by BRIAN KARLOVSKY
MT Pritchard long jumper Kurt Jenner is eyeing off the the possibility of a move to US college Texas A&M after winning his sixth national title in convincing fashion.
The Westfield Sports High student, 17, who has been hard in training since missing out on a finals spot in the Singapore Youth Olympics by just 9cm, jumped a near personal best of 7.38m to take the title.
Jenner said his ninth placing in the Youth Olympics had spurred him on to work harder.
“The Youth Olympics definitely opened my eyes to how good everyone else is around the world, so it makes me want to put in a lot more effort,” he said.
“Over the last couple of months I have been working on getting my speed up and also the technical side of everything.
Jenner said the competition was tougher than in previous years.
“There were a couple of jumpers that were pushing me a bit,
which obviously made me jump further.”
Jenner’s closest rival managed 7.01m.
“It’s the best competition I have done for a while so I am really happy. I did one foul and all of my jumps were over 7 metres,” he said.
He now hopes to follow in the footsteps of former Westfield Sports High School student and Commonwealth Games long jump gold medallist Fabrice Lapierre, who received a full scholarship from Texas A&M University.
Jenner said he was thrilled to receive interest from US colleges but that he was waiting for the right one.
“Over there it’s so much bigger, they’re a lot more into it. It would also be a great experience,” he said.”
But, in the long term, his sights remain set on the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games.
“I am definitely looking forward to Rio, that will be the main long-term goal,” he said.