Photos: courtesy of Steven Bell
Steven Bell of SE Raleigh has had a great start to the season. He is currently ranked #1 in North Carolina in the triple jump and the high jump and #2 in the long jump. In the US, he ranks #4 in the triple jump, #9 in the long jump, and is tied for #11 in the high jump. The marks he has put up so far this indoor season have been: 47-8 (triple), 6-6 (high), and 22-5.75 (long).
Steven has also just announced that he will be attending college at . . . well, read to find out.
1) At the Boo Williams Invitational in Virginia, you won the triple jump, long jump, and high jump. As a distance runner, I have no idea what it is like to jump that much at a meet. Do you get stronger as the meet goes? Do your legs start to fade on you? What allows you to take that many jumps in one meet?
I do feel that I get stronger every meet but I think what helps me overcome the fatigue that hits sometimes is my growing confindence in my marks and my jumping abilities. When I compete in triple, long, and high jump I have to jump at least 15 times and my drive and determination to continuously improve my marks keeps me going every meet.
2) Your high jump of 6'6" was a new personal record, or at least tied your personal record. Have you been focusing more on the high jump this off season? What is your goal for the high jump this year?
I really have not focused specifically on high jump or any of my other events but rather on becoming stronger. My goal this year for high jump is 7'0.
3) Your triple jump performance, 47' 8", is ranked #2 in the US right now. The 6' 6" clearance in the high jump is tied for #10 and the long jump of 21' 9" has you near the top 30. Were you expected this kind of season? What were you doing during the fall to get ready for indoor track?
I had a great summer season reaching a new personal record in triple jump and long jump. Summer track really showed me that I possessed the capability to excel this year but only if I trained hard and became completely dedicated to bettering myself. I really feel like I am off to a great start.
4) What are your goals for the horizontal jumps this year?
I plan to jump 50 feet in the triple jump and 23 feet in the long jump.
5) Has track always been your #1 sport? When did you decided to wanted to be a "jumper"?
Basketball was my number one sport coming into my freshman year but I felt that I was more likely to succeed in track. I started my first indoor season hoping to be a sprinter but I was no where near the fastest. My coach decieded to try me out on high jump and from then on out jumping becaming my thing. I had always wanted to try jumping because my dad jumped in college but I never saw it being my main event until my freshman year.
6) As a senior, do you have plans for next year yet?
I plan on going to a division I college and competing in track and field. I have decided to attend Cornell University in the fall.
7) Are you planning on competing at one of the National Indoor meets? If so, which one are you planning to attend?
Yes. I plan on competing at the Nike Indoor Nationals.
8) With 3 events that you good at doing, which one of them is your favorite and why?
Triple jump is by far my favorite event. To me, nothing looks better than a well performed triple jump. Triple jumping well gives me a greater sensation of accomplishment than long or high jumping. As I continue to improve my triple marks the difficulty of the event remains constant and for me executing a great triple jump is difficult which is reason why it's my favorite event.