“Coming into track and field as a freshman was kind of nerve wrecking. That was until I saw a familiar face from the basketball courts of Sunny Hill, my elementary school. It was Aaron Reed, an idol from my childhood. It was his first year coaching, and my first year competing in jumps.
When Aaron saw me on the runway during practice, he pulled me aside and told me that I had great potential. Ever since then, it’s been hard work and dedication. I’ve had my eyes on Aaron’s high school triple jump record since freshman year. I would tell him that I was going to break it, and he simply replied with a sarcastic “yea okay kid.” So then I had no other choice, but to go for it.
Going through 4 years of Reed’s workouts wasn’t easy at all. We’ve even had some bad arguments through it all, but we both saw the greater picture. After not making the finals my junior year, it really hit a nerve in me. But that’s when Aaron told me we still had a whole year of preparation for next year. He told me that I could win it all. After I heard him say that, I knew it was time to put everything I had into it; and I did.
Now, thanks to Aaron, I am the number 1 triple jumper in Illinois, and number 20 in the nation. I also became a state champion in the triple jump, and broke Aaron’s high school record by 2 feet (49’4.75″). Aaron helped me realize that in order to succeed, sometimes you have to fail first. So with that said, I want to thank Aaron and ASAP for everything.”
– IHSA State Champion in Triple Jump