Steele puts down the ball to pick up the baton


Laura Duffy

Jacob Steele broke the freshman/sophmore triple jump record during the outdoor 2021-22 season.

TeKavin Russell, Grapics/Photo Editor

Determination, passion and pressure can push a person to higher success than expected. Sophomore Jacob Steele took a break from many sports this year to focus on the upcoming track and field season.

Steele was always involved in athletics growing up: playing soccer for 10 years, basketball for eight and running cross country for one year in middle school.

Steele started track his freshman year with conditioning from football, being placed in varsity meets running with 17 and 18-year-olds as a freshman.

“During the first week of track, I knew Jake would be able to contribute at the varsity level as a freshman,” coach Michael Farthing said.

Steele not only ran but he tripled jumped too, and he ended up breaking the freshman triple jump record with a distance of 40’6.7.

“We were just trying it one day in practice and when we were done, people who weren’t interested in it went somewhere else; and Coach Farthing told me to stay and keep jumping. He put me in the triple jump in the first meet and ever since then, I triple jumped in every meet and it became my main field event,” Steele said.

Steele’s decision not to play any other sport besides track was simply not because it was “too hard” but because he lost the joy of playing and wanted to pursue other things.

“I’ve been thinking it’s about time in my athletic career that I start narrowing down what I want to do in my future,” Steele said.

Sometimes when athletes go into sports and they end up losing the buzz feeling for it, it’s because they didn’t have a love for it in the first place.

His brother Sean Steele spoke on Jake’s mindset; he knows what he wants and is hungry to get it.

“When Jake puts his mind to something, he becomes addicted to it until he gets it. This is a direct connection to him as an athlete, he will work so hard so that he can succeed and you can see what his passion has done for him,” Sean Steele said.

Being good at something can also come with a significant burden of stress because you never want to disappoint the people that expect more from you. This is related to Steele’s athletic experience.

“During the indoor season, Jake did struggle with showing improvements and seemed to be putting too much pressure on himself,” Farthing said.

Steele says his family is always the motivation and inspiration to not give up.

“The thought of how proud I want to make my family is the only thing that keeps me going besides my dreams and passion,” Steele said.

Steele’s dream is to play some sport professionally and possibly end up in the Olympics.

Every young athlete has this typical dream but this may be one that comes true.