Reaching New Heights With Shadle Park's Jakobe Ford - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Reaching New Heights With Shadle Park's Jakobe Ford

He'll head to Sacramento for the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, which start July 25. He'll head to Sacramento for the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, which start July 25.
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On the hardwood, Jakobe Ford is a high-flying highlight waiting to happen, but where he really soars is on the track.

“He's just really athletic in general,” says Ford’s coach Dominique Butler. “He definitely has hops so that helps too." 

The Shadle Park High School senior has been high jumping since before high school.

“At first, it was just something I was good at but then I got to like it,” Ford says of high jumping. "Every meet I want to get higher. If I don't, I'll get disappointed."

There was no disappointment at this year's state meet, where Ford set a personal record and new 3A state meet record clearing 7-1.

A little over a month later at a regional competition in Seattle, Ford won the high jump by more than seven inches. While that margin of victory was impressive, his win in another event might have been more impressive.

"In triple jump he went into finals in 6th place,” says Butler. “He just came into finals after winning high jump and just brought it and jumped three feet further."


After wins in both events at regionals, Ford will now compete in both on the national stage. He'll head to Sacramento for the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships, which start July 25.

"I'm really proud because this is just pure talent,” says Ford’s mom Robi Rae Willis. “He's had the most coaching for triple jump now, and he hasn't done it very long. They really just let him go, and he just does it. It's kind of amazing to watch him try something new and excel at it."

With his raw talent and the right coaching, Ford is hoping his hops can take him from Tracktown to Tokyo. 

"My goals are to go to Oregon and then the Olympics after that, because I'll be a junior in college [in 2020]."

"I try to encourage him to work to the future,” says Willis. “I try to say things like that to him in text messages or going back and forth, tell him I'm proud of him for what he did and then I'll always put ‘2020,’ just so he can look forward and make good choices and stuff like that."

When it comes to jumping the question is how high can he go? But for Jakobe Ford, the more intriguing question now is how far can this sport take him?

For more on how to help Ford get to Nationals, click here: https://www.gofundme.com/2cfwrb4s?rcid=bf226c9646ec11e699d4bc764e04c5a7

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