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Buc soars his way to college

By Staff | Feb 19, 2012

Jake Zebedee signs his letter of intent to attend the University of Sioux Falls.

Jake Zebedee knows how to set lofty goals and achieve them.

Three years ago, the senior pole vaulter at Blue Earth Area High School knew he wanted to pole vault in college.

“There was a moment in my sophomore year when I qualified for sections and things started clicking training wise,” Zebedee says. “It was encouraging and I knew I wanted to do this in college.”

On Tuesday, he officially cleared the challenge, signing with the University of Sioux Falls.

“The head coach and vaulting coach have both gone 18 feet plus in the pole vault,” says Zebedee describing one of the main reasons why he chose to be a Cougar. “They have a passion for vaulting, care about it and have the resources to produce good vaulters.”

He also says a big draw of the campus was the size, comparing the atmosphere to BEA.

“I met with all the vaulters and the coaches,” Zebedee says. “It is like a family. They told me the campus size is small, but big enough to achieve all of your goals.”

The signing is the result of six years of hard work and dedication improving his skills in the pole vault. Since the seventh grade, Zebedee figures he has attempted somewhere in the ball park of 5,000 vaults.

“Going over the bar is an amazing feeling,” he says. “I love it so much, it’s almost like an addiction. Once you start it’s hard to stop.”

The pole vault specialist’s personal best is a little misleading. During competition for BEA, his best vault is 14 feet 1 inch.

In competition out of season, his best vault is 15 feet 3 inches, but that’s not his all-time mark. During a training session earlier this year, Zebedee cleared a height of 16 feet.

The senior vaulter credits this success to working with Fuzion Athletics in the Twin Cities.

Twice a week, the BEA student travels to the facility to work on his craft.

“We work on everything related to vaulting,” he says. “We cover all the bases and work on jumping, speed and lifting.”

Zebedee works with two elite pole vaulting coaches at Fuzion and says since starting six years ago, he has most improved his runway work.

Another good resource for the newly signed vaulter is his fellow teammate Marissia Hagedorn who is also looking at vaulting in college.

“We pull each other,” Zebedee says. “Though we are at different heights because of gender, if I see that she did good, I feel like I will bounce back too.”

The Blue Earth standout also credits his other competitors in the conference.

“We bounce ideas back and forth,” Zebedee says. “We try as hard as we can to succeed.”

In his senior season, Zebedee wants to have fun and enjoy the experience, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t set goals.

“I would like to make a shot at the conference record and maybe the state record,” Zebedee says.

The pole vaulter will mainly specialize in that event, but hasn’t yet decided if he will compete in anything else for the Blue Earth Area track and field team.

At college, Zebedee plans on majoring in a degree that will help him fulfill his long-term goal of being a chiropractor.

Between college and his professional career though, the senior is also eyeing another event. The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“I would like to make the Olympic Trials and the Olympics,” Zebedee says. “I feel like I am going to be working with the right group to accomplish that.”

Until then, Zebedee is thankful for what he has accomplished while at Blue Earth Area.

“I would like to thank the community, the school, friends and family,” Zebedee says. “They have made me who I am today and got me where I am at.”