After cheering him on from afar, fans of Evan Jager will have the chance to meet the Olympian when he returns to Algonquin for a homecoming next week.
Jacobs High School and the Algonquin Commons will host a celebration for the 2007 Jacobs graduate who represented United States Track and Field in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympic Games. The event will take place from 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, in front of the Thirsty Whale, 1700 S. Randall Road.
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Jager is expected to address supporters and will sign autographs and take photographs with fans.
"It is a rarity," said Dan Vosnos, athletic director at Jacobs High School. "To be an Olympian is one thing, but then to have the support of the community like Evan does is another. Hundreds of people cheered him on (during the Olympics). He is important to this community and is an outstanding kid. We want to show him the respect he deserves."
Jager, 23, finished sixth at the Olympics in just the seventh steeplechase race of his career. Earlier in the summer, he set an American steeplechase record. While at Jacobs, Jager won several state titles including the 4 x 800-meter relay, 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter, and the individual cross country state title. He went on to run cross country for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Vosnos said the district is providing transportation for about 200 students. The school's cross country team will run to the celebration from the school.
Community Unit District 300 Superintendent Michael Bregy, Jacobs High School cross country coach Kevin Christian and track coach Jason Borhart also will speak during the event.
The Jacobs pep band, cheerleaders, dance team, and other student groups will also perform.