Adaptive Sports 4-Time State Champion Jake Nelson Returning To States

Chelsea, MI. – Chelsea High School hosted the Division 2 Region 16 track and field regionals Friday and Chelsea adaptive sports star and 4-time track and field state champion super-senior Jacob “Jake” Nelson was there to compete in 3 events.

The day started nice with the weather as Jake competed in the 100, but as he lined up for the 400 the wind kicked up and it started to rain. It did not deter him though as he listened to his coach, his dad Dan, and gave the starter the thumbs up to let him know he was ready. As the gun sounded Jake guided his tri-wheel racing wheelchair gracefully and fast, hand over hand as the rain started to pick up more.

As he rounded the first turn the other track participants were all standing screaming his name and cheering him on. The fans in the stands who were all under umbrellas by now were all standing cheering for him. They didn’t know him but were all inspired by him. As he rounded the final turn and raced towards the finish line it was pouring down rain but he did not stop or hesitate as his mother and biggest supporter Marijane ran on the field next to the track cheering him on. He crossed the finish line soaking wet at just a few seconds over 2 minutes, a few seconds off his personal record (pr). When told his time he reacted by saying, “What, that’s horrible!” But it wasn’t as he considered the wind, rain, and the wet track.

Jake has been doing track and field throughout High school and he qualified for states again where he has finished first 4 times. His goal is to compete in the 100, 200, and 400 and take first place in all 3 events. His community, friends, and family all support him so he will have a big contingent of fans when he competes on June 1st.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) permanently added adaptive track & field events for Regionals & Finals during their winter meetings this year. There are many kids competing now that never had the opportunity and Jake is one of the originals to spearhead the way. Jake also set a state record this year and made history as he was a part of the first 4×100 adaptive relay. He anchored the team and did a great job.

When Jake isn’t racing he can be found participating in many activities such as the Special Olympics where he bowls and does other sports including basketball. His mom and dad are wonderful people who keep Jake very active which isn’t easy. When he’s not participating in sports he can be found in his referee jersey reffing games and ready to throw his flags or wearing his umpire uniform helping out at baseball and softball games. And last summer Jake had a job at CVS so he keeps his folks very busy.

Jake’s only wish this year for the June 1st Division 2 State championship at Hamilton High School is for “it not to be as hot as last year.”