In It for the Long Jump

Athlete of the Month: Tyson Adams

Janie Peterson, Sports Editor

As indoor track season is wrapping up, athletes are preparing for the state meet and looking ahead to spring track. Junior Tyson Adams is trying to figure out how to balance both outdoor track and baseball this upcoming spring.
“For the spring season, I’m trying to do both baseball and track. It might be a little hard. Most of the time I’ll probably be at baseball practice… and I’m going to have to practice some with triple jump. My technique for everything is not the best right now,” Adams said.
When Adams says that his technique is not the best, what he really means is that he is ranked No. 2 in the nation for long jump, and is expected to be a state champion.
“The first time I saw him jump I knew he was something special. He just has an unbelievable natural talent,” jumping coach Keena White said.
This past weekend, Adams participated in the Camel City Elite Meet, where he was mostly competing against college athletes. This is the last meet he will jump in before the state meet next weekend.
“My first four jumps at the Camel City meet, I had beaten everyone that was jumping. I’m excited for that. Coach [Newsome] said that I should become a state champ as long as I do as well as I did at the Camel City Elite meet,” Adams said.
Adams’ personal record in the long jump is currently 24-2.5, breaking the school record of 24-2, previously set by J. Samuels in 1977. Along with long and triple jump, he consistently runs the 55 meter dash, and has been put in several other running events including the 300 meter dash, 4×200 meter relay, and 4×400 meter relay. Shockingly versatile and talented, Adams is only a rookie.
“He jumped pretty far in his first meet without much training, we knew he would be extremely good,” head coach Nate Newsome said.
His freshman year, he was planning to run, but had a scheduling conflict with driver’s education. Sophomore year, indoor track was canceled due to COVID-19, and outdoor track interfered with baseball season. After tryouts this season, Adams was leaning more towards sprinting.
“I was not expecting to jump, because in my tryout I don’t think it went the best. The sprinting part actually went great during tryouts, but then I started doing the blocks, and that’s when everything changed. The block starts are way harder than going off of my movement or my call, so that’s really what happened with that,” Adams said.
Growing up playing baseball and basketball has been a key factor in developing his speed and athleticism.
“When I first started baseball, I was always really fast compared to everyone else. Having a lot of speed is probably one of the reasons why I can jump so far, because speed in the long jump and triple jump are very important. I’ve been able to dunk since the eighth grade, so I’ve known that I can jump for a pretty long time,” Adams said.
Adams’ success is no mistake, as he continues to put in extra work during the season, both during and outside of practice.
“He is driven to jump further every time he gets on the runway; he is always one of the first people at practice and he immediately starts jumping rope to get warmed up,” White said.
“When we have practice at school I do some sprint workouts and some jumping exercises, and at home my dad makes me do 1000 jump ropes every day. I use weights at practice and at home,” Adams said.
Not only has Adams’ father pushed him to train, but he has also served as inspiration as a high school and collegiate long jumper himself.
“The first day he showed up to practice he said he wanted to do long jump and jump further than his dad did. He knew exactly what he wanted to do from the beginning,” White said.
Though this is his first year participating in track, it most certainly will not be his last.
“At the Camel City meet I had two coaches talk to me. The High Point [University] coach and the [NC] State [University] coach. I’ll probably try in college to do some jumping,” Adams said.
Jumping is a solo event, but Adams feels grateful for the support he has received from his coaches and teammates.
“All of my teammates are really encouraging and everybody is just really positive with everyone; nobody really brings each other down. It’s just a positive upbeat kind of thing, our track community,” Adams said.
His coaches say that Adams has continued to improve throughout the season.
“He’s been a fun athlete to work with because he has an incredible amount of natural talent, and he’s hungry to work hard and keep improving,” White said.
“In time I feel he will become one of the best jumpers ever in North Carolina,” Newsome added.