Jumping past the competition at the national level, Stony Point High School junior Jacob Jenkins earned a top placement in the Triple Jump category at the AAU Junior Olympics this summer.
With a jump of 44 feet and almost 11 inches, Jacob was able to grab fourth place out of more than 60 of the nations top athletes. It’s an achievement he’s been working towards since seventh grade and has taken time, dedication and the mindset to give it his all every day regardless of obstacles.
“Working every single day, bounding, and just running, enduring like 108-degree weather,” Jacob said. “At the moment you’re like, I can’t do this, I don’t want to do this, like, it’s not worth it. But after all, it’s worth it.”
Jacob’s journey to the Junior Olympics didn’t take place overnight, along with the intense training he does through the year, he had to qualify for the national competition during four competitions with his summer club. This meant working to improve his distance and endurance during a time that students are typically hanging out with friends and relaxing during the summer break.
“Every track meet you go to you need to give it your all because you never know who is watching you,” Jenkins said. “Each meet was an opportunity to qualify for the national competition and get the highest score you can get.”
The work came together though when Jacob saw the caliber of junior national athletes at the competition. He was truly inspired by their level of talent and was honored to not only compete with them but have his efforts be recognized as one of the top athletes in the event.
“It was amazing,” Jacob said. “Going out there and competing is amazing and it’s a blessing to have this opportunity to compete with the nation’s finest. As soon as I was on the podium and heard everyone I cared about cheering, it was an amazing moment. This is something I’ve been working hard to get to it and getting to medal was truly special.”
The current Stony Point record holder for Triple Jump has no plans of stopping there, Jacob plans to continue his work and to return to the Junior Olympics next year to take the top prize.
“The work never stops,” Jacob said. “You keep conditioning and working for what you want. Next year I will be going back to Junior Olympics, and I’m getting that first place medal. I’m going to continue to work hard throughout the year to try and reach my goals.”
Jacob also hopes that his hard work, talent, and passion give him the opportunity to continue his track career as a collegiate athlete and obtain scholarships to help make that possible.