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West Jordan Journal

West Jordan track: Freeman jumping to new heights, lengths

May 06, 2024 01:14PM ● By Josh McFadden

Max Freeman, shown here in the long jump, has qualified for state in three events. (Photo courtesy of Taylor Hatch.)

The West Jordan boys track team is no slouch—and this season could be even better than the year before. 

The 2023 squad had an outstanding showing at the Class 6A state meet, placing fifth overall. This season, the Jaguars are competing in Class 5A, so the opportunities may be there to finish even higher. 

The Jaguars even have their sights set on a state title. 

One key member of the boys team is senior Max Freeman, a standout high-jumper, long-jumper and pole vaulter. In fact, Freeman has qualified for state this season in all three of those events. 

“[Freeman] is very talented, but he is one of the hardest workers on the team,” head coach Taylor Hatch said. “He always does what his coaches ask him to do and motivates others. He worked really hard during the indoor season and set the bar high for himself during the outdoor season. He is currently tied as the top pole vaulter in 5A and is top five in both the long Jump and high Jump. It is amazing seeing him run around to all three events at meets. He is very well composed and does not show any worry. He is very mentally tough to be able to compete at such a high level in all events. This year he also has been trying to qualify for state in javelin and is one of our top runners. He might also be on our 4x200-meter relay state team.”

Clearly, Freeman is a do-it-all athlete that has earned his coach’s praise. He has been a track and field athlete since his freshman year. The sport appealed to him right away. 

“I wanted to do a sport that had to do with jumping, and I was a very active person,” he said. 

Freeman placed 15th at state a year ago in the long jump with a jump of 19 feet 11 inches. He was also seventh in the pole vault in last year’s state meet. He has already accomplished his goal this season of getting back to state in those events as well as in the long jump. He’s hoping to improve on last year’s showing and also has his sights set on the Jags winning Region 4 and even the 5A crown. 

As for what Freeman loves most about track and field, his response was simple. 

“I enjoy hanging out with all my homies and being able to have fun and jump as high as I can,” he said. 

A combination of natural talent and skill as well as hard work and determination have combined to make Freeman the athlete he has become. Success has come through consistent effort and a desire to be as good as he can be. Freeman is also a captain and team leader. He enjoys helping others and bringing them along.

“My strengths are probably doing my best and pushing myself in workouts and competitions,” he said. “I try my best to be an example on the team and to bring others up.”

The Jaguars are a tight-knit group. The team has strong unity and camaraderie, which is something Freeman enjoys most about the West Jordan program and competing on the team. But the most enjoyable part of being on the West Jordan track team isn’t the wins or going for records. Freeman said it’s all about being together and having a memorable time. 

“My favorite part is joking with others and helping each other up while having fun,” he said. 

As the track and field season winds down, Freeman has some things he still wants to accomplish in this his final year as a Jaguar. He’s working on getting stronger and improving his personal records. The state tournament, which will take place at Brigham Young University May 16–18, will feature the state’s top track and field athletes. Nothing will come easy there, but Freeman is going to give it his all and aim to finish as high as possible in every event he takes part. He has some talented teammates, too, who will help push the Jaguars forward. 

As Freeman has improved as a track and field athlete his four years at school, he acknowledges that he couldn’t be where he is today without the help and support of others. Plenty of people have been with him every step of the way, guiding him and rooting him on through good times and rough ones. 

“My mentors have been my family, friends, and coaches,” he said “I´ve looked up to [my teammates].”

As many high school students and student-athletes feel, time has passed quickly the past few years. Once the state tournament ends, Freeman’s competitive track and field career may be over. He has some exciting adventures ahead, however. 

“After high school, I’m hoping to hang out with friends and family and go on trips and probably work a bunch,” he said. “I also am going to serve a mission in Bakersfield, California.”

Freeman will begin his two-year volunteer service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Sept. 16.

The West Jordan team, including Freeman, will end its regular season in early May. The region and state tournaments follow. The more athletes the team qualifies for state, the better chance the Jaguars will have of competing for a state championship. Region 4 alone has some talented athletes, and 5A will provide some intriguing challenges for Freeman and his teammates.   λ