Kerry Collins, Published June 05 2009
Minnesota state track: Frazee senior thinks his best is yet to comeSkyler Jackson surprised even himself at last year’s Minnesota state track meet.
He doesn’t want any surprises this year.
After tying the state record in the 100 last year, the Frazee senior comes into this weekend’s state meet with the top times in both the 100 and 200.
“I came into this year with high goals because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it again,” Jackson said. “And I don’t feel like I’ve run my fastest.
“I’m hoping my fastest is yet to come.”
He was as fast as any Class 1A runner in Minnesota history last year. Jackson’s time of 10.94 seconds tied the record set in 2005 by Blake’s Isaac Anderson.
He enters this year’s state meet with top times of 10.85 in the 100 and 22.39 in the 200.
Jackson is also qualified in the triple jump and will anchor the Hornets’ 400 relay this weekend as well.
“He has been confident this year because he doesn’t doubt what he can do,” Frazee coach Brian Tangen said. “Any time you’re a returning state champ, there’s going to be pressure to do it again.”
Jackson said he knows not to take anything for granted. When he won the 100 last year, he beat the 2007 champ – St. Croix Lutheran’s Matt Dvorak.
And the Frazee senior knows he will have the same target on his back.
“You’re the champ coming back, so you’re the guy people are gunning to beat,” Jackson said. “You have to work that much harder because you know everybody else is working that hard to catch you.”
He doesn’t run with a blow-your-doors-off-out-of-the-blocks style, but he has more of a sustained burst. Many of Jackson’s races have been won over the final 30 meters.
“I’d like to say it’s coaching, but I don’t think I can honestly do that,” Tangen said with a laugh. “He’s just got some very good natural ability, and he works so hard.
“He sets high goals because he knows he can work to reach them.”
Jackson first hit the state meet as a sophomore in 2007, where he said he learned a lot by watching Drew Daggett become a state champ in the 300 hurdles.
That led to the work ethic of his own state title last year – and what could be more titles this year.
“Watching Drew win was a lot of fun, and it made me want to do the same thing,” Jackson said.
Jackson will run in college at Minnesota State Moorhead, but right now he is focused on the one, big weekend that remains in his sparkling prep career.
Frazee is still a wrestling town, but the recent success of Daggett and Jackson might be more than just blips on the radar.
“With Frazee, it’s wrestling, wrestling, wrestling and you don’t hear about much else,” Jackson said with a laugh. “That’s great, but it’s been nice to have people looking toward you and supporting you for something else.
“You don’t want to let those people down, and I’m excited to go down there and try to do it again.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548.
Collins’ blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com