TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – With the 2024 Summer Olympic Games less than a year away, a local high school graduate has his eye on the prize.
Jason Swarens played many sports growing up, but he is most known for his record shot putting for the track and field team at Terre Haute South.
“My mom actually threw at Indiana State University so she kind of got me into throwing a little bit but she let me do my own thing, she didn’t force anything upon me. I did my own thing there and then continued to do it through high school, got really good my sophomore and junior year,” Swarens said.
Swarens graduated from Terre Haute South in 2020 and has continued his career as a shot putter at the University of Wisconsin.
He previously received the McMillan Award, which honors the best athlete in the county.
He recently competed with Team USA at the U23 World Championships in Costa Rica.
“I feel like when I started in college, my goal was to break the UW record, which I did last season. But I didn’t really think about all the in-between competitions, like U23’s and stuff like that. Kind of the overall goal is like the Olympics,” Swarens said.
Swarens brought home a silver medal from Costa Rica, throwing a distance of 62 feet and five inches.
He said the goal is to throw a distance of 70 feet at the Olympic Trials next year and make it to the finals.
“I would love to compete in the upcoming Olympics [but] it would be very hard. There are a lot of pros out there right now competing. My ultimate goal is to compete in the 2028 Olympics which are in LA,” Swarens said.
If anyone is just starting out in shot put or any sport, Swarens offers this piece of advice.
“Technique in any sport is the best thing. Sometimes it doesn’t really matter how strong you are or how fast you are, but if you understand what you’re doing and you have the right technique, you can get pretty far with that,” Swarens said.
Swarens is getting ready to enter his fourth year at the University of Wisconsin.
We will continue to follow his journey to the Olympics on mywabashvalley.com.