What was your most memorable race/meet?
The 2015 class 3-5 state meet was probably my most memorable meet. I got the privilege to jump with my team mate and best friend Justin Hall one last time. It was a close competition and came down to the final jump. Finally breaking the 50 foot barrier was a dream come true and it was amazing to accomplish it with Justin and my dad there with me.
Who was your biggest competition? There are some amazing triple jumpers in the mid-west including Jamari Ward from Illinois and Jared Belardo from Kansas. However, Justin Hall was my biggest competition this past season because we competed in every meet together and we could not have accomplished what we did if it wasn't for each other. We pushed each other in practice every day and supported each other during competition.
Out of all of your high school accomplishments which stands out the most? My final jump at the 2015 class 3-5 MO state championships, I finally accomplished my high school goal and jumped over 50 feet in the Triple Jump. It was also great to repeat as the State Triple Jump Champion and to be a part of the two-time winning Blue Springs HS State Championship Team.
If you could do it all over again what would you change about your career in high school? I wouldn't change anything. I had a lot of ups and a few downs including some injuries my sophomore and junior years, but if I could do it all over again I would take that chance again in a heart beat! Overcoming my injuries helped me to grow personally and as an athlete. If you have the right attitude, trials will make you stronger.
What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome? I had 2 major injuries over my 4 years. My Sophomore year I broke open my knee cap high jumping in the 3rd week of track and my Junior year I had several stress fractures in my back that held me out of competition for most of the season. I had to learn patience and understand how far I could push my body during the healing process. Despite my injuries, I was able to make the state team both of those years.
What will you miss the most?
I will definitely miss my teammates and my coaches. I will especially miss working with Justin and my event coach (my dad) every day. Being a member of the Blue Springs Track and Field Team was an honor and a privilege. The caliber of athletes and coaches was amazing. It may be a long time before a team like that is together again. I have a lot of great memories!
Do you have any advice for younger athletes? Yes! You will have ups and downs and bad performances but don't let that determine who you are as an athlete, because along with the bad performances you will have great ones! I jumped 47-0 and 50-2 in the same meet! The work is done at practice but the meet is 5% work, 5% talent, and 90% mental. For those of you who will or are suffering injures, keep your head up and trust God! You will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you put God first.
What are your college plans? I will be Triple Jumping for Central Michigan University #FireUpChips! I will miss Blue Springs, but I am so excited to be continuing my Track and Field career and hope to be a strong contributor at CMU.
Who would you like to say thank you to? God for blessing me with my talent and giving me the opportunity to develop it. My mom for everything she has sacrificed for me! My dad for coaching me through the ups and downs. Coach Taylor Kaleikau for being there since the beginning. My siblings for traveling all over to watch me compete. My extended family for cheering for me from coast to coast. Justin Hall and the rest of my team mates (Kai, Lane, Brandon, Steven, Carlos, Khalil, Marqus, Taysean, Kane, Cody, David, Colton - there are too many to mention them all!) as well as Coach Cusack and the rest of my coaches. Also Bill Althaus, Leroy Millsap, Doctor Rizzi and Steve our high school athletic trainer. Isaac, Bishop, Josh, Dallan, and Chris. Everyone of you supported me on this amazing journey and I am grateful for you all!