With Saginaw Boswell's
Jr. high was the place that introduced young Jalen Seals to the world of jumping. Encouraged by his coaches at the time to try the triple jump started Jalen on a journey of a lifetime. Seals, a senior at Boswell High School in Saginaw, currently leads the state in the triple jump this year and has already cracked the 50 foot barrier. Seals is currently in New York getting ready to compete at the New Balance Indoor Championships. Jalen took some time out of his schedule to meet with Inside Texas Track. Let's go One-On-One with Saginaw Boswell's Jalen Seals.
Inside Texas Track (ITT): What are your events and your personal best in each?
Jalen Seals (JS): I do the long jump, triple jump, 110 hurdles, 100 and the 200. I also high jump sometimes. My best in the long jump is 24-11, best in triple jump is 50-6. My best in the 110 hurdles is 15 even, but that is hand time. My best in the 100 is 10.46 and my best in the 200 is 22.66
ITT: That’s a lot of events, you ever thought about doing the decathlon?
JS: No, I never thought about doing the decathlon, but I did want to do the Pentathlon at New Balance, but it was full when I went to register.
ITT: You ever do the Pole Vault?
JS: No, but you don’t do the Pole Vault in the Pent.
ITT: That’s cool right there. That’s what kept me from being a great decathlete, that doggone Pole Vault. I don’t do poles…laughter
ITT: Which event do you most enjoy doing, the long jump or triple jump?
JS: Everyone always ask me that, but I really favor them both equally. I actually started doing triple jump first, then I got into long jump. For a long time, my triple jump was my favorite, but then I started getting better at the long jump.
ITT: Which one do you feel is your strongest event?
JS: I feel the triple jump can be more inconsistent so I’m going to have to go with the long jump.
ITT: Who introduced to the triple jump?
JS: My middle school coach. I actually forgot their names….I know one of them is Coach Niceler and the other one is Coach….Bradley, yeah that’s it. Coach Bradley.
ITT: So how did they come at you with the triple jump?
JS: Well, how the triple jump started for me, I was really the only person that could get the form down so obviously they would throw me in there. In the long jump, no one really introduced me to it. They told me I wasn’t good enough to long jump in middle school, so I started doing it in the summer. So really my parents got me started in long jump.
ITT: Finally breaking 50 feet, Had to be an incredible feeling. Take us through that jump?
JS: I was really thinking like the jump before I had gone 49 something, I was like, OK, I know I can put a little more effort into my next jump. Honestly, I look down a lot when I jump, and I could tell I was way farther in each of my phases than my last jump, so I thought, this has to be 50. Once I got up, I was like “YES” and when they announced it I was like “FINALLY”.
ITT: Going into the season, breaking 50 had to have been a major goal for you. Now that you have met that goal so early in the season, what are your goals now?
JS: I really want to see, maybe a high 51 foot jump, probably by the end of the summer. Well maybe close to the beginning of the summer, maybe around May.
ITT: It would be nice to get one down in Austin.
JS: Yeah that would be nice.
ITT: But you have to get past that thing you have about that Austin track. Laughing
JS: YES. Austin’s track I feel sometimes that it is a curse, but it went well the last time I was there so hopefully it will go well again.
ITT: Baylor Bears. Why Baylor and what other schools were interested?
JS: Baylor…I just had to go with Baylor. I would say that most schools had about the same facilities for every athlete, but what Baylor had specifically for track athletes was really amazing and I just thought that was really cool for them. Other schools that were interested were Georgia, North Carolina, UT in Austin, Texas A&M and the University of New Mexico.
ITT: What has been your greatest accomplishment in track and field?
JS: I liked to go back to the USATF Nationals back in 2014 when I won the triple jump and got my 1st national title. I thought that was a pretty good moment for me.
ITT: What advice would you give a young person wanting to jump?
JS: I would say, just stick with it. The hardest thing to do is to be consistent in the jumps. Once you get that consistency down, you’ll become a better jumper and begin to progress more. It’s really just getting consistent. We spend a lot of time in practice doing run throughs more than jumping. If you can’t get consistent with the run-throughs you can’t get started with the action in the pit.
OUTSIDE THE TRACK
ITT: Today, who is the baddest rapper out there?
ITT: And when I say bad, I mean bad meaning good..Bust that DMC on the young man..he don’t know nothing about that…
JS: Ooh that’s a hard one. I’m going to stick with Future.
ITT: Yeah, he got a lot to rap about. His baby boy taking naked pictures with another man.
JS: Burst out in laughter
ITT: Who wins in a footrace, Superman or The Flash?
JS: The Flash has gotta win. I don’t know. I just like the Flash more.
ITT: What are the top 5 songs on your playlist right now?
JS: I always gotta end my playlist with Jumpman. It’s impossible to not finish it with it. I like to listen to Young Thug, Future, definitely. I listen to The Weeknd too. I don’t know why, I just do. Somehow listening to him gets me into a jumping mood.
ITT: If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and what would be the first thing you ask them?
JS: I would say, maybe…I’ll go with Jonathan Edwards, just because he is a jumper and I would talk to him to see what he does in preparing to jump.
ITT: I am so impressed that you said Jonathan Edwards. I was actually going to ask you who had the world record in the triple jump. A lot of young people out there jump, but they are not students of the game. Jonathan Edwards, that’s a good answer. What would be the 1st thing you ask him?
JS: Probably training stuff. What did he do as far as training? How much did he jump in practice? I’m not sure how much jumping I should do in practice so I would want to know how much did he actually jump in practice.
ITT: What was the last movie you saw?
JS: I just saw…starts laughing, somehow, I’m so behind in my movie watching, but I just saw Race.
ITT: I’m laughing but I have never seen it. I have it but I haven’t watched it.
JS: Oh man, it’s great. I loved it. It got me motivated to actually…run. I was like “Man I feel like I should go out and start practicing now” I didn’t, but I felt like I should have…laughing.
ITT: Name 1 way to improve Track and Field.
JS: I think we should have some 400 meter tracks indoors. These elements can get ridiculous, especially here in Texas. It was 45 degrees this morning and 80 at 3:00. It would be nice if we could have some inside 400 meter tracks. That would be great.