INDIANAPOLIS — USATF Hershey Junior Olympic triple gold medalist Jakobé Ford (Blackfeet/Assinaboine Sioux) has been named the 2017 USATF Youth Athlete of the Year it was announced today.
Ford, along with masters athlete of the year Sabra Harvey ,will be honored Saturday, December 2, at the Jesse Owens Awards Banquet in Columbus, Ohio. The event is held in conjunction with USATF’s Annual Meeting. Tickets are available online now, and a limited number will be available on-site beginning Wednesday, November 29, at the Hyatt Regency.
“USATF’s Youth events have the largest participation of any of our programs, and our Masters athletes capture the groundswell of competitive fitness for people over 40,” USATF CEO Max Siegel said. “Jakobé and Sabra embody the fact that athletes can achieve excellence at any stage of life, and USATF is proud to offer robust competitive opportunities for athletes of all ages.”
Competing for the Spokane Speed Academy of USATF’s Inland Northwest Association, Ford won an historic jumps triple crown at the USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in Lawrence, Kansas. Competing in the 17-18-year-old age group, he took top honors in the long jump with a 7.47m/24-6.25, added a gold in the triple jump with a mark of 15.74m/51-7.75, and won the high jump with a clearance of 2.17m/7-1.5 clearance. He became the first athlete since 1967 to win the jumps triple at USATF Junior Olympics.
“I’m excited to win this award and grateful for this recognition,” Ford said. “I’ve had an incredible year, and I’d like to thank USATF, my family and my coaches helping me achieve success in a sport I love.”