Kronstat flies through the air during his first triple jump attempt at the USF Invitational on Friday (photo credit Mitch Sanderson).

Triple jumper enjoys his last leaps

Swarthmore senior Kronstat is competing in his final collegiate track and field season

Kronstat discussing strategy with Swarthmore assistant coach John Noon (photo credit Mitch Sanderson)
Kronstat discussing strategy with Swarthmore assistant coach John Noon (photo credit Mitch Sanderson)

TAMPA, Fla. – Zach Kronstat’s university career is just a hop, a skip, and a jump away from its end.

Kronstat, 21, is in his senior season at Swarthmore University in Pennsylvania, competing in the 100-metre dash, the long jump, and, his personal favorite, the triple jump to start the 2015 outdoor track and field season.

The curly-haired senior has been competing in the triple jump since high school and set a personal best in the event as a sophomore in 2013 at the Centennial Conference Championship finishing sixth with a 13.46 metre jump.

“I think the triple jump comprises a lot of different parts of being an athlete,” said Kronstat, between events on Friday at the University of South Florida’s Invitational track and field meet. “It takes elements of balance, coordination, and strength.”

The six-footer’s best performance of the current track and field season came at the Haverford Keogh Invitational with a jump of 12.25 metres. Kronstat also set personal bests as a sophomore in the 100-metre dash (12.11 seconds), the 200-metre dash (25.07 seconds), the high jump (1.57 metres), and the long jump (5.89 metres).

An injury forced the jumping specialist to sit out the 2014 outdoor season and he feared he wouldn’t be able to continue competing in his preferred event.

“I tore a ligament in my knee in the winter and in the spring I was healing, then I came back for this last winter,” said Kronstat. “It was tough, I didn’t think I was going to triple jump again because (the injury) was pretty much from triple jump, but I’m happy to be back.”

The North Bellmore, N.Y., native has enjoyed his time studying education at the Philadelphia-area campus and appreciates the closeness of the institution, in the classroom and on the field.

“With Swarthmore as a whole, I really enjoy the small classes and collaboration with the professors,” said Kronstat. “Athletically, Swarthmore is a very small community so I get to work with my coaches and my co-participants in a small setting.”

A three time Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll student, Kronstat doesn’t view his athletics as a challenge to his academic prowess.

“I think athletics helps me balance school,” said Kronstat. “We meet for track from 4:30 to 7:30 every day, so I do my work around that.

“It dictates big chunks of time when I can get my work done.”

After graduation, Kronstat is looking to become an elementary school teacher and hopes to finish his college athletic career on a strong note.

“I would certainly like to PR and get some accolades in the conference,” said Kronstat. “Maybe win a conference championship.”

 

 

Follow Mitch Sanderson on Twitter — @Mitch_Sanderson