Ben Jefferies Gears Up For His Second Successive Indoor Track National Tournament.
Ben Jefferies originally started running track when he was around 9 years old, but he left track after 3 to 4 years and started playing soccer casually. He eventually ended up joining a team. Up until these past two years, soccer has been his main sport and the reason he came to the cliff. Here at Briar Cliff, Jefferies started track during his sophomore year, in 2019-2020.
Jefferies has been balancing two sports, track and soccer, for over a year now and says he has to be on constant injury watch. He expressed that he feels lucky to have two coaches that fully support him taking part in the other sport.
Jefferies qualified for the national track tournament as a GPAC champion in his first year competing.
“It was definitely a shock to the system. I knew I was still fast from racing teammates and people telling me in soccer matches and training but I had no idea how I would stack up against full-time track athletes,” Jefferies says. “It took some getting used to especially with the specific drills, but I ended up getting comfortable again.”
Jefferies has qualified as a GPAC champion for the second year running for the Indoor Track Nationals which are March 4 through 7. Jefferies ran the 400-meter race last year taking first place in the GPAC before placing fourth in the nation at the tournament. This year, the track sophomore has won two GPAC titles in the 200 and 400-meter races and will compete in both events at the Indoor Track National Tournament. There are 1-2 days of heats for each of the races and the finals are on the last day.
“Nationals last year was a big event for me. The venue was intimidating as well as being surrounded by schools I’d never even heard of. At the start of the season, I definitely didn’t picture myself competing there but everything kept rolling and my times were getting better throughout the season,” Jefferies says. “I know that the competition is as close as ever this year, but I feel a little more confident going in with another season under my belt.”
Photo Credit: Jacob Harvey / Cliff News
Ben Jefferies poses with his GPAC medals.