Alumnus breaks USA Track and Field record

Eric Sloan earns fullride scholarship to USC

2%2F22%2F14+CALIXTRO+ROMIAS+San+Joaquin+Delta+College%27s+Eric+Sloan+in+the+long+jump+at+209+Shootout+held+at+Merv+Smith+Track.%0A%0ATransmission+Reference%3A+REC1402222051015360

CALIXTRO ROMIAS/The Record

2/22/14 CALIXTRO ROMIAS San Joaquin Delta College's Eric Sloan in the long jump at 209 Shootout held at Merv Smith Track. Transmission Reference: REC1402222051015360

Jessica Lee, Editor-in-Chief

Bear Creek alumnus Eric Sloan of the class of 2012 — currently a sophomore at SJ Delta College — recently set the USA Track and Field record in the triple jump with a distance of 54 feet at the De Anza Invitational.

Sloan has significantly improved since high school and is currently one of the top track and field athletes in the nation.

“When he started high school, he was very small,” Sloan’s former track and field coach, Jason Johnson, said. “He didn’t have the size but he had the head and the heart. When he came to track, he knew he wanted to do something and he wanted to do well at it, and it took him a little awhile but he found his niche. Once his body caught up to his heart and his mind, well, you see the results of it now.”

“From high school, I have gotten a lot stronger and faster,” Sloan said. “I have also gotten a lot better with my technique in the long and triple jump.”

This was the first meet of the year Sloan jumped with a long approach instead of a short approach, jumping with 14 steps instead of eight.

“That was the first meet of the year going from a full approach so I was expecting to jump far,” Sloan said. “I just didn’t know how far.”

This is only the beginning of the 20-year old’s career.

“He’s well on his way to making the A standard for the Olympic trials,” Johnson said. “He went from having a chance, a slight chance of making the Olympic team, to now becoming one of the favorites to make the Olympic team.”

“He is Olympic potential in either of two events, and I’m not just saying going there,” Delta Track and Field Coach Lester Bond said. “When he goes, he’ll be a person to be contended with even though there are a few jumpers that have jumped farther distances than him.”

What’s notable about Sloan is that he is talented in not only the triple jump but the long jump. Sloan has jumped as far as 25 feet in the long jump.

“Most people look at him for his triple jump because few people ever get the technique to go that far,” Bond said. “Fifty-four feet is not near his highest output. He’s going to go with his technique much farther than that and, [regarding the long jump], 21’7” to 25 feet, he does that with half of a runway so it’s kinda scary to think that with his technique and his intuitiveness he’s going to go 26, 27 feet and beyond in the long jump.”

One of Sloan’s greatest assets is his ability to take instructions and apply them.

“As an athlete, you couldn’t ask for a more coachable athlete,” Johnson said.

“In training him, his attention was so good,” Bond said. “I don’t know what was driving him but his attention was so good he was able to learn the one and half cycle, one of the hardest flight styles to learn.”

What makes Sloan’s achievements even more incredible is the fact that he’s now jumping off a completely different foot: he originally jumped off his left foot in the triple jump during the last stage, but at the beginning of his sophomore year in college, he started to jump off his right.

“If you wanted to compare it to something else in sports, think of a pitcher for the Giants or the A’s, a right-handed pitcher, who’s constantly throwing 90, 91 miles/hr, who’s doing very well, just to switch and now all of a sudden start throwing the same thing from his left hand and that’s what Eric is doing, jumping off of a different foot,” Johnson said. “It’s a pretty incredible feat.”

Sloan has received a full scholarship to USC and plans to attend there in the fall. His athletic goals are to win the conference and NCAA titles, while his academic goal is to obtain a master’s degree in business marketing.

His current goal is to break 55 feet and make a USA Olympic team.