The No. 1 girls pole vaulter in the country, the second best diver in Minnesota and one of its handful of best gymnasts.

Toss in that Andrianna Jacobs also has a 4.0 grade-point average at Rochester Century and is renowned as a won’t-be-denied worker, and it’s an easy choice.

The Century senior is our Post-Bulletin Athlete of the Year for 2015.

“As far as athletes go, (Jacobs) has to go down as one of the most athletic girls ever out of Rochester,” Century track and field coach Kris Allen said.

And that three-sport thing? It’s working for her.

“What Andrianna has done in three sports rather than just one has developed her in a way that there is almost nothing athletically that she wouldn’t be good at,” Allen said. “I think that’s because she’s developed her entire range of motion and muscles, and not in just one specific area.”

But it doesn’t stop at physical gifts with the great ones. It never does. There are always those “upstairs” attributes that put them over the top.

Jacobs certainly has that covered, too.

“If you don’t have the personality or mental and emotional components to compete, your athletic ability will only take you so far,” Allen said. “But Andrianna has the perfect storm of everything.”

Gymnastics was No. 1

Jacobs began her athletic life thinking she might be the next Nadia Comaneci. Gymnastics was her main sport for years, with her starting at age 2.

Her mom, Christina, was an influence there, as a lifelong gymnastics coach.

One thing got in the way of Jacobs ever achieving superstardom there. It’s her height. The best gymnasts in the world tend to be just over 5 feet tall, with small frames.

Jacobs isn’t like that. She’s 5-foot-8, with a muscular physique.

Still, that hasn’t stopped her from being one of the state’s elite gymnasts. Her best season ever came in 2014-15, with Jacobs qualifying for state in every event — uneven parallel bars, vault, floor exercise, balance beam and all-around. She ended up sixth on the bars, seventh in all-around and eighth on the floor.

Next up for Jacobs in 2015 was track and field season. Jacobs is one of the top hurdlers in Section One, Class AA. But her real claim in the sport is as a pole vaulter, an event she didn’t even dabble until the seventh grade.

“I tried it twice in practices that seventh-grade year,” Jacobs said. “I did it in a couple of meets, and said to myself, ‘I’m not good at this.’ ”

She wasn’t. But then came eighth grade, and some encouragement from senior teammate at the time Ariel Hayward, a fellow gymnast.

That worked. Jacobs went an excellent 11-feet-6 that year. Inspired by the feat, she then got real serious about things as a freshman.

“I realized that freshman year that I could really have success in the pole vault,” Jacobs said.

Helping it sink in was her sailing 13 feet in the state meet, giving her the Class AA title and a state meet record. She followed with another state pole vaulting title as a sophomore, then saved her best for last in the 2015 state meet, when she broke her own record by sailing a winning 13-1.

“That gave me my confidence back,” Jacobs said.

That confidence soared the next month. In July she set the all-time Minnesota mark in the pole vault with a 13-4 1/2 effort in a La Crosse, Wis., meet. Then, the end of July, she truly went wild. Competing in the USATF National Junior Olympics in Jacksonville, Fla., Jacobs soared like she’d never soared before.

She cleared a staggering 13-7 1/4, the best mark in the country last year among non-graduating high school girls.

“Honestly, that is mind boggling to me,” Jacobs said of being the country’s best. “I try not to think about it.”

Still much to achieve

That didn’t end Jacobs’ sport-achieving 2015. There was still a high school diving season to take on. She did, and completed it in her usual stylish way.

Jacobs made it to the state meet for the fifth straight year. She landed second at state as a sophomore and fourth as a junior.

In late November, she just missed her first state diving title. Jacobs finished with a near personal-best score of 440.40. But Roseville’s Smit Schlossmacher was two points better than that, leaving Jacobs as state runner-up.

Jacobs doesn’t have many regrets about her high school sports career. But she does have a bucket list, and on it is one that now won’t be met.

“I wanted to win a state title in all three of my sports,” said Jacobs, who is currently in the midst of her final gymnastics season.

There is something even bigger on that bucket list than state titles, though. Jacobs wants to be an Olympian. In college, where she’ll attend the University of Nebraska, Jacobs will narrow her athletic focus to one sport, the pole vault.

It takes a clearance of 14-5 to make the Olympic Trials. That’s a long ways from 13-7 1/4.

Jacobs, the Post-Bulletin’s 2015 Athlete of the Year, knows how far she’s come. Now it’s a matter of finding out how much further she can go.

She’s learned not to sell herself short.

“Back when I first started, I would never have thought I could go 13-7 1/4,” Jacobs said. “So I don’t want to count anything out. And I don’t want to plan on anything, either.”





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