a sophomore at Class 3A Kennedale, Powell ran the 100 meters in 11.2 seconds and the 200 in 22.9. Those times aren’t good enough to advance out of the District 6-3A meet, let alone earn Powell a college scholarship.
But he began training for track and field year-round and quit the football team before his senior season. The dedication paid off in more ways than one.
Powell didn’t lose a race as a senior this season in the 100, 200 or 400. He qualified for state in the 200 meters, 4x100 and 4x200 relays and won gold in all three.
He’s posted the area’s fastest time – in all classifications – in the 200 and ranks second in the 100. He set meet records in every meet he raced at this season, up to and including the 3A Region I meet, Kennedale coach Leon Paul said.
Powell more than proved himself worthy of a spot on a college roster and signed with UCLA, his dream school, in February.
“I never imagined I would be this successful in track,” Powell said. “I found trainers to help me during football season. I gave 100 percent effort and practiced every day.”
The Kennedale boys only qualified in Powell’s three events, and those 50 points were enough to bring the school its first team title.
Powell joined Juwan Washington, Taylor Thibeau and Donny Darville in the 4x100. He then teamed with Darville, Malik Burgess and Washington in the 4x200. They finished less than a second from state meet records in both races.
Powell’s accomplishments as an individual and as part of a team championship earned him the distinction as SportsDay’s All-Area boys track and field athlete of the year.
He’s the model for what can be accomplished with hard work, Paul said.
“Two years ago, I honestly think he didn’t really believe in himself,” Paul said. “We sat down and talked numerous times and I just let him know he had a chance to be great. It’s about how bad you want it.”
At state meet: Won gold in the 200 meters with a time of 21.01 seconds. Won gold in the 4x100 with a time of 41.53 seconds, and took gold in the 4x200 at 1:26.33.
Notable: Powell’s fastest times in the 100 (10.33) and 200 (20.83) rank in the top six nationally.
2009: Marquise Goodwin, Rowlett
2010: Tyler Stephenson, Lancaster
2011: Devin Field, Lancaster
2012: Abraham Hall, South Grand Prairie
2013: Robert Domanic, Hebron