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Shadle Park's Jakobe Ford clears the height of 7 feet, 1 inch, to win the State 3A boys high jump final at the State Track and Field Championships on May 28, 2016, in Tacoma, Wash. (Patrick Hagerty / For The Spokesman-Review)

Shadle Park’s Jakobe Ford named USATF youth athlete of the year

USA Track and Field Junior Olympic triple gold medalist Jakobé Ford (Shadle Park) was named the 2017 USATF Youth Athlete of the Year, USATF announced Tuesday in Indianapolis.

Ford will be honored Dec. 2 at the Jesse Owens Awards Banquet in Columbus, Ohio. The event is held in conjunction with USATF’s Annual Meeting.

Competing for the Spokane Speed Academy of USATF’s Inland Northwest Association, Ford won an historic jumps triple crown at the USATF Hershey National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships in Lawrence, Kansas.

Competing in the 17-18 age group, he took top honors in the long jump with a 7.47m/24-6.25, added a gold in the triple jump with a mark of 15.74m/51-7.75, and won the high jump with a clearance of 2.17m/7-1.5 clearance.

He became the first athlete since 1967 to win the jumps triple at USATF Junior Olympics.

Ford won all three events as a senior at the State 3A championships in May.

“I’m excited to win this award and grateful for this recognition,” Ford said. “I’ve had an incredible year, and I’d like to thank USATF, my family and my coaches helping me achieve success in a sport I love.”