Owens enrolled in Cleveland's Fairmount Junior High School around 1927 and quickly attracted
the attention of a mentor who would prove crucial in his future athletic success. Charles Riley
worked at the school as a physical education teacher and track-and-field coach and immediately
realized that Owens was a naturally gifted•athlete who had not yet taken up serious training. Riley
started a rigorous training programme for Owens in special morning sessions before school.
Within a year, Owens was running the 100 -yard dash in eleven seconds and in 1928 he set two
world records for his age group in the high jump, at six feet, and the long jump, at twenty-two
feet, eleven and three-quarters inches. Owens also formed a warm personal relationship off the
track with Riley, who continued to coach him after he entered East Technical High School in 1930.
After Henry Owens suffered a traffic accident in 1929 and experienced extended periods of
unemployment in the Great Depression, Riley's role as a surrogate father was especially important
to the young athlete.
Develop a conversation between Jesse and his mentor Riley, when he realized that Jesse was a
. gifted athlete and encouraged him.