Jonathan “hops” over the competition


Jorge Castro

Jonathan Hopkins running through the first hurdle in his win in this league meet.

Jonathan Hopkins soars over the rest of his competition this season going 15-3 in the hurdles and pole vault. Hopkins specializes in the 110-meter hurdles and the pole vault. He always looks forward to the best competition around, “I never really cared about whether I won in league or not; I was always looking at people better than me in the bigger leagues. So, even though I won my league, I still felt like I lost in the big picture as I compare myself to those in bigger leagues–that’s what pushed me to do work.”

Hopkins is a two-sport athlete for Taft; he is a starter for the Taft High Wildcats football team along with doing track in the spring. When asked about what he did in the off season that made him so successful this season, he responded stating, “Last season was when I really realized that I had something in track and field, and I never really knew how far I wanted to take it until I tore my labrum in football. I thought it was going to end my pole vault career for good.

This showed me how bad I wanted to pole vault and, right when I was able to start working out again, I did. Over the off season I would run hills, even on days I didn’t want to. The main reason I am where I am now is because of my parents. My mom would always be there to push me when I didn’t want to do anymore, and John [Hopkin’s step-father] was always there to guide me where I wanted to go.”

Hopkins qualified for the South Area meet in track, the meet before the Valley meet, and he plans on having a big day, “My goal for the South Area meet this Wednesday is to get a PR of 15 feet in pole vault and PR in the hurdles.” After Hopkins graduates, he wants to continue what he loves and do track in college as well. “I would like to get a scholarship to a good school.” Hopkins has had a great season this year and the sky’s the limit with his hard work and dedication.