Aarion Jackson signs to Southeast Missouri State to continue his track and field career.

EDWARDSVILLE - Aarion Jackson has been running track since middle school and now all the work he's put in is finally going to pay off. Tuesday afternoon (July 12) Aarion signed to continue his track and field career in college. He signed with Southeast Missouri State after announcing his decision back on June 14.

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Aarion also played football in his junior year, but track and field is his sport of choice.

According to Aarion, he said that he really hadn't narrowed down a decision until late May. Going to college was important to him, but he just didn't know where yet.

"I was choosing between a few different colleges," Aarion said. He mentioned that SEMO was the last place he visited but when he took a look at the campus and the people around he said that's when he made his decision.

He mentioned being a little stressed upon making the decision kind of late, but he's got no regrets.

"I think I made a good decision," he said.

After graduating as a Tiger, now he'll get to become a Redhawk down in Cape Girardeau and he couldn't be more excited.

"I'm really super pumped. I know it's going to be different, but I'm ready for the challenges it brings me and what I'm going to experience during the process."

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That's not to say he won't miss his times running track in high school. He said the things he'll miss the most are the bus rides, overnight meets, being with the team, and the coaches that he's known for all four years.

One of those coaches was Chad Lakotas who had all good things to say about Aarion.

"It's hard to believe that four years have flown by," Lakotas said.

Lakotas mentioned that it was Aarion's goal to get the school record in the long jump, which he did during the Southwestern Conference Championships back in mid-May.

He jumped 7.25 meters which was good enough for the school record and first place at the SWC meet.

He later participated in the long jump at the IHSA Class 3A State Track and Field Championships and left a mark of 6.07 meters. It, unfortunately, wasn't enough to place at state as he'd hoped to, but it was still a goal of his to get that school record.

The EHS track program is going to miss him, but Aarion has more competition to come.

"I'm excited for him," Lakotas said. "He's headed to a good program. He had a few schools he was looking at but SEMO is close to home."

"I think it's a good fit for him," Lakotas said.

Aarion Jackson signs to Southeast Missouri State to continue his track and field career.

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