Justin Lewis had what can only be described as a spectacular track career at Worcester State, winning an NCAA Division 3 national high-jump championship and being named an All-American.
Lewis, a former New England high-jump champion at Lynn Tech, is now seeking to add to those immense accolades and jump to new heights on a campus far from central Massachusetts. Lewis has transferred to the University of Arizona in Tucson and begun competing in the highly regarded NCAA Division 1 Wildcats’ track and field program.
Arizona has one of the best programs in the country, having sent several of its athletes on to compete in the Summer Olympics. The Wildcats’ sports traditon in the Pac-12 is also legendary, having produced such alumni as Super Bowl champions Rob Gronkowski and Tedy Bruschi, along with Warriors Coach Steve Kerr and Lakers Coach Luke Walton.
Lewis, who has Olympic aspirations himself, has started his 2019 schedule that will take him to competitions and invitational meets in several states.
In fact, Lewis was preparing for a meet in New Mexico last week when he made himself available for an interview with the Lynn Journal.
“Things are going very well,” said Lewis, who enrolled at Arizona in September. “This will be my second meet. I’m still working on things in practice and preparing hard for the season.”
Asked about his decision to transfer, Lewis said Arizona had the major area of study (Sports Management) he was seeking and “the track program is definitely top notch.”
Lewis said he and Arizona teammates have outdoor practices, the weather being substantially warmer than the sub-freezing temperatures last week in his hometown of Lynn.
Lewis, who is 6-3 and 180 pounds, is expected to make an immediate impact at Arizona. He jumped 7 feet, 1 ¾ inches in winning the national title at Worcester State and is working to improve on that mark. He will benefit from the world-class coaching and training facilities at Arizona.
“Coach [Sheldon] Blockburger is working with me and he definitely tweaks my technique a lot,” said Lewis. “I’ve had to change my whole approach around, so I’m still getting used to it. But I’m starting to feel more comfortable. Our strength coach is phenomenal. The facilities are amazing. We have our stadium and our own section of the weight room over at the McKale Center which is the athletes’ building.”
Lewis is building relationship with his new teammates and classmates. “We have a bunch of phenomenal athletes on this team,”said Lewis. “There’s so many, it’s crazy.”
Lewis has his sights on some lofty goals in the 2019 season.
“I definitely want to be at 7-3 (high jumping 7 feet, 3 inches) toward the end of the season,” said Lewis. “One of my goals, without a doubt, is to qualify for the U.S. Olympic trials. I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
He is proud to be a graduate of Lynn Tech and is grateful for the support he is receiving from the school and the Lynn community. “I am proud to be a Division 1 athlete from Lynn Tech,” said Lewis. “The people who have supported me from the start are still with me now and I appreciate that, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”