Jake Whipple qualified in three events for the preeminent indoor track and field track meet in Illinois. The Illinois Top Times meet is a qualification based collegiate recruitment meet. At the meet, there were 181 college coaches. Only people that were in the top 24 in the short sprints and top 12 in most other races were invited to the meet. The Foxes have never attended this meet in the tenure of Foxes coach Sam Wilson. Jake qualified for Long jump with a jump of 21-8.5, triple jump of 41-1.5 and 7.16 in the 60m.
The Illinois Top Times meet takes place at the Shirk Center in Bloomington Illinois on the Illinois Wesleyan University campus. Jake Whipple missed his final spring fling in order to attend the meet and brought with him his friend Kyle Van Abbema. The two left the high school at 9:00 am to get to the meet around 1:00, when the doors opened up. The trip took about three and a half hours and was pretty uneventful until we stopped for lunch at 12:15. After eating and returning to the car we learnt that it would not start up and stay running. Luckily Jake’s dad and grandparents were able to stop over and drive us to the meet.
Upon arriving to the meet there was a small amount of down time prior to the mass organized chaos of the meet. Jake’s first event was the Long Jump and in this event unlike most others, each athlete received the opportunity to jump 6 jumps and no finals. Jake’s first two jumps resulted in scratches, but his last for jumps were mark worthy jumps. He finished the Long Jump with a long of 20′-8.5″, finishing in 9th place. When he finished Long Jump he had about 30 minutes before Triple Jump started and about 45 minutes before the 60m prelims. Jake went and did the 60m prelims before the Triple Jump and he finished second in his heat with a time of 7.17. Whipple then made his way back to the Triple Jump to get some jumps in before what he hoped would be the finals of the 60m. Jake was able to get four jumps in before the finals of the 60m. During which time they never announced the finalist. After checking multiple times with the check in area, we found out he qualified for it. Jake ran against a stacked crowd and finished in 8th with a time of 7.20. Jake then immediately had to go back and jump his final two jumps in the Triple. Jake scratched both, leaving him with a long Triple Jump of 39′-5.75″.
Jake had a hard day of jumping and running encompassing over 4 hours and 30 minutes. He ended up getting a medal for his 8th place finish in the 60m. Jake has so much to be proud of and was one of only a few athletes who qualified in three or more events. I cannot even fathom the amount of pounding his legs took over those four plus hours.
The Foxes next meet is at Carmi on April 4th.