When Madison Park High School junior Ricardo Jaquite (right) won a national title Friday, the Cardinals outdoor track coach, Colin Rose, hoped it would act as an example that hard work does pay off.
“He had an excellent year,” Rose said of Jaquite, who joined the team this season after moving from Portugal. “His training was very consistent. Every day he worked hard, so in turn, his meets were very consistent.”
Jaquite won the triple jump with a leap of 49 feet, 10 inches at the 2009 Nike Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C. last week –- an inch shorter than the leap that placed him second in the Nike Indoor Nationals.
“I would say his national jump wasn’t his best jump of the year, and it wasn’t his best meet of the year, but because he put in his work he was able to beat the field because of his consistency,” Rose said.
The third-year track coach said the team practices five days per week, with meets usually falling on weekends, and over the course of the year Jaquite’s jump has improved by about 2 feet.
“Kids who have talent, people don’t realize how much work they put in,” Rose said. “When you get to nationals everyone is talented, the difference between winning and losing is how much work you put in.”
He added that the national title is a huge boost for Madison Park and hopes it sets an example for other athletes in Boston.
“It’s huge for the school,” he said. “It shows that, you know, we do have athletes in Boston Public Schools, and when you work hard things happen. It’d be one thing if he was one of these athletes that was naturally talented and never worked hard…[Jaquite's accomplishments] can inspire other kids to do the same.”
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