Ready for launch: The Trojans’ Jacob Kludsikofsky hopes to peak at the right time and make it to state this spring. HEIDI SANDERS, Kent Reporter

Auburn High shot putter driven by competition

Jacob Kludsikofsky’s competitive spirit drives him.

The Auburn High School junior’s desire to outshine his older brother, Dylan, got him started as a shot putter in eighth grade.

“I wanted to be better than him,” Jacob Kludsikofsky said.

Now Auburn High’s top shot putter, Kludsikofsky has surpassed his brother in the sport.

His competitive edge propelled him to a first-place finish and a personal record in the shot put (42 feet, 2.75 inches) at an April 6 meet against Kentridge High School.

“It seems like I perform better under pressure,” said Kludsikofsky, who also throws the javelin for the Trojans.

Friendly competition with teammates – including senior E.J. Brown and sophomore Timmy Marksbury – motivate Kludsikofsky.

“Timmy started throwing right around me out of nowhere,” Kludsikofsky said following his win on April 6. “I was like, ‘Where is this coming from?’ I started actually competing during practice. The last couple of days I have been performing over 40 (feet) consistently.”

“We’re all pretty good friends,” Kludsikofsky said of Brown and Marksbury. “We are all competitive within every sport we do together.”

Kludsikofsky hopes his drive lands him a spot at the 4A state meet this year.

Auburn track and field coach Dan Irwin said Kludsikofsky has a good chance of qualifying for state.

“I think as the weather warms up he’ll make improvements by leaps and bounds,” Irwin said. “I fully expect him to be in the high 40s, low 50s by that time of year.”

A three-sport athlete, Kludsikofsky also plays football and wrestles and has dreams of playing football in college.

Participating in track and field can help Kludsikofsky achieve his goal, Irwin said.

“This is part of that, developing yourself in a number of sports is a good idea,” Irwin said. “He’s just a great kid with a tremendous work ethic.”