The Sartell High School track record book is being rewritten.
The author’s name is Jake Lieberg. The triple jump is his specialty.
So far this season he’s broken both the indoor and outdoor school records in that event.
He put his name atop the indoor list with a 45 feet, 2 1/2-inch jump in his first leap of the season. Lieberg then flew 45-8 inches before his feet hit the sand to set the new mark in the Sabres’ first outdoor meet.
Not a bad way to begin your junior season.
The significance of Lieberg’s achievements was perhaps a bit higher than another athlete’s might have been because of the special relationship he has with his predecessor.
Both of the aforementioned records were held by Lieberg’s brother Josh, who graduated in 2013.
“It meant quite a bit,” Lieberg said. “It was a milestone in beating him in something.”
Josh is majoring in mathematics at the University of Minnesota and is happy for what his brother has done.
“I’m extremely proud to see him accomplish that and go above and beyond what I’ve done. He can attribute that to his hard work. It’s not just by some random chance that he’s doing this,” Josh said.
Lieberg also set the record of 39.76 in the 300 hurdles during last year’s section meet.
There are four Lieberg brothers, all of whom have been involved with track; the jumping events in particular.
Jake is the middle brother and promptly admitted he’s the most competitive.
He hates to lose and said when he and his siblings were playing sports around the house he would start to ad lib the rules or let his frustrations drip down his cheek if things weren’t going his way.
“Anything to get me to win,” Lieberg said.
Jake’s younger brother Jason is a sophomore triple jumper and part-time motivator for the Sabres.
“If I see him getting close to what I’m doing it pushes me to do better than I usually do,” Jake said.
Sartell’s assistant coach, Ross Anderson, gave a detailed description of the difficulty of executing the triple jump.
He said it takes a combination of strength, speed and sound technique to be an elite competitor in the event.
“The hardest part is keeping balance and rhythm while running full speed. It’s not something you can just walk out there and master in a couple weeks,” Anderson said.
Lieberg’s learning curve seemed to be accelerated when he started competing in a few varsity meets as an eighth-grader.
Anderson credits his quick development to watching both Josh and his other brother Justin perform in the triple jump.
“There’s a good family lineage there,” Anderson said.
However, Josh doesn’t take credit as a role model for Jake’s success.
“We were peers as much I mentored him at that age,” Josh said.
During his freshman year, Lieberg landed the longest triple jump by any freshman in school history with a distance of 43-6.
He’s evolved so well that Anderson has to break down Lieberg’s jumps on film to catch any flaws because his mechanics are too sound to see anything with the naked eye.
Lieberg qualified for the state meet and was one of two sophomores competing last season. He finished in ninth place.
“It gave perspective on how I can improve and know that I’m not always going to be the best and I can deal with it,” Lieberg said.
He’s grown 11/2 inches since last season and stands 6-foot-4.
Lieberg said he hopes the added height will help him return to the state meet and improve on his results.
“I hope my team and I can get back to true team and I hope I can get to regular state and place higher than I did last year,” Lieberg said.