Todd Barker remembers the day when area cross country teams could predict their place in the standings without taking into account Seton Catholic’s runners.
That era ended when Jacob Stamm reached the high school level and factored immediately in the team standings.
Stamm has led by example since joining the Seton cross country and track and field teams.
“He’s opened the door with his success as far as running, to help our younger individuals see the effort that it takes,” Barker said of Stamm.
Recently, the senior-to-be was rewarded by being named the vice president of the IHSAA’s Student Advisory Committee.
The SAC represents the more than 400 schools in Indiana represented by the IHSAA.
“It’s an honor, it’s more than I can begin to describe,” Stamm said.
Prior to his junior year, Stamm was one of nine juniors selected as a member of the SAC .
He has taken on many leadership roles as a member of the SAC including working with Special Olympics, assisting with state championship events and organizing the Student Leadership Conference.
“At first it was overwhelming,” he said. “We had to go through an interview process and there was a whole bunch of SAC and past presidents and other IHSAA officials that were there interviewing us.”
The president is Alexa Jenkins of Hamilton Southeastern.
“We couldn’t be more proud of Jacob and this latest honor for him,” athletic director Trent Tremain said in an email. “Not only is he an outstanding athlete, but he is an even better young man. His service on the SAC has been a true testament to his character.”
Stamm qualified for the cross country regional as a freshman, but missed the track and field season with injury.
He advanced to the semistate as a sophomore, before running the regional as a junior with sickness.
As a junior he won sectional titles in both the 1,600- and the 3,200-meter runs, failing to qualify for the state finals by one place in the 1,600. He was undefeated in the 3,200 prior to the regional.
“It’s been a fantastic (career),” Barker said. “… It used to be where Seton didn’t matter as far as going to sectional, regional. You had kids who would try to place themselves, they had to figure Seton in with Jacob and his partner Jack (Brenneke) as well.”
Stamm said he maintains his goal of qualifying for the state finals in cross country as he approaches this fall.
He also said he has received attention to run in college, and hopes to pursue a Division I program.
“I’d really like to win a lot of races and go to state,” Stamm said.