Athlete of the Week Archive

May 19, 2006


Blake Jackson

What are your thoughts heading into the NCAA Midwest Regional?
"First of all, I want to make sure I come out of it healthy. I have been pretty banged up this season; I had to have knee surgery at the beginning of the season and have had some other injuries since then. I am just trying to make sure I come out of it healthy so I can go into next season healthy. My goal is to go in there and compete the way I know I can, place in the top-five and qualify for nationals."

How have you kept coming back from the various injuries you have had during your career?
"The way I look at it is that you can't really avoid injuries, if your body is going to get injured, it is going to get injured. So I decided that if I do get hurt I have to make sure I get to the training room and get it checked out. It is important to have the trainers work on me as much as they can because that is what they are there for. It is up to me to make sure I come in there everyday to make sure I come back stronger. With each injury it gets a little more discouraging to come back, but I figure that is what I am here to do, the university is paying for me to go to school, so I owe it to them to make sure I am healthy and that I compete the way I capable of."

How did you end up coming to the University of Wyoming?
"While growing up in Cheyenne, I pretty much always wanted to come here. I came to all the football and basketball games and I liked the tradition Wyoming has. I wasn't really highly recruited by a lot of schools, Colorado State, Arizona and Arizona State all talked to me, but I figured that since I was a local boy and that UW is just down the street from where I live it was a perfect fit. Also my family can come here and see me whenever they want. I felt like I might as well represent Wyoming to the fullest, so that is why I decided to come here."

What has been your career highlight thus far?
"The high point would probably be moving up to #3 in the all-time record book in the triple jump last indoor season. It happened during a meet in the Fieldhouse between Air Force, Colorado State and us. The jump was a personal best and then I also had a good long jump that day. However, I still figure that the best is yet to come."

How do you get ready for a meet? Do you have any rituals or superstitions?
"I always make sure I am really hydrated. I drink probably about a gallon or two everyday for three days leading up to the meet to make sure I am hydrated and won't cramp up. I also make sure to take an ice bath the day before I compete which gets all the toxins out of my body, keeps it loose and makes my body ready to go. Other than that I visualize what's going on and how I want to perform, then come meet time my mind is prepared and I just have to wait for my body to do what my mind has already prepared for it to do."

What is your favorite event, triple jump or long jump?
"Definitely triple jump. I like it more because not as many people can do it. At any given meet there will be about 40 people doing the long jump, but only half of those will do the triple jump. It takes a lot of skill and technique. You can be the strongest, fastest person in the world, but if you don't have the technique it isn't going to work out well for you."

Do you enjoy all of the traveling that comes with competing at the Division I level?
"I love it. I figure that we are from Wyoming and there isn't always a lot to do so it is really nice to go out and see the country. A lot of people don't get the opportunity to do so, so you might as well take advantage of it."

What do you do when you aren't training, competing or in school?
"I read quite a bit. I am reading `Angels and Demons' right now. I am also a big movie head, I watch a lot of movies which probably isn't that good on my pocket book, but I still do it. I like to play video games; I have an Xbox 360 so I also play that quite a bit. Otherwise I like to sleep. College athletes have a lot on their plate, so whenever I get a chance to lay back and relax I take advantage of it."

What is your major?

Do you have any plans for after you get your degree?
"I have lived in the West and Midwest my whole life so I want to live on the East Coast, whether it is in New York or Boston. I am a big Yankees fan so it would be really nice to end up in Manhattan or somewhere around there. I would like to get into anything that involves advertising or public relations and I also plan on getting a real estate license. Basically I want to do anything that keeps me busy and hopefully making some kind of money. I have been broke for the past four years so I would like to make something out of this college experience."