CLINTON — If you’ve been following Iowa high school track at all this year, one name that might have popped up is Jaelen Boysen.
That’s because Boysen currently has the best jump in Iowa: 23-01. He’s already qualified for the Drake Relays with a Blue Oval Standard and is well on his way for another state appearance.
When the senior athlete entered high school though, track & field wasn’t exactly on his mind.
“I actually didn’t even get introduced to track until my sophomore year,” Boysen said. “I had no idea it was even a sport you could do in high school until one of the coach’s came up to me and asked me to give it a try.”
It was his natural athletic ability that enticed the Clinton coaches.
“I had caught their eye because in weight lifting we do the broad jump—which is jumping as far as you can from a standing point — and I got the furthest which was like 10-feet as a sophomore, beating even all the seniors,” Boysen said. “Football was my main sport and it had just gotten over with so I came out my sophomore year and gave track a try.”
It went well forthe sprinter and long jumper.
“My personal record for long jump that year was 19-04,” Boysen said. “Then, after that year I came out basically doing the same thing but bettering myself and getting better times and distances. “My personal record my junior year was 21-04.”
His improvements were enough to earn him a trip to the Iowa State Track Meet at Drake Stadium. He jumped 19-05 last year. That’s when some offseason work came in.
“I’ve tried to change a couple things with my technique but it’s still pretty similar to how I’ve always done it,” he said. “Just putting in work in the weight room and getting stronger is definitely a priority to bettering myself.
“Just listening to my coaches and taking their input has also helped me. Now when I jump I just try to focus only on actually jumping, nothing else.”
Enter his senior season. It’s one thing to come out and jump where you ended the year before, it’s another to come out and beat it by more than a foot.
“For my first track meet this season I just wanted to come out and see where I would be at but I ended up already beating my personal record from last year and jumped 22-05.5,” Boysen said. “That put me at the number one spot in the state so I was super happy.”
That’s not where he stopped either.
“Even though I was number one in the state I still wanted to come out and better myself and get further distances,” Boysen said.
Boysen came out to the Jesse Day Relays and jumped 23-01. That’s still the best jump in Iowa and the first one over 23-feet. It also is the second best jump in Clinton High School history.
With his track record so far, there’s no telling how far the senior River King can go this year.
Or jump, that is.
“Even though I got that distance I still want to use the remainder of the track season to get even further and do my best and Drake and state.”