Jenks named SW District Student-Athlete of Year

Robert Galbreath photo BPHS senior Colby Jenks sprints ahead of the competition in the 4x400-meter relay at the Ted Schroeder Meet of Hope in Rock Springs on April 15. Jenks earned the 1A-2A Southwest District Senior Student Athlete of the Year Award.

BIG PINEY – An extraordinary work ethic, coupled with top-notch national-level performances in track and field, led to Big Piney High School (BPHS) senior Colby Jenks’s selection as the 1A-2A Boys’ Southwest District Senior Student Athlete of the Year Award for the 2022-2023 academic year.

High school athletic directors and head coaches from across southwest Wyoming honored the best student athletes for the award based on athletic accomplishments, academic merit and demonstrated leadership in school and community.

Jenks snagged 4A All-State honors in cross-country for the 2022 fall season after bagging fourth place at the State Cross-Country Championships in Ethete, Wyo., on Oct. 22. Jenks competed on the Jackson Hole High School cross-country team.

Capping off an outstanding 2023 winter indoor track season with gold in the 800-meters at the State Indoor Track Championships in Gillette on March 4, Jenks achieved 3A All-State honors. Jenks shattered the Wyoming all-class indoor track record in the event at State, posting a time of 1:53.92.

On Feb. 18, Jenks captured gold in the finals for the 800-meters at the elite 2023 Simplot Games at Idaho State University in Pocatello. The senior beat 125 of the fastest runners from the United States, Canada and Australia.

In outdoor track, Jenks is already making a statement. He took first place in Division 4 of the 800-meters at the 2023 Arcadia Invitational near Los Angeles on April 8. Jenks set a new personal record in the event of 1:52.18.

Jenks “defines the ideal athlete,” said BPHS head outdoor track coach Jess Nugent.

“Colby works hard and puts in the time during the offseason,” Nugent added. “He is supportive of his teammates and is a leader on the team. Colby sticks around at practice until his teammates have completed their workouts, even doing one more set so that they have someone to push them. He is kind to everyone and humble. Colby is a big part of why our team is successful – not just because he scores points for us, but because of his character and how it impacts the rest of the team.”

Pinedale High School head indoor track coach Kyle Sullivan praised Jenks’s “hard work, talent and determination” over the course of a successful winter season.

“Colby is incredibly deserving of this award,” Sullivan said. “His efforts on the track were not the only impressive part of the season, though, as his leadership skills were on full display. It was great to see an entire team come together and support each other in their efforts, and Colby was always in the mix. He is a leader in every sense, and was a great teammate throughout the indoor season.”

Watching Jenks “grow as a person and an athlete” was an “honor,” said BPHS indoor track coach McKenzie Sullivan.

“Colby’s drive for excellence in everything he does in unparalleled,” Sullivan noted. “Not many were witness to the countless laps around the school and the juggling of multiple college classes and robotics on top of that. There truly is no one more deserving of this award.”

Jenks made a “tremendous contribution” to the BPHS school culture, said Principal Jeff Makelky.

“Colby is one of our school’s hardest workers both in the classroom and on the track,” Makelky wrote. “Beyond his athletic accomplishments, Colby represents our district’s values as well as any student. On top of all this, he remains very humble. We are so proud of Colby and feel fortunate to have him as one of our own.”

Jenks signed to run track at Weber State University in Utah, where he will attend after completing a church mission.