Athlete of the Week: Jack Sauder

An exclusive interview with Jack Sauder whose performance on pole vault earned him a spot as athlete of the week.


Photo provided by COD Athletics

Lily Goodfellow, Sports Writer

Athlete of the Week: Jack Sauder

Sport: Track and field

Year: Freshman

Hometown: Clarendon Hills

High School: Hinsdale Central


Lily Goodfellow: What events do you compete in?

Jack Sauder: I mostly compete in the pole vault, and I do some sprinting events like the 200 and the 4×4 [relay].


LG: When did you start competing in track and field?

JS: I started competing in track and field my freshman year, and I really started to pole vault my sophomore year of high school. 


LG: How does someone get interested and try pole vault?

JS: My dad did pole vault in high school. He only jumped 10 feet. He really wanted me to try it when I was doing track in high school. I was the only pole vaulter, but it worked out good, so I just kept up working with coaches at a pole vault club.


LG: What do you love most about the sport?

JS: I love having all my teammates around me and the camaraderie with everyone. 


LG: What commitment does track take? Do you need to practice all year long?

JS: Certainly some people don’t need to practice specifically track all year long. They can do activities. For the commitment, I try to do at least twice a week of training and try to train all year round.


LG: What has track taught you about testing your personal limits?

JS: It taught me how to trust the process of coaches, teaching me how to get better and how determined I am in sports.


LG: Who are some of your role models in track?

JS: One of my role models is the world record holder [for pole vault] Mondo Duplantis, and one of my old club coaches in high school Luke Winder, who is competing now and just jumped 19 feet last weekend. 


LG: Wow, that’s awesome. What is your greatest accomplishment?

JS: That’s a tough one. I’d say my greatest accomplishment was making that 15-foot barrier in pole vault and qualifying for State two years in a row.


LG: That’s great! Do you enjoy any other sports?

JS: Yeah, I play basketball on the side, and I enjoy all sports really. The only sport I don’t do too much is swimming. I’m not that good in water.


LG: I read that you like aviation. Do you want to be a pilot some day? 

JS: Yes, I do want to become a pilot. I am training to become a pilot right now. I am going to get my private license within a month or two, and I will continue flying next year.


LG: What’s your favorite class right now?

JS: Probably my psychology class because my teacher makes it really fun and interesting every day.


LG: Do you plan to transfer somewhere and continue competing in track and field?

JS: Yes, I am planning to transfer somewhere, most likely in a hot environment like Arizona and competing for the rest of my [college] years in D1.


LG: Will you study something aviation-related?

JS: Colleges like Arizona State offer aviation, so my major will be flying. I’d like to be a commercial pilot someday.


LG: What are you most looking forward to about Nationals next week?

JS: I’m most looking forward to winning Nationals and hopefully getting a ring for the whole team.


LG: What one word best describes you?

JS: Determined. I keep working on things until I master them or do the best I can do.


LG: Thank you very much, Jack! Good luck at Nationals!

JS: Thank you very much.