Olympic medalist Evan Jager to donate uniform to Jacobs High School
Jacobs High School is abuzz with anticipation of Friday's visit from its most famous celebrity alumnus -- Evan Jager.
The Algonquin native is returning to his former school for the first time since winning a silver medal in the men's 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Jager, 28, a 2007 Jacobs graduate, will speak to students during a Friday morning assembly and will donate his Rio Olympic uniform to the Algonquin school.
"The whole school is going to be there," said Kevin Christian, head coach for boys and girls cross-country, and an assistant when Jager was on the team.
Christian said the more than 100 students on Jacobs' cross-country team are thrilled to meet their hero.
"The whole school is excited, but they are the ones that are really into it," Christian said. "They talk about him all the time."
At Jacobs, Jager won four state titles, finished third in the 5,000-meter run at the USATF Outdoor Championship in 2009 and represented the U.S. at the 2009 IAAF World Championships in Berlin. He turned pro for Nike at 18 -- the start of his sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin -- leaving behind a full scholarship.
He now lives in Oregon where he is a professional athlete for Nike's Portland-based Bowerman Track Club, and got married right after the Rio Olympics.
Jager's U.S. Olympic Team jersey and bib from the race will be enshrined in a special display at the school along with his high school and college uniforms, his Jacobs Hall of Fame picture, and a plaque commemorating his accomplishments.
"We wanted to do something really nice especially since he is an Olympic medalist," Christian said.
The school held a similar homecoming reception for Jager after the 2012 London Olympic Games where he finished sixth in setting the North American record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. That was the year Jager took up the steeplechase, a race in which runners must clear hurdles and water jumps.
After his 2016 Olympic win, Jager ranked second in the world in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. In August he took third place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the IAAF World Championships at the Olympic Stadium in London.
With the demands of training and competitions, the frequency of Jager's visits to his former school have dropped to roughly once a year.
"It's just going to be fun," Christian said. "Algonquin hasn't had the chance to celebrate him. Everyone in the town is kind of looking forward to it."
Jager also will make an appearance at the Library Loop 5K fundraiser Sunday benefiting the Algonquin Area Public Library District. The race begins at 8 a.m. from 2600 Harnish Drive.