All-American, Southern Conference Champion, record breaker. Justin Stuckey has been dominating his competition with ease.
Stuckey’s efforts in the SoCon Championships helped the Samford Bulldogs take the gold once again. It was the sixth consecutive SoCon championship for Samford, and Stuckey’s contribution was rewarded with a chance to compete against the best in the nation.
The junior from Helana, Alabama, earned a spot in the NCAA Track and Field National Championships after winning the SoCon men’s high jump competition with a jump of 2.17 meters. He was the only Bulldog to compete in the National Championships.
In the National Championships, Stuckey cleared the first two heights at 2.08 and 2.13 meters. Stuckey then set a new personal and Samford record with a height of 2.18 meters. This jump earned Stuckey a sixth place finish in the event finals.
Stuckey’s remarkable season follows the cancellation of the 2020 season last March. He said his motivation was simply “the opportunity to compete.”
“With the season canceled last year, I wanted to work hard and take advantage of the opportunity God has presented me with this season,” Stuckey said.
Earning All-American status has been on Stuckey’s mind all season long. In December, his long-time basketball coach Ty Quarles passed away due to COVID-19 complications. Quarles had coached Stuckey since he was in the sixth grade.
“Being An All-American means a great deal to me.” Stuckey said. “[Quarles] told me he had no doubt I would be an All-American. To be able to reach my goal, honor him and earn the first team All-American title in my first National Championship was big for me.”
The outdoor track and field season began last weekend, forcing Stuckey and his teammates to make a quick turnaround. Stuckey, however, has high expectations for his team.
“I want to sweep the SoCon Championship and take as many people as we ever have to the regional and national meets,” Stuckey said. “Individually, I have my sights set on taking the outdoor school record, NCAA Nationals in outdoor and earning a spot at the Olympic Trials Meet this summer.”
Stuckey is currently a marketing major at Samford. After graduation, he hopes to have a run at being a professional track and field athlete. He also has dreams of doing marketing work for a college or professional team, or coaching track and field.
Justin Stuckey and the entire outdoor track and field team compete next on April 3 and 4 in the UAB Spring Invitational.