Jamienieto

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I first began high jumping in 1993, when I attended Valley High School. At the time (when I was 16 years old a junior), I discovered that I had a talent and I had a lot of fun high jumping. The traveling was the best part but I figured that if I keep working hard I should be able to jump 7’0 (2.13) and hopefully get a full scholarship to a University of my choice. Well this did not happen and I could not afford to go to college and my grades were only average.

I decided to then go to junior college (Sacramento City College) and I felt like this would give me another chance at trying to jump 7’0 and getting the full scholarship that I desired. Well at this point in junior college I jumped 7’0 ¼ (2.14m) and started to develop a hunger for the Olympics. The US outdoor national championships came to Sacramento City College and I was able to watch elite high jumpers for the very first time. It was 1995 and I saw Charles Austin jump 7’5 ¼ (2.27m) and win the meet.

I then was offered a partial scholarship to Cal Berkley and Eastern Michigan University. After much discussion with my now mentor then coach (Joe Radan) we made a decision to go to Eastern Michigan due to them having a good business college and that I graduated junior college in the middle of the year and Berkley wanted me to wait for the fall semester before I would get my scholarship. In the end I think I made the best choice. I believe God put me in the right place. When at Eastern Michigan I struggled a little the first year but was confident that I was going to do better the next year. I trained very hard this fall (1997) and when I opened up for the indoor season I jumped a PB of 7’1 3/4 (2.18m). Things just started to fall into place after that. I ended up jumping the school record and becoming a 3-time All American (7’6 [2.29] indoors 7’4 ½ [2.25] outdoors).  I was able to go to the World University Games (Mallorca, Spain 99’) and that’s what gave me my desire to know that this is what I wanted to do. My desire and drive to want to make the Olympic Team was overwhelming at this point. I think I always wanted to make the US Olympic Team but I think this is when I realized that it was a possibility. That same year, I set a PR of 7’6 ½ (2.30m) and was ranked 4th in the US.

2004 season was a high point in my career, I made my first Olympic Team, and jumped a PB of 7’8 (2.34m) to placed 4th at the 2004 Olympic Games. I ranked 4th in the world that year by Track and Field News.

2008 was a tough season. I moved to Kansas to train with my coach (Cliff Rovelto) full time and placed 2nd at the Olympic Trials. I just missed out on making the Olympic Team due to a highly controversial last minute rule that was implemented. This rule stated that you must have the Olympic “A” standard by the end of your event at the Olympic Trials, and if you didn’t you would not be aloud to make the team. I achieved the Olympic “A” standard 6 days after the newly imposed deadline. I went to an arbitration to fight my case to petition to be instated to the Olympic Team. I lost the arbitration and was denied my rightful spot on the Olympic Team.

2012 was an amazing year. With the help and guidance of my good friend Jeremy Ficher and coach Cliff Rovelto, I won my fourth national title and placed 6th at the Olympic games just behind a three way tie for 3rd. I decided after an injury that lingered from 2012, and only competing in 3 competitions in 2013 to retire. God has blessed me with a 20 year career and I pray that He keeps blessing me in all my future endeavors. Please continue to check back here for updates and please please...please keep me in your prayers...May God bless you and thanks for all the support and prayers in advance...

Biography