Salute to Seniors: Jakob Rylee Scroggins

When did you first start running, and do you recall any of your childhood races?
I first started running when I joined North Platte's Sixth Grade Running Club. It was just something that I did to spend time with my friends then, but as I continued to practice, I found an appreciation for the activity. I didn't compete in any races until in junior high school.

Was there a certain moment when you realized you'd be able to compete at such a high level?
I realized in the tenth grade that I had the potential to do great things in my high school running career. My twelfth-grade teammates were rarely out of sight on long runs, so each day, I chased them, and in that way, they made me better.

What are some bumps in the road that you've encountered when it comes to training for different events during the season?
I was fortunate enough to not have any major impediments to my training over the years. I can only recall a couple strains and shin splints. The biggest difficulty in managing my workout schedule, though, was balancing it with my busy school schedule.

How did COVID impact your training as you prepared for the season?
COVID really only impacted my 2020 track season-albeit the season was canceled because of it. Even so, I continued to run every day and made sure that COVID made as little impact on my progress as possible.

Where are you going to college? If you have already committed, what made you choose them?
I'm going to attend the University of TN because I believe it is the best-fitting school for me that offers my major, materials science and engineering.

Let's discuss the college searching process. What was that like, and what schools did you look at?
The college searching process was a long one for me. My first visit was in the summer of 2019, and from then till I chose the University of TN this year, I considered TCU, OU, OSU, the University of IA, IA State University, Mizzou, K-State, GA Tech, the University of IL, UNL and the University of MI. Ultimately, I am excited about my choice to attend the University of TN.

Is there another track event you wish you were good at? What is appealing about it?
Yes, I wish I were good at pole vault. It is, in my opinion, the most fun field event to watch, but I've never tried it.

What are some hobbies and interests you have outside of running?
Outside running, I enjoy reading (mostly classics), listening to music (mostly rock) and watching movies (mostly action/adventure).

Who is your role model, and why?
Jesus Christ is my role model because a relationship with Him, I believe, is my purpose as a human. There is no better person to look to for guidance than the One who knew no sin.

Everyone has a bucket list, so give us some of things on your list!
Visit New Zealand, run a marathon and learn to play the guitar

What is the best advice you have received?
Hard work, no matter how insignificant it may seem, pays off in the end.

What is your favorite pre-race snack, tradition, etc.?
My tried-and-true pre-race snack is a Cliff ZBar. It's just enough to give me energy while not upsetting my stomach. My favorite flavor is Chocolate Brownie.

If you could do a sport other than XC/Track, what sport would it be, and why?
If I could do a sport other than XC and track, I think I would do swimming. My school doesn't offer it, but I've always thought it would be fun. I imagine it involves skills similar to those needed for running like stamina and leg strength too.

Any Final Shout outs?
I would like to give a shout out to my coach for 7 years now, Brendan Cary. Thank you for helping me find a passion for running. Also, shout out to the North Platte cross country and track teams! Keep up the great work, and go panthers!