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Jumpin’ James Flash

January 24, 2014

Defending national Division III long jump champion James Wilson leapt out to a sizzling start to the 2014 campaign, taking first at the Sol Butler Classic last Saturday while setting the nation’s top mark with a jump of 24’0-1/4”. This was only 2 inches short of the lifetime best he achieved at last year’s indoor nationals when he became only the ninth Scot in the program’s storied history to become a national champion. This was after being an All-American his freshmen year, and placing eighth at nationals.

“Being the defending national champion does give me a bit of motivation to try and do it again, but what truly motivates me is the excitement in my mom’s voice when she hears good news from me about track. That and knowing my coach is happy, and we both know it’s just the beginning,” said Wilson.

Wilson doesn’t seem particularly motivated by plaques and trophies, instead putting his trust in his faith, work ethic and those who support him, “Having many people that have more faith in me than I do in myself is the best motivation anyone can ask for. Something my mom has told me since I was young and my coach just brought up in a team meeting one day saying simply ‘get your mind right.’”

Coach Roger Haynes admits that Wilson’s mind as well as obvious athletic ability allows him to succeed on the track. “He’s a cool character at the big meets. He doesn’t let the surroundings negatively affect his performance. Now, it’s all about getting him to jump and run the best he’s ever done.”

Long jumping is Wilson’s day job though. The junior business major also was a part of the All-American 4-x-400 meter relay team with Kiante Green, Garrett Daniel and Raimius Foulkes who are all returning this season. Wilson’s career best 400-meter is 48.67, which he set in a fourth place finish last year to earn his third All-American honor of the championship meet.

Wilson and the rest of the nationally 10th ranked men’s team, as well as the 13th ranked women’s team will be in action against Interstate 34 rivals, Augustana and Knox this Saturday beginning at 10:45 a.m. in the Huff fieldhouse. This is the second meet in the early stages of another promising season for Monmouth track and field, who has swept the conference indoor championships 12 years running.

“This season I plan on doing something that hasn’t been done before in the previous years of Monmouth College track and field,” said Wilson. “I plan on jumping as far as God allows me and then with His help, perhaps jump a bit further.”

Cameron Line
Sports Editor

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