Jesse Strowbridge Aims High. That's why he has accepted an appointment to the Air Force Academy.
"I want to be a pilot," he said. "I want to be in officer training.
"I just did some research on (the Air Force). A lot of people said it's a good branch to get into."
Strowbridge is also aiming for success since he's a senior and leaves for his appointment June 14, four days after the state track meet.
Jesse Strowbridge profile
Sport -- Track and field
Events -- 100- and 200-meter dashes, 4x200 relay, long jump
Year -- Senior
Age -- 18
Height -- 5-foot-8
Weight -- 167 pounds
Other sports -- Football
Memorable sports achievement -- Finishing second and third, respectively, in last two Class AA state track meets in 4x200 relay
Favorite subject -- Mathematics
Favorite food -- Spaghetti
Favorite movie -- "Tombstone"
Hobbies -- Fishing
Future plans -- Accepted appointment to Air Force Academy, possibly pursue career in computer engineering
Athlete he admires -- Sprinter Michael Johnson
Parents -- Jim and Helen Strowbridge
At last week's Crosby-Ironton track and field invitational he won the 100- and 200-meter dashes and the long jump and was a member of the first-place 4x200 relay, teaming with Aron Stumvoll, Mike Smulski and Mike Weiss.
Strowbridge's performances landed him on the Warriors' honor roll (top 15 efforts in Brainerd High School history) in all four events.
"I don't remember anyone getting four honor roll performances in one meet," Warriors head coach Rod Reuer said. "Normally, we don't have too many kids who do four events. This is the first year Jesse has attempted four events. He actually has three of them in about 20 minutes. The 100 dash, 4x200 and long jump were all early meet events so he was back and forth, from the long jump to the 100, back to the long jump, then to the 4x200. He had his last two long jumps after the 200."
Smulski won the 110 hurdles in 15.6 seconds, tying him for sixth on the BHS honor roll. His time of 22.05 in the 200 dash and his long jump of 21-3 both rank third. The relay's time of 1:31.9 is tied for fourth. His time in the 100 of 11.1 ties him for 11th.
"I knew I had a couple honor rolls," Strowbridge said. "I didn't know how many. I didn't know about the 200 or 100. I didn't figure I could run that fast yet."
Strowbridge has been a member of the last two 4x200 state relays. In 1998 he was a sophomore and teamed with Jared Reese, Kevin Drake and Matt Munsterteiger to finish second at state. Last year Reese, Mike Weiss and Munsterteiger combined with Strowbridge to place third at state.
Stumvoll and Smulski joined the relay this spring.
"We're pretty powerful right now," Strowbridge said. "We haven't run against any real good teams. As far as I can tell we should be a pretty good relay."
Reuer said Strowbridge has accepted a leadership role as a captain and senior.
"Jesse has been through the state meet experience," Reuer said. "I noticed at the C-I meet that he really did things like a track kid should do, the way he warmed up for an event and stayed focused. When he has three events going on at one time he has to be able to change his focus for each event. To come back and have the kind of performance he did it's not a matter of taking first in four events. That's still to his credit but it's the way he performed when he got to those events."
Strowbridge's distance in the long jump is astonishing since it's the first year he has competed in the event.
"It's just probably because I'm a veteran of track," he said. "Speed helps. I wanted to try it. I'm going for the school record (21-8 1/2)."
Reuer said Strowbridge thrives in four events that are all speed-related.
"At this point he's pretty quick in the 100 and 200," Reuer said. "The 4x200 has been his event for three years now. Now as a senior it's his turn to shine a little bit. I would venture to say it's the strength he developed the last couple years that has jumped him to the level where he's at.
"The long jump is an event that's basically a sprint event also. The carryover there is pretty good. He's got real explosive speed from the get-go so that has helped him in the long jump."
Other notable efforts by Warriors:
Aron Stumvoll, track and field, won the 3000 and 1500 runs at the C-I Invitational.
Mike Smulski, track and field, won the 110 and 300 hurdles at the C-I Invitational.
(Athlete of the week is honored by the Brainerd Sports Boosters Club.)
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.