For a little guy, Robert Leite-Young brings a lot of heart and spring to the track.
That’s what men’s track head coach George Phillips said about the senior jumper, who recently placed second in the long jump at the Atlantic 10 Championships last weekend with a score of 7.05 meters.
Just tipping 5-feet tall, Leite-Young is the top triple jumper, indoor and outdoor, in the Atlantic 10 Conference and was named the conferences’ Most Outstanding Field Performer at the A-10 Indoor Championships in early March. Pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science, Leite-Young feels he can run the best of the A-10 competition; which is exactly what he has been doing all season.
Aside from taking second in the long jump at the A-10 Championships, Leite-Young also finished fourth in the triple jump with a score of 13.96 meters. At the Penn Relays he placed fourth in the Eastern Triple Jump with a distance of 47″. At the 2001 A-10 Championship, he finished first in the triple jump, jumping 46″9′.
But success has not come easy for Leite-Young. After gaining All-American status his junior year in high school, Leite-Young tore his left achilles tendon, losing scholarship offers by many schools who were scratching his name off their recruiting lists.
However, in the end, Temple offered Leite-Young some scholarship money.
“Here, team is the best thing about track,” Leite-Young said. “The team becomes a family.”
A close-knit family, with teammates like Craig Henry, Will Fisher, and Dwayne Shaw, who Leite-Young said, helped him through tough times and injuries.
He was also able to enjoy the pleasures of the track from volunteer assistant coach Eric Mobley.
After Temple, Leite-Young hopes to pursue his track career for at least three years, hopefully before coming back to Temple to coach.
Donnell A. Jackson can be reached at email@example.com.