Earning an athletic scholarship at a Division I college is an accomplishment in itself, but for freshman Jordan Seabrook, one wasn’t enough.
After leading the 2005 men’s soccer team with 14 goals and 36 points, the Indianapolis native joined the track and field team, where he has excelled as a hurdler and sprinter.
Still in his first year at USF, Seabrook has learned to make time for both sports as well as keep up with his schoolwork.
“It’s just a matter of managing your time well, knowing that you have to set aside this much time for each thing,” Seabrook said. “Once you accept that you have to sacrifice that time, it’s not bad.”
Seabrook decided to attend USF because of its soccer program but made it clear he intended to run track as well.
“We actually had him in on his official visit for men’s soccer, and one of the last things he said to me is, ‘I also run track,'” soccer coach George Kiefer said. “So I went to (track) coach (Greg) Thiel and told him about Jordan.”
Thiel was more than willing to bring Seabrook onto his team.
“We knew about him,” Thiel said. “So we were very receptive.”
Seabrook felt that making the transition from being a high school athlete to a college athlete would be more difficult in soccer than in track.
“I came in thinking that I could be successful because running track is running track,” Seabrook said. “The adjustment phase wasn’t nearly as bad as it was in soccer. With soccer, the game changes. It gets bigger, more physical (and) faster. In track, running fast is running fast.”
Seabrook loves soccer, but also dedicates himself to track.
“My favorite sport is soccer. But now that it’s track season, I’m definitely committed to track, and I’m focused on track,” Seabrook said. “I wouldn’t say that I’m leaning more one way than the other, because during track season, I’m all about running track, and I’m not going to miss a track meet to go to a soccer game. And during soccer season, I’m all about soccer. It’s just finding that fine line and balance, and I try to keep it as even as possible.”
As a member of the track team, Seabrook has qualified to run the 110-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles at the Big East Outdoor Championships. He is also a member of the 4 x 100 meter relay team, which is close to breaking USF’s 1996 record of 41.1 seconds.
“The record is important to me just because it’s something that would stay at the school after I’m gone (if) we set the bar high enough,” Seabrook said.
Kiefer, who keeps in contact with Thiel throughout the track season, hopes Seabrook can be a part of the relay team when the record goes down.
“I ask coach Thiel after every weekend if they broke their record,” Kiefer said. “I’d like Jordan to be a part of that – having his name on a school record.”
Kiefer is looking forward to seeing how much faster Seabrook will be when soccer starts back up in the fall.
“Speed helps every sport,” Kiefer said. “To get Jordan faster, that’s going to help him be more effective on the field for us.”
Although he runs track because he enjoys it, Seabrook feels that after his first collegiate track season is over, he’ll be a better soccer player.
“I think running track is going to get me faster (for soccer),” Seabrook said. “Things you work on in track are general running techniques, which can apply to anything. So I think when I get back in August, as fast as I was, I’ll be even faster, quicker and more explosive.”