FRUITA, Colo. Fall sports are just over one month away, but one athlete from Fruita Monument has stretched his spring sport as far as he can and will compete nationally in the Junior Olympics in late July.
Now, the work that makes the difference means rising before the sun for soon-to-be Fruita Monument junior Jacob Hahn.
"6:30 Tuesday and Thursdays, and then I wake up at six Monday, Wednesday and Friday," said Hahn.
It's been a long track season, extending into the summer. Three days per week it's strength training, and the other days a small group of athletes gather at Grand Junction's track for Coach Sean Mulvey's speed and agility camp.
"Refining our starts, getting quick muscle movements, snap your legs."
It's critical training time for Jacob, who readies for the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympics in Texas. He had a sensational sophomore year at Fruita, where he was the SWL champion in both the 110 and 300 meter hurdles, and then was the only second-year athlete to make both finals at state in 5A.
Jacob opted then to spend the first half of summer working towards the Junior Olympics, which meant upping the training for the USATF standard 400 hurdles, a longer distance and entirely new race.
"It doesn't seem like a lot at all, but it is killer on your legs, on your lungs, your esophagus feels like it is on fire, your feet are on flames. It's rough," he said.
Placing second at state and third at the regional meet earned him the national stage, where he will race against the country's best junior athletes and hopefully, all the early mornings will have paid off.