Rising To The Challenge

RALEIGH N.C. -- Jonathan Addison is making huge leaps, both for NC State and in life. The Raleigh-native is not finished and feels his best is ahead.

Jonathan Addison is making huge leaps, both for NC State and in life. The Raleigh-native is not finished and feels his best is ahead.

The former track star from Enloe High School has excelled in college and athletically for the Wolfpack.

After finishing fourth in Nationals and earning first-team All American status and finishing with a 3.3 GPA while majoring in Industrial Engineering, the rising senior was named the ACC’s Men’s Scholar Athlete of the Year for track and field on Tuesday.

It was a fitting culmination of a wildly successful season for Addison. The star is spending his summer interning ahead of what he hopes will be a final season to remember at NC State. With lofty goals ahead, Addison is pleased with the progress he has made in his three seasons with the Wolfpack.

“I am extremely happy,” Addison said of his improvements over the last three years. “I don’t know if I expected myself to improve this much at all or this quickly. I have improved basically about a foot in my long jump each year. I feel extremely proud about that.”

“It is always good to see progression from your student-athletes,” NC State head coach Rollie Geiger said. “I give credit to coach [Chris] Coleman and Jonathan. He has a great family and makes the right decisions. Jonathan is a credit to this university.”

Addison got into track in middle school as a way of preparing for football. He then came to enjoy it so much that he decided to stick with it heading into his high school career. Several schools recruited Addison during his stellar career at Enloe.

When choosing to attend NC State, it was not the proximity to home but the ability to achieve success both in athletics and his chosen major that appealed to him the most.

“It was a good amount of schools that were after me,” Addison recalled. “The things that stood out about NC State was Chris Coleman and the Engineering program there.”

With his final season approaching, Addison has set firm goals of earning a spot on the Olympic team that will be heading to Rio de Janeiro next year along with setting the school record in the long jump and competing for a national title.

“Directly after school my ultimate goal is to qualify for the Olympics and compete in Rio,” Addison said. “I don’t know how much of a pro career I want to have after that. I can at least try it out for a couple of years. Ultimately, I think I’ll probably end of in an engineering position somewhere.”

Geiger thinks that the improvement Addison seeks is attainable, which would take him to greater success as a senior and possibly a spot on the National team in 2016.

“I think Jonathan can jump further,” the long-time head coach said. “He can jump 26 [feet] high, maybe 27 low. If you look at the marks, the NCAA is becoming a world-class track and field meet. We have to get athletes to that Olympic level.”

Wherever athletics and life takes Addison, he feels that he will always be representing Raleigh, Enloe High School and NC State while also potentially doing the same one day soon for his country.

“A lot of people on the West coast [Nationals were held in Oregon] don’t really know what [NC State] is so we get to prove to them we are a force,” Addison said. “I get to show people that we have one of the best coaches there is. There is a pride in that. Everybody doesn’t get these opportunities. I feel like I am competing for more than just me."

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