One jump, seventeen feet: sophomore track and field star


Izzy Klett performing the long jump. Klett recently achieved a score of over seventeen feet. Photo used with permission from Klett.

Claire Li, Bear Facts Contributor

Some athletes are only satisfied when they reach nationals, win a medal, or even win the Olympics. Others are never satisfied.

Izzy Klett, sophomore, sets her goals high and doesn’t stop until she reaches them. She is currently aspiring to win a sectional title, proceed to state championships, and finally nationals. Klett has been jumping hurdles since she was ten years old. Perseverance, repetitiveness, a genuine love for track, and an aspiration to follow in her brother’s footsteps is what makes Klett the ecstatic star athlete that she is.

“I’m more competitive than other people, it’s pretty intense. I think it’s the competitiveness in me that likes the jumps so much because I’m never really satisfied, and I like to compete against myself,” Klett said.

Klett’s success is the product of seven years of track experience, as well as Jeremy Kauffman, Track and Field coach. Although it is his first year coaching, Klett says his critiques and tips during practice are very helpful, contrary to how she self-taught the previous year without a coach specializing in her field event. She takes on Triple and Long Jump during the school season and throws the javelin with AAU, a summer travel team.

“She is very humble, pretty quiet at practice, and just does her work.  When it’s time to go at practice and meets, she flips the switch and goes hard,” Kauffman said. “She loves to compete and hates losing.  Anytime I make a drill a competition, she raises her level of intensity.”

Klett’s passion for the sport not only stems from her love for competition but also the goal-setting aspect, she said. One of her biggest successes this year was beating her own personal record of seventeen feet in Long Jump.

“It is kind of competing with yourself…there always is that other person that’s just like jumping farther than you that you want to beat,” Klett said. “In middle school, I would go in my garage and practice tailwhips everyday. I finally got it at the park, and I will never forget how I felt when I landed that.”

As many successes as she has had, Klett still faces what she calls “mental blocks” every now and then.

“Mental blocks in track are huge, such as in jumps and getting psyched out and letting it get to you,” Klett said. “I get over mental blocks by repetitiveness if you’re trying to get over a hurdle, you don’t want to give up. It’s a lot of sets, like perseverance and repetitiveness…you have to keep doing it, doing it, doing it, and finding different ways.”
According to Kauffman, Klett recently won Long Jump and Triple Jump as a County Champion as well as at conference, aiding in the school’s first place team win. She attributes her motivation to her friends and the fun atmosphere, but also to her brother, Ben Klett, a 2016 graduate and athletic legacy at the school.

“He’s helped me a bunch with a lot of my athleticism. He taught me how to throw a football, throw a baseball, he’s taught me bunch of sports from the beginning,” Klett said. “He taught me to ‘set your goals high and don’t stop until you get there.’ And I live by that.”