By Orrin Shawl
One of Clare High School’s most versatile athletes has been tearing it up as a collegiate athlete outside of Michigan.
Jamie Blackwell, a 20-year-old track and field expert, will be entering his junior year in college as a track and field athlete with a lot of accomplishments under his belt. According to yellowjackets.cedarville.edu, the former Clare Athlete was a champion in the outdoor NCCAA decathlon with 6,478 points, ranking him third all-time at Cedarville in that category. He also scored 5,941 points while competing in Cincinnati, and holds the top two records at Cedarville in the Heptathlon. At the Cedarville Invitational, he racked up 4,611 points, as well as earning 4,493 points at Findlay. To add more to his college track and field resume, he won the Ohio Independent Championship by clearing 14-feet even in pole vaulting.
His statistics are just as impressive at the high school level. Blackwell received all-state honors for his pole vaulting and while competing through the 110 meter hurdles. His all-time highest records while at Clare were clearing a 14-3 pole vault, a 20-7.75 in long jump, a 41.8 time in the 300 hurdles and a 15.2 time in the 110 hurdles. His excellent performance made him the four-year letter winner.
Blackwell said he remembers the scout from Cedarville coming all the way up to watch him compete.
“I didn’t want his long road trip to go to waste, so I agreed to check out the school,” Blackwell said.
And once he checked out Cedarville, he inevitably found himself there. While pursuing multiple events on the track and field team, Blackwell is working to earn a degree in nursing, so that he can help people in need in the emergency room.
“I really like the human body. I find it fascinating. I like learning how it gets fixed. Plus, I’d really like a job that would help people,” Blackwell said. “I just really like nursing because it puts all of that together.”
While spending the last two years in college, Blackwell noticed a significant learning curve toward college life, especially with college life as an athlete.
“One of the differences from college track and field compared to high school track and field is you mean business at the college level. It’s mostly structured, like you have to do it,” Blackwell said. “Once you’re in college, it’s a whole another feel. You have to take your drive and use it to learn, not just to perform.”
One thing that gave Blackwell an advantage to getting into college athletics is working with coaches who make you better athletes, and prepare you for the next step. Blackwell said his coach prepared him well to compete in college.
“Our head coach at Clare does a phenomenal job with the program,” Blackwell said. “He’ll set you up to succeed if you’re willing to succeed.”
Even though Blackwell spent a lot of his Clare days training and competing among the most elite athletes, he was very involved at Clare. In addition to track and field, he also played soccer for a significant amount of time, basketball his freshman year and even participated on the dance team.
“I was all over the place,” Blackwell joked. “Obviously, track and field was my best experience in high school.”
With all of his involvement at Clare, Blackwell certainly made several friends that he had an awesome time with in school. He isn’t aware of anybody from Clare who attends Cedarville like he does. He also misses his friends from his old track and field teams, as well as the opportunities to lay back and have some fun at practices.
“Those were great memories. Great experiences with my friends,” he said.
The best advice Blackwell has for anyone looking to pursue college athletics, based on his own experiences, is to exercise every day and find time to relax your brain and body.
You just have to work hard,” he said. “It definitely takes four hours of practice a day if you want to be good. “
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