Time Out Session: Jacques Hebert



Jacques Hebert, senior distance runner, is gearing up to surpass his previous record-breaking 1600m time.

As Seattle University’s Track and Field team nears the end of its indoor season and prepares for the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championships, Senior Jacques Hebert broke Seattle U’s mile record at the Last Chance College Elite meet, posting a time of 4:09.62. The Business Finance and Management double major has spent the better part of the year gearing up for this very goal.

RK: How does it feel to break the mile record not just once, but twice?

JH: It was kind of my goal going into indoor season to kind of cross that off my list right away because I knew that pretty much all last year I was injured and not really able to compete since we made the decision to redshirt. Going into this year I knew I just wanted to get after it right away and then just keep on trying to lower the record as much as I could.

RK: You were mentioning your injuries last year, how was it training for this particular season?

JH: I was dealing with Achilles tendonitis. It’s kind of a nagging injury because it’s something that can kind of just flare up at any opportune times… I was hard on myself and it was disappointing to have myself not compete or really get any good times for a season…I just spent extra time working out what I needed to do working in physical therapy a little bit more than what I’ve been used to doing. Once you do all those little things and working on all of the finetuning aspects of the sport that’s when you’ll start to see the payoff. I had to do a lot of strength exercises, a lot of different weird stretching exercises that normal runners don’t really have to do, but after months of doing that I started to see a little bit of payoff here and there and then the pain starts to go away and then all of a sudden you start to feel normal again. You start running fast and getting personal records and things.

RK: Are you still on that “high” from breaking the record?

JH: The first time I broke the record, it didn’t really resonate with me right away because going back to the race, I actually was second to last in my heat, so I felt like I didn’t really have that great of a race. I barely squeezed by and got the record by a few fractions of a second. And so, the first thing that happened was my teammate who was also in the heat came up to me and he congratulated me…I had a quick sigh of relief and a quick breath, but a second later I was just thinking to myself, I know I can run faster. I knew I had to push myself to do even better in another week or two. I just had that feeling in my legs that I wasn’t really giving it my all and then this past week, it was a little bit more satisfying going under the 4:10 margin. That’s when I really was like okay, now I really feel like I’m giving it my all and when I really can say “okay, yeah, I really accomplished something.”

RK: When did you start running track?

JH: I first started running track way back when I was in third or fourth grade and like elementary school. I had just been running normal track and had tested out all the events and did everything from like the 100 [meter] all the way up to the 3000 [meter], so it took me a while to find my niche. Once I got into high school, I took it more seriously. I had a coach who really believed in me, a lot like Coach Kelly on our track team…I started running throughout the year. Instead of just a hobby, it became more a part of my life and after high school, I realized I could really go somewhere with this and could really become a little bit more than just some sport I like to do in my spare time. I came to college, and here I am now.

RK: As the season wraps up, do you have any goals you’re still hoping to accomplish?

JH: Next week we have our WAC Championship meet and so it’s definitely my goal to win the mile at WAC Champs and that’ll sum up my indoor season. After that, going into outdoor it’s a really big goal of mine to make it to NCAAs or NCAA Preliminary Rounds and then Championships because that’d be something that not many athletes can say they can do and it’d be like a first for Coach Kelly, having someone from here, from Seattle U going that far…I know there’s like a lot of work to do between now and then but I think if I keep that same sort of mindset, that could happen.

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