Valeri Jirak is currently a junior at Star Valley high school where she set school records in the 60M, 200M, and 400M over the weekend at the Olympic Oval in Salt Lake City, UT as well as hitting a 17 foot 6.75 inch long jump as well in what has to go down as one of the greatest weekends for a track athlete in Star Valley Braves history. “Starting the day out I felt good I felt speedy” said Jirak in regards to her first day when she started off running a 58 in the 400 which was an insane run as the record books now note.
Arguably the most impressive feat may not have even been the record setting runs either but as Jirak states early into the interview that this was the first time she had done long jump in competition since she was in 7th grade and somehow off a 4 year cold spell she jumped a 17″6.75′ . Valeri does also state that the Olympic Oval happens to be her favorite venue to run at which it’s more open design and of all things it’s humorous sign that reads “runners must give way to Zamboni” and after a showing like this it isn’t hard to imagine the venue she did it in being one of her favorites.
Jirak also discusses her excitement for the upcoming Simplot games and the unique challenges that venue poses and of all things, the footwear changes that have to take place between indoor track and using the wooden track at the games which the usual plastic spikes would cause slipping so rubber-spiked shoes are required. As for outdoor track, Jirak says she is looking forward to getting to try the long jump again and trying to build on her very impressive first attempt at it in 4 years but her favorite event to do in the outdoor track season is a jump of a more vertical variety.
The high jump record is something that Jirak is now setting her sights on despite the challenge it has been for her to this point constantly getting close but not quite getting that record just yet, “it’s been a challenge for sure, you know, I’m not that tall” said Valeri in regards to striving for the record. With another year left in her high school career to set that record, Jirak hasn’t been thinking too hard just yet on where she is looking to continue her track career after graduation but says that collegiate track and field is definitely one of her goals after setting as many records as she can in the Star Valley books before she leaves.
The full interview can be found below: