If you are a college athlete in any sport but football or basketball you essentially compete in a virtual media vacuum. Thanks to ESPN and some of the other sports networks, occasional coverage is given to baseball, softball, and even volleyball. The University of Michigan competes in 27 varsity sports. Most of those athletes will never see a television camera pointed at them. Still, they have heroic moments to share and stories of competition to tell. We want to share with you the success of one such athlete, Jacob Lee.
Jacob graduated from Fenton High School. A star athlete with an even more stellar academic record. In 2016 he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a 4.123 grade-point average and ranked 16th in a class of 259 students. Jacob earned Academic All-State awards in two Michigan High School Division 1 Sports. He was also a Metro League Scholar Award-winning athlete in both sports for 4-consecutive years.
What sports did Jacob Lee participate in? Cross Country and Track. Earning scholastic athlete awards can sometimes mean “he was the smartest kid on the team, but not necessarily the best athlete on the team.” That doesn’t apply to Jacob. Just look at a partial list of his High School Accomplishments.
- M.H.S.A.A. Cross Country Division 1 All-State, 2015
- M.H.S.A.A. Cross Country Division 1 State Individual Finalist, 2013, 2014, 2015
- Flint Metro League Cross Country Individual Champion 2015
- Flint Metro League All-Conference Award 1st Team Cross Country 2013, 2014, 2015
- First Team All Genesee County Cross Country Team
- Flint Journal Fall Athletes of the Year (Cross Country), 2015
- Michigan Indoor Track Series (MITS) Championship All-State 2 mile run, 2015, 2016.
- M.H.S.A.A. Division 1 State Champion in the 3200 m run, 2016
- Fenton High School Record Holder (Track) in the 3200 m run, 2016
- M.H.S.A.A. Track and Field State Individual Finalist Division 1, 2014, 2015, 2016
- Flint Metro League All-Conference Award 1 st Team Track 2013, 2014, 2015,2016
- Most Valuable Player Cross Country
- Most Valuable Player Track and field
From High School to College Student and Athlete
That’s a star all-athlete and an all-star student. After high school, Jacob chose to attend The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. How is he doing? This year he is a junior majoring in Economics. His current GPA: 3.592, did you expect anything less.
Pursuing his athletic career at the collegiate level, Jacob Lee has continued to excel. He helped the U of M Men’s Cross Country Team earn the Big-10 Championship in 2017. Jacob placed 10th individually in the Big Ten in the 10k run during the 2018 Outdoor Track season. He ranks 20th the U of M Men’s Indoor Track All-Time performers list for the 5k run with a time of 14:15.6 in 2018. As you might guess Jacob was honored as an Academic All-Big Ten athlete and a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar for both 2017 and 2018.
Not only is Jacob Lee strong and smart, but he’s also a fine young man. Jacob volunteers at the Mott Children’s Hospital. He serves as an Athletes for Community Transformation Member, a group that engages with and mentors kids at the Bryant Community Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars which recognizes and encourages high scholastic achievement and leadership. Jacob is an Athletes in Action Member, a global sports organization based on Christian principles. They share their faith on college campuses across the nation.
Kudos to Harvey and Deborah Lee, great kids don’t come about without great parents. Jacob Lee sounds like the type of person you would want to sit down with and have a conversation. So we did.
Talking With Jacob Lee
We asked Jake to compare his training regiment at the collegiate level with what he experienced in high school. “Being the top athlete on your high school team is quite a contrast to college when everyone on your team is a former all-state performer. It’s humbling and a bit daunting at first. Training also is different. I would describe it as a higher intensity level. In high school I would run 50-60 miles a week, now it’s closer to 80 miles per week.”
Was it a difficult adjustment to make? “The first semester was the hardest. The academics are also more demanding. But since then I have found it easier to strike a balance.”
What accomplishments you achieved in high school are the most memorable? “Leading our Fenton HS Team to a top 10 finish at the State Cross Country meet. On the Track Team, it was winning the Individual State Championship in the 3,200-meter event as a Senior.
While still early in his college sports career, we asked Jake his biggest accomplishment to date in running for the University of Michigan? Placing 10th in the 10K event at the Big Ten Track Championships.
What’s Next for Jacob?
Jake is looking forward to competing in this year’s Big Ten Cross Country Championships. The 2018 Big Ten Conference Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships will take place on Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Mahoney Golf Course in Lincoln, Nebraska, and will be hosted by the University of Nebraska.
The University of Michigan is hosting the 2019 Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships, February 22-23, 2019. Put the date on your calendar. Drive down to Ann Arbor and cheer-on some awesome athletes as they compete. The thrill of victory is just as special on an indoor track as it is on an outdoor football field. Watch for Jacob Lee and give him a warm hometown welcome.