Hibbert starts university with 4.0 GPA
Jamaica's under-20 triple jump record holder, Jaydon Hibbert, is maintaining a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.0 in his first semester at the University of Arkansas, which he is seeking to continue when the season gets going in earnest.
Hibbert competed at the New Mexico Collegiate Classics at the Albuquerque Convention Centre on Saturday, his first meet of the season and won the triple jump with a personal indoor best of 16.73 metres.
He, however, emphasised the desire to perform well, both in academics and in his athletics pursuits.
"I have done really well in my academics so far and I really want to continue for the next semester, although during competition, it will be very hard to keep up that high GPA, but I will just have to be disciplined," he said.
According to Hibbert, he selected the University of Arkansas over the plethora of other academic institutions that offered him scholarships because he believes the jumps programme is almost the same as that which he had while competing at the Boys and Girls' Athletics Championships (Champs) for alma mater, Kingston College (KC).
"I choose Arkansas as the programme here is kind of similar to what I had at KC, and the decision to go there was a no-brainer for me. Plus two of my teammates, Carey McLeod and Wayne Pinnock, are both products of KC, and they are like my big brothers," Hibbert said while confessing that he feels at home at Arkansas.
Meanwhile, Hibbert, who is currently majoring in Business Management, had stellar performances for Jamaica last season, which he was ecstatic about. It started with double success at the Carifta Games at the National Stadium and then continued at the World Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, where he won the triple jump.
"I am extremely proud of my achievement last year in winning the long and triple jumps at the Carifta Games and to give the country its first gold medal in the triple jump at the international level in Cali, is a very humble experience.
"My expansive celebration after winning was very emotional as I went into the event with doubt after a lot of pain as I hurt my back the day before we travelled, which resulted in me taking a lot of pain tablets and getting several injections where I was very nervous. I was saying to myself that I cannot come so far and fail," he explained.
Ironically, Hibbert's mark of 17.27 metres was a championships record, which also established a new under-20 standard for Jamaica and is only bettered by James Beckford's 17.92.