An Un-Forgotten Kentucky Running Hero: Butler/Belmont University's Jacob Buckman



High School Achievements, Butler High School:

Freshman CC - 2nd Team All-State, All-South Freshman Team
Freshman Track - 1st Team All-Region, 1st Team All-State (3200m)
Sophomore CC - 1st team All-State
Sophomore Track - 1st Team All-State (3200m)
Junior CC - 1st Team All-State, All-South Team
Junior Track - 2nd Team All-State (3200m)
Senior CC - Regional Champion, 1st Team All-State, All-South Team
Senior Track - 1st Team All-State (1600m), 2nd Team All-State (3200m)

High School PRs:
800- 1:59
1600- 4:19
3200- 9:18
5k cc- 15:19

College Achievements, Belmont University, Atlantic Sun Conference:
Freshman CC - 2nd Team All-Conference, All-Conference Freshman Team
Freshman Track - A-Sun 5000m Champion
Sophomore CC - A-Sun Co-Conference Champ/Runner of the Year, NCAA All-South Region
Sophomore Track - A-Sun 5000m Champion, NCAA Regional Qualifier
Junior Track - A-Sun 5000m Champion, NCAA Regional Qualifier
Senior CC - 1st Team All-Conference, NCAA All-South Region

College PRs:
1500m- 3:53
5000m- 14:11
8k cc- 24:32

How do you prepare to be the best?
Well, I can't say that I was ever the best. And, I'm not really sure if that's something that anyone can prepare for. The way I see it, all you can do is prepare to DO your best. You've got to use the tools you've been given to make the best of any situation you might be faced with. A good analogy I like to use that transfers from running to other obstacles in life is "just keep putting one foot infront of the other". Yes, sometimes it's not much fun, things don't always go your way, but you've got to keep moving.

How/why did I make running a priority in my life?
Growing up I'd always been involved in various activities. I was always pretty average at most things, then I found that I had some talent when it came to running, so I just went with it. It didn't come easy. Nothing ever does. I busted my butt just like the next guy. I wanted to be as good as I could be. Running seemed to fit my personality. You get out of it what you put into it, and being out-worked is not something I've ever taken lightly.

Was there anything in my personal life that pointed in me the direction of wanting to be a runner?
Not particularly. I was scared to try out for the golf team going into my freshman year, and Butler's coach talked me into trying cross country. So I tried it, and the rest is history. What I've gotten most out of running is the relationships that were formed during those years. The quality of the people I've become friends with through running absolutely amazes me. Enjoy your teammates, enjoy your coaches, enjoy your competitors because those are the things you'll remember the most, not who ran what time on what day.

Was paying for education a significant motivator for my running?
No, but once I discovered I could use my running as a ticket to lessen the financial burdens of higher education, that was a good thing to know. My parents were always supportive of my activities as long as those activities contributed positively to my life. I knew that I wanted to run at the collegiate level, and would have found a way to make it work regardless of financial difficulties. I like to remind my parents on occassion how much money I saved them, but God only knows how much they've helped me on my journey so far. I'm forever in their debt. They are great people and I love them dearly.