Serra's gifted Jackson looks to make history in long jump
MAY 23, 2013 10:41p ET
“I get this kid and I got him for three years,” Biggs said. “It’s like a dream. It’s something that you would dream of. It’s exciting.”
Jackson, the long jumper, has more or less been molded by Biggs.
The freakishly athletic Jackson, without any training as an eighth grader, jumped 21 feet, 11 inches.
”As a freshman in high school, still without any training, he jumped 23-11.” Biggs says his protégé is just a natural.
“He naturally takes his speed off of the board,” Biggs added. “Most jumpers stop to jump if you watch them closely. Even in the penultimate step they slow down, they gather, and then they jump but the great jumpers that go really far, they don’t. Whatever speed they’ve amassed coming down the runway they take it with them and Adoree’ does that naturally.”
That was one huge plus for Biggs but the overall picture of Jackson the long jumper was far from complete. He didn’t have much of an idea of what he was doing when he met Biggs. The Serra jumps coach had to basically build him from the ground up.
“He didn’t have (a technique),” Biggs said. “He didn’t have a flight. One of the things we really focused on is getting him to do what’s called a hitch kick in the air so it looks like you're running in the air to make sure both axis of rotation, his arms and legs, are working together.
“It’s making a big difference for him.”
Last season Jackson won a state championship as a sophomore.
On Friday at the CIF-SS Masters Track meet, Jackson didn't reach 26 feet, but did jump 24-9 which was good enough to win event.
This season, Jackson has been limited due to an ankle injury he suffered during basketball season. He began the track season in a boot and a cast. Once he had the cast removed he was able to do some running but not much work as it relates to his jumps because he was unable to plant or jump.
The plyometrics program at Serra, which helps Jackson with his takeoff, was off limits as well.
He didn’t participate in his first meet until April 6 at Arcadia.
“To put it in perspective, he jumped (five) times this year,” Biggs said. “This time last year he jumped nine times.
“He’s way behind, but he’s so explosive.”
Jackson showed off the explosiveness last week when he jumped 25 feet, which is the longest in the nation this season, to win the CIF Southern Section Division IV championship. It’s also just shy of the distance he jumped to win the state title a year ago.
“It’s just a great feeling,” Jackson said. “Everybody's been expecting (me to jump 25 feet)."
Although he’s happy about 25 feet, he has his eyes on a much longer distance.
“I just want to get over 26-10 and be the national high school record holder in the long jump,” Jackson said.
Biggs thinks he’ll be able to do that and then some.
“I think he would have went 27 (feet) this year if he wouldn’t have gotten hurt before the season,” Biggs said. “It’s not an if proposition it’s just when.”
Jackson said, “I think I can too. After my injury that was my goal to do it but once I got the injury I was just working on getting back to normal. Now my ankle’s feeling fine and feeling better than ever and I feel like I’m right where I want to be at.”
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