Competing across the pond from his hometown of Exeter, England, Jack Turner has established himself at the top of the Conference USA track and field multis list after competing for the Roadrunners in his rookie year.
Growing up playing rugby and field hockey, Turner credits his parents for getting him into track and field.
“I was always this athletic, quick kid…I accidentally became a multi eventer,” Turner said. “I just kept doing the multi-events because I loved doing everything and trying new things…I couldn’t imagine doing one event now.”
Turner, who is majoring in multidisciplinary studies with a focus on business and communication, is the two-time defending champion of the Heptathlon at the C-USA Indoor Championships. He credits much of his success to his mindset.
“I give myself a five-minute rule where if I am really happy, I’ll be really happy,” said Turner. “More importantly, if I do really badly, I’ll let myself be angry and sad for five minutes, completely forget about it and move on. I can’t let that go into the next event.”
Competing in the Heptathlon (seven events) and Decathlon (ten events), multi-athletes need to be able to perform at a high level in a number of disciplines. As Turner explains, this leads to an intensive training regimen.
“A typical week is a sprint on Monday, we will do hurdles or something neurologically quite hard, and we will throw as well,” Turner said. “Tuesdays and Thursdays, we do a jump, so that will be a high jump, long jump, or pole vault. Wednesdays, we get in our long-distance running, so Wednesdays are pretty grim. Fridays, we do some quick stuff like some running or hurdles. We try to fit as much in as we can without getting injured. For the most part, it is just keeping healthy each week and trying to work on everything evenly.”
Somehow in the midst of all this training, Turner still finds time to enjoy working on cars and bikes and playing guitar.
Back home in Great Britain, Turner won the national championship in the under 20 Decathlon in 2017.
“It was a rough road to that national championship,”said Turner. “My competitor, who was going to beat me, did not do well in the shot put, which is the second to last event. I did just start crying because I wanted it so bad, and I knew that I had won. It was just the best feeling ever knowing that out of my whole country, I had come out on top and got my first international vest.”
Turner also holds the national record for Great Britain in the U18 Decathlon with 7,258 total points, a feat he accomplished at the European championships in Hungary. This stands out to him as a major reason why he came to America to pursue his dream.
“That was honestly the best feeling I have ever had in a sport,” Turner said. “It is what we all dream of. I got seven personal bests out of ten events which is unheard of, and that is exactly why I am doing the sport still and why I thought I could come to America and commit to this.”
Turner credits a friend pushing him to pursue his passion in America and chose UTSA based on his connection with Associate Head Coach Kareem Streete-Thompson.
Turner recalled, “I was with an agency, but Kareem sent me a message on Instagram. He asked if I wanted to come out on a visit, and of course, I said yes. I came out with my dad, and I didn’t look anywhere else.”
“The facilities are a big difference,” Turner said. “I had to drive up to Wales, two hours, on Saturday mornings at 6 a.m. and Monday after school I would get back at midnight just to train pole vault.”
Turner acknowledges his parents played a vital role in his success. Attending all of the tournaments came at the expense of his very supportive parents.
Turner led a podium sweep in the Heptathlon for UTSA at the C-USA Indoor Championships and he was rewarded by being named the Conference USA Indoor Men’s Field Performer of the Meet.
“I was quite happy to get that, and it felt good to get some recognition because it was quite close between me and my other teammate,” Turner said.
Turner’s recent showing saw him win six of the seven events in the Heptathlon and finishing second in the other.
“I was a high jumper before I became a multi-eventer when I was young,” Turner said. “I reckon high jump is my best event, that or long jump. I’m kind of just a jumper to be honest.”
Turner will look to continue his success in the 2021 outdoor season at the Texas A&M Field Invitational from Friday, April 9-10.