Richmond Hill High School’s Jacob Hedgepeth went from being not able to make the varsity team as a sophomore to scoring 15 ½ points in the Class AAAAAA state track meet last weekend. This week he followed that up by signing to compete for Emory University.
RHHS Head Track Coach Levi Sybert gave a recap of Hedgepeth’s running career.
“Jacob came out and he sucked, and he got better,” Sybert said.
Saying that he got better may be an understatement. This year at the state meet he finished second in the 1,600-meters, fifth in the 3,200-meters and then showed his versatility by running a leg on the winning 4 x 400-meter relay team.
When he first began running the idea of competing in college seemed remote but as his career progressed that possibility began to emerge.
“Each year I ran it sort of became more realistic. Like when I first started I thought ‘no, there is no chance,’ then my junior year, because I started sophomore year, it was ‘OK, maybe I might get into a college,’ and then senior year in cross country it was ‘I think I can maybe do it,’ and then with track it was ‘yeah, I am going to do it,’” he said.
Now having the opportunity to continue to develop at Emory is something of a dream come-true he said.
“I am super excited to be part of Emory. I think when I first started looking at what college I might go to at the beginning of this year I had Emory picked out as my dream school if maybe I could get in but probably not. And then I did all the application stuff and I crossed my fingers and talked to the coach there, and I then got in. And I am like insanely, crazy, really happy to be going there,” he said.
Hedgepeth who plans to study prelaw will run cross country, the 1,500-meters and 3,000-meter steeplechase in college.
In addition to his other accomplishments he is Savannah Morning News’ 2016 male cross country runner of the year.