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Track and Field: Mesidor makes the jump to ND

Greg Hadley | Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Irish may be the defending Big East indoor conference champions, but even the athletes who contributed last year, including sophomore long jumper Keith Mesidor, know they must improve in order to repeat this weekend in Geneva, Ohio. This means setting lofty goals, something that Mesidor in particular is used to.

Last year, Mesidor was the top Irish finisher at the championships in the long jump, finishing sixth with a leap of nearly 23 feet. Still, he has far higher hopes for this year.

“My coaches and I were talking, and we want to get two guys in the top three,” Mesidor said. “That’ll probably mean a personal record, which would be about 25 feet.”

Of course, big goals and success are nothing new to Mesidor. A native of Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, he came to the United States when he was very young and faced several obstacles in his transition.

“Schools in Haiti start a year earlier, so when I got here, I had to do a grade over,” Mesidor said. “I was coming to New York in the winter, so I would say the hardest parts were definitely learning the new language and getting used to the cold.”

Still, Mesidor excelled both on the track and in school, maintaining a 4.0 GPA in high school and finishing ninth in the long jump at the USA junior championships as a freshman in college.

Looking beyond college, Mesidor has even bigger plans.

“In 2012, Haiti only sent [five] athletes to the Olympics, but none of them were long jumpers, so I’d like to do that.” he said. “That’s definitely my biggest long-term goal. Hopefully, I’ll get to go either in 2016 or 2020, just whenever it works out.”

After his track career is over, Mesidor has just as bright a future. A science pre-professional major, he hopes to be involved in biomedicine after he graduates and is finished with long jumping.

“I’m more interested in research than being a doctor,” Mesidor said. “I’d like to go into research on miscarriages and be involved with things that relate to that.”

And while Mesidor has plenty to think about in the future, this weekend all his focus will be on helping his teammates defend their title. If a personal record comes along with it, that’s just a bonus.

The Irish compete this weekend in Geneva, Ohio, at the Big East indoor conference championships.

Contact Greg Hadley at ghadley@nd.edu