Andover Central graduate has been a Jewell of a find

By Rebecca Carney
Co-Sports Editor

Jewell Bolden is having quite the season thus far for the Hutchinson Community College women’s track and field team.

Bolden, a sophomore jumper and hurdler, had an outstanding meet at the NJCAA Region 6 Indoor Championship in Pittsburg.

There, Bolden broke the school record in long jump. She jumped a massive 19 feet, 6 inches, breaking the 23-year-old record previously held by Candice Roberson.

This is not the first time Bolden has been this successful in her career. While attending Andover Central, Bolden earned several state championships, and not just in one event either. Bolden’s state championships totaled four in the hurdles, and three in the long jump.

Everything has not always come easy for Bolden though, like it might seem. The past year has been especially tough for her. She attended two different schools the past school year, before finding her home at Hutchinson Community College.

First, Bolden attended Southern Illinois, a Division I school, and competed with the team for an indoor season and two meets in the outdoor season.

After Southern Illinois, Bolden decided to attend Park University, but did not compete there. At this time, many of Bolden’s family members and friends thought she was no longer going to compete, but Bolden knew that was never the plan for her.

“God blessed me with the talent to run track and jump, and I always try to use my talents to the best of my ability,” Bolden said. “My younger brother and sister also give me motivation to be the best that I can be and never give up.”

Bolden had several different options on what school to attend for her sophomore year. There were a couple of different reasons why she chose to be a Blue Dragon.

“I like that there weren’t a lot of kids in my events, not to sound selfish. Coach (Pat) Becher obviously knows what he is doing with hurdles and he was very enthusiastic about me coming here,” Bolden said. “He was very welcoming and more interested. I really liked that, and that he had been here for a long time.”

With nationals right around the corner, Bolden is working harder than ever to do well in her events. The NJCAA Indoor Championship will be March 1-2, again in Pittsburg, where Bolden will be competing in the 60-meter hurdles and long jump.

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