To a good part of the UAA, Drew Jackson is a man who needs no introduction. In the past two weeks, he has twice been named UAA Athlete of the Week for track & field. Recently, he’s been on fire. Last weekend in the triple jump, he jumped one of the top three lengths in D-III and the second-best distance in U of C history. This would be enough for most people, but he is also an accomplished hurdler, long jumper, and slam dunker. We recently had the chance to talk to him about all of this.
Chicago Maroon: How’s it feel to be the best jumper ever, two times in a row?
Drew Jackson: What? I wouldn’t say I’m the best jumper ever. Still got some work to do to get there...But it feels good to improve and finally be making some big marks.
CM: Well, your 14.67 at the Wheaton Invite might not be the best ever, but it is top two in Maroon history.
DJ: Is it? I wasn’t aware. That’s great.
CM: Not only did your jump at Wheaton win the meet, but it was third in the division. Are you looking to climb up those two spots?
DJ: Yeah. I’ve still got a couple weeks until nationals. I’ve got a little time to fine tune everything, and at nationals, make some noise.
CM: What else are you looking to accomplish this quarter, both at UAAs and nationals?
DJ: This weekend we’ve got UAAs and it would be nice to get an outdoor team championship. I’m going to try to do my part in long jump, hurdles and triple jump. But just to get a team championship in outdoor would be great. We haven’t done that before so that would be nice.
CM: Were you more of a hurdler or triple jumper in high school?
DJ: I was a hurdler. I definitely started with hurdles. I didn’t start triple jump until the end of my junior year.
CM: How did you get into jumping in the first place? Was there anyone who inspired you?
DJ: My coach suggested jumping to me. It’s funny because when I went out for track freshman year, I was just trying to stay in shape for basketball. I really just ended up in throwing. But my brother, who was on the team, and the coach really encouraged me to get into hurdles.
CM: As a dude with serious ups, are you going to win the dunking competition tonight?
DJ: Man, I don’t even know if I am going to do it tonight. I gotta conserve my legs.
CM: Can you teach me to dunk?
DJ: How tall are you?
DJ: You got any ups?
CM: Yeah, tons of them. I can almost touch net.
DJ: Shouldn’t be a problem then. Just go grab a ball and see what you got.
CM: Chariots of Fire, White Men Can’t Jump, or Space Jam?
DJ: Haha. I’ve gotta go with Space Jam.
CM: How have the fly honeys been treating you?
DJ: I don’t even know, I haven’t even been trying to focus on that right now. Just trying to focus on nationals and wrapping up the school year.