Athlete Spotlight: Jacob Whitby


photo of Jacob Whitby

David Mendoza, Sports Reporter

Heading into his senior year, CSU Bakersfield thrower Jacob Whitby sits down to talk about this current season and the goals he has for himself. Whitby is a criminal justice major with a minor in communications and plans to use his degree to become a police officer. When asked who motivated him to compete in track and field he discussed how his high school friend Spencer Nieblas told him to come try out for the team his senior year. Although he did not know much about the sport in the beginning he found that he fell in love with it and never looked back. Having the support of his friends and teachers in school he decided to continue his journey in track and field where he competed at Bakersfield College and then transferred over to CSUB.  

One of the factors that encouraged Whitby to come compete for CSUB were the coaches that are part of the track and field team. He shares how Coach Collatz has helped him grow into the athlete he is today.  “I wanted to work with him and he is one of the best coaches in the nation hands down and I wouldn’t be as good as I am if I went anywhere else,” Whitby states.  

The most successful moment of this season came at the Fresno State Invitational where Whitby went on to throw a personal best of 60.33 meters and placed fifth at this tournament. Whtiby shared he is happy with the accomplishment he made in Fresno, but is still looking to improve on his technique so that he can qualify for the Big West Regionals later this month. He discusses that this season has been difficult as he has been struggling with a back injury that happened last season.  

He sustained this injury during weight lifting when he felt his back pop while performing Romanian deadlifts. “It was the worst pain I ever had in my life,” Whitby states. This injury was not only painful, but was difficult for Whitby as he discusses having to miss out on the season and not being able to compete with his teammates. Although at the time it looked like a career ending injury, Whitby has been able to bounce back with the help of physical therapy, his family, and coaches. Going through this injury has taught him to appreciate the opportunity he has to compete for CSUB and he wants to do the best he can as he competes in his last season for the runners.  

With the Big West championship coming up on May 13th, Whitby looks to put on his best performance as he wants to show his coaches that he was worth investing in and wants to leave his mark to qualify for regionals. Whitby focuses the most on his mental space as he does not want to be stressed before the meet, but wants to stay calm and composed. Be on the lookout for this Runner as he competes this weekend and is ready to punch his ticket to the NCAA West Regionals.