The student news site of Creighton Preparatory School.

Jay Journal

The student news site of Creighton Preparatory School.

Jay Journal

The student news site of Creighton Preparatory School.

Jay Journal

TRACK: The Race to Repeat

Senior sprinter hopes to lead his team to 2nd straight state championship

The 2024 Creighton Prep track and field team is looking to repeat as Nebraska state champions for the first time in the school’s history. The team’s success this year will look and feel a lot different than last year’s winning team. Last year’s senior class was loaded with talent, most of whom are competing in Track and Field at the collegiate level. 

Senior Myles Jackson had plenty to say about what himself and the team needs to do in order to go back to back.

“I’m excited to get back at it and running. I definitely made some back improvements last year, going to practices, and striving to defend our championship,” Jackson said. 

A big reason the track and field team was able to come out on top last year was because of the sprinting talent the team had. Prep had the current Nebraska Cornhuskers track and field freshman, Jack Gillogly, who set multiple state and school records, A.J. Jones who is now at Notre Dame running, Christian Lanphier is running at Northwest Missouri, and a few others. 

Myles is the only returning sprinter from last years team. The losses of these are a big hit to the team but Jackson believes other areas of the team will step up. 

“The sprinting side is definitely taking a hit, but I think our distance runners are definitely one of our strongest points and will take a bigger role,” Jackson said.

The Cross Country Team is also coming off of a state championship victory this fall. With a very senior-heavy team and multiple runners competing at the next level such as Denny Chapman, Jacob Finney, Aidan McGarry, and others, they look to assist the track team and lift their second consecutive state championship.

“Also coming off of a state championship in cross country so that will be a big help in defending our championship,” Jackson said.

Personally, Jackson has placed a lot of goals and expectations on himself for the upcoming season. Myles competes in the 100m, 200m, and 400m dashes while also doing long jump and triple jump. 

The senior believes that the 200m dash will be his strongest event this year. He missed the state finals for the 200m last year by half a millisecond. His goal is to get below 22 seconds and in the 21.7-21.8 second range. Jackson’s goals in his other events include 10.7-10.8 seconds in the 100m and 23 feet in long jump.

“My 100 and triple jump will need to have the biggest improvement because of the losses of Seniors last year,” Jackson said. 

Jackson believes that there are many athletes that could have a sneaky big impact on the team, but one in particular is triple-jumper Arop Akol. Akol got 4th at the state championship meet in his very first season doing triple jump. 

“If he can hone those skills and does the things he needs to do, I definitely think he can win the gold,” Jackson said.

Head coach Dan Tietjen has had plenty of messages for Jackson and the team on what they need to do in order to go back-to-back. He wants the team to focus on individually improving their times and results and with that will come team improvement. Jackson also believes that the team needs to not just look forward to the state meet and the end of the season and take it one practice and meet at a time. 

“Defending the championship would be great, but we don’t need to focus all of our efforts on that one meet, but focus on getting better throughout the season,” Jackson said.

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