Local athletes and coaches will get an opportunity to learn from one of the best high jumpers in the country.
Susan Jackson, who finished 10th at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in the high jump, partnered with Ignacio High School track and field coach John Gurule to host a jumping camp for athletes in sixth grade through the college level July 31 and Aug. 1 at the IHS track stadium. Coaches are also welcome to attend the camp to receive instructions and workouts for their athletes.
“We’re trying to fill a void, not just with our team (at IHS), but the Southwest area,” Gurule said. “There’s nobody putting on a jumpers camp quite like us – not Albuquerque, no one in the Four Corners. We’re trying to fill a void not just for our team but for all teams in this area.”
Jackson is currently an assistant with the West Texas A&M track and field teams. She was a four-time All-American at Western State Colorado University and won the 2012 NCAA Division II outdoor national champion in the high jump. At Western State, Jackson earned seven All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference selections in the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
The camp will include instruction from Jackson on high, long and triple jumping, as well as different warm-up exercises and strategies for the events.
“What I’m most excited about is working with the athletes and connecting with the athletes; connecting with them on a level that they might not be able to with their coach since I do the same thing they do,” Jackson said. “I’m excited to get out there and see what everyone has to offer.”
Running and volunteering at camps has been a passion of Jackson’s since her time at Western State. She would help with the camps the Mountaineers ran during summers and began organizing her own camps at the recreation center in Gunnison. She became more and more enthralled with working with younger athletes and saw the importance of helping the next generation fall in love with the sport.
“The smaller generation is my favorite to work with because they’re so pumped to be out there. They’re absolutely fearless, and if you tell them to do something they’ll go out there and do it,” Jackson said. “Working with that next generation coming in is huge. If you can get them to smile and have a great time, they’ll stick with it and keep doing it.”
Jackson is also wants to help coaches recognize what aspects of jumping their athletes need work on. At the camp, coaches will receive Jackson’s workouts and training from the past couple of years.
“The biggest thing right now is getting coaches on the same page as the athletes,” Jackson said. “A lot of coaches don’t always know where to start or what to change. That’s where I want to step in and help.”
There is a $50 entry fee for athletes and $25 for coaches. To register, or for more information, contact Gurule at email@example.com.