Jeremie Nsumbu was wearing green at this time last season instead of the blue of the Worthington Kilbourne High School boys track and field team.

Jeremie Nsumbu was wearing green at this time last season instead of the blue of the Worthington Kilbourne High School boys track and field team.

But the junior moved down Hard Road from Dublin Scioto last May and, a year later, has become a long jumper on the rise.

"When I got here, I started lifting with the football team and had to work hard," Nsumbu said. "I earned everyone's respect by coming in early to lift and things like that."

Nsumbu played cornerback on the Kilbourne football team last fall and was a guard on the Wolves' boys basketball team this past winter. His offseason workouts for football have helped him develop as a long jumper.

"Every Tuesday and Thursday I do (plyometrics) for football and that has helped a lot," said Nsumbu, whose season-best jump of 20 feet, 4 1/2 inches ranks 11th in central Ohio in the area honor roll this week. "It has helped me work on my explosion, my change of direction and my speed."

"Jeremie is really raw," coach Todd Deisher said. "He has gone 20-4 1/2 without putting it all together. He listens well and I have never heard him question the coaches' recommendations."

On April 16 in the Dublin Coffman Classic, Nsumbu found himself in trouble after fouling on his first two preliminary jumps. However, on his final preliminary jump, he was able to make the adjustments needed to reach the final and place.

"The first two times (at Coffman) I fouled because I was a little off," he said. "Coaches told me to relax and get a safe jump, just to make the finals. At first I was panicking, thinking I wasn't going to make the finals. I only got a 19-8 to get into the finals and I was able to go 20-4 to get fourth."

"Jeremie is still learning," said assistant coach Shea Stammen, who works with the jumpers. "Sometimes he looks like a flying pretzel when he's jumping. But at Coffman, he was able to get his arms up and his legs out and he's looking more like a long jumper."

Nsumbu said he has several things to think about during a long jump.

"You have to have your steps down really well and be on the money," he said. "I also think about keeping my head up, bringing my arms out and legs out. I try to focus on a point in the background like a tree or something. That helps a lot."

Nsumbu also competes in the high jump as well as on the 400-meter and 1,600 relays. He believes he still has a long way to go in the high jump.

"I have no form whatsoever. I just go out there and high jump," he said. "It's something I have been working on in practice.

"I also run the (400 relay) and the (1,600 relay). I like the (1,600 relay) because I feel like I can keep the same speed going all the way around the track."

Stammen said Nsumbu's work ethic could help take him to the next level in the long jump.

"Jeremie is a hard-worker," she said. "Even when most kids take a week off between winter sports and track, he came to practice because he didn't want to get out of shape.

"He has a big heart and is a good role model for our freshmen jumpers. The way he acts, you'd think he has been at Kilbourne throughout his high school years. He fits in like he's always been here."