Season Interrupted: Long jumper John Uhl will make the leap to Chapman University
Throughout the spring, The Times will interview high school seniors whose athletic careers were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak.
Name: John Uhl
School: San Juan Hills
Sport: Track and field, long jumper
Key stats: Won Sea View League title in 2019, went 21 feet, 1 inch in the long jump in February, 4.5 GPA
Summer plans: Playing guitar and working out in his garage
Fall plans: Will attend Chapman University
On life without sports:
“It’s been a huge change. This track season, we probably had the best team San Juan Hills has ever put together. We wanted to be able to put a banner in the gym, but I’m adjusting to garage workouts, texting friends and not being able to see people. Just trying to stay positive.”
On the creative ways he’s practicing the long jump in his garage:
“It’s definitely a big challenge. A lot of sports are based on having your equipment. I can’t do a lot of form stuff but do body weights.”
What new interests he’s discovering with the extra free time:
“I’ve been playing guitar, and my mom is teaching me how to cook before I leave for college. It’s definitely been learning hobbies, seeing if I can spin a basketball on my finger, random things to keep me interested.”
The lessons he’s learned with his fellow 2020 classmates:
“Perseverance and being able to look at the big picture. Zoom meetings with your friends. Anything you can do to stay positive and keep moving.”
What he’s looking forward to in college:
“I’m all about academics. Being able to have another shot at the long jump is huge for me.”
See the video and interviews with other athletes at latimes.com/sports.
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