After she compiled five medals in two seasons at the Class 4A state championships, Gig Harbor High School senior Courtney Jost had a lot of decisions to make about her future.
As the defending champion in the triple jump, Jost’s talents sparked the interest of many college recruiters. But it quickly became apparent where Jost would end up after she visited the University of Utah last year.
“I had other phone calls from a couple other colleges, but when I visited Utah, I really liked the campus and the team, and they really had everything I needed school-wise,” she said. “It just seemed like the right choice, so from the start, that’s pretty much where I wanted to go.”
Last Wednesday, Jost submitted her National Letter of Intent to the Pacific-12 Conference school, and she joined three of her classmates for a signing-day ceremony in the GHHS library.
Jost’s exceptional athleticism and vertical leap helped her morph into an all-Narrows League volleyball player, but after she become a track athlete in seventh grade, it was only a matter of time before she figured out her true calling.
“It was pretty obvious when she was young, and I kind of had her pegged talent-wise,” said Kevin Eager, Gig Harbor’s track and field coach. “It was just kind of trying to get her to buy into that and realize this is what you’re going to go the farthest in.”
Last spring, she had an outstanding performance at Star Track – first in the triple jump, second in the high jump, third in the long jump.
At Utah, Jost will have a chance to help a budding women’s program. Under coach Kyle Kepler, the Utes sent eight athletes to the 2012 NCAA West Regional meet, including Bree LeRoy, a 2008 Gig Harbor High graduate who finished 22nd in the high jump at the NCAA Championships.
Jost roomed with LeRoy on her visit to the Salt Lake City campus, and LeRoy made a favorable impression.
“She came back from Utah, and she was just glowing about it,” Eager said.
Jost, who plans to study for a career in physical therapy, will be on a big stage as a Division I athlete, but one of the things that will work in her favor is her ability to stay level-headed.
“I always just go out there with the mindset that, if I do good, I do good, and if not, there’s always a next time,” she said. “I’ve never really felt stressed or pressured from high-level competitions or invitationals.”