Joshua Ballard is currently a freshman at Indiana Tech, he graduated from Golden Valley with the class of 2018 after earning the well respected title of Foothill League Long Jump Champion. He began his high school track and field career at a very small school in Oregon called Santiam High School, which held 130 students.
Ballard attended the Track and Field State Championship at Oregon University both his sophomore and junior year and placed in fourth both years, along with being a member of the basketball team that won the Oregon state championship during his junior year.
Ballard went into his senior year with a strong track and basketball career under his belt.
“It was good to have a successful career athletically while I was in Oregon, but even with all that I felt like I wasn’t in the right place. I wanted to go to a bigger school so I could get more recognition; and when I was given an opportunity to come to California and go to Golden Valley for my senior year, I had to do it. It would have been a huge mistake if I didn’t say yes,” he said.
Ballard made the most defining decision so far in his life, and left his friends and family to come to California in hope of receiving college attention.
“It was a very tough decision to leave some of my family and friends in. Oregon, but they gave me their full support and it turned out to be the greatest decision I’ve ever made,” Ballard said when asked about the impact this decision had on his personal life.
After Ballard had moved to California, he began to practice Basketball at Golden Valley during the summer and would play for the season.
“We went through some ups and downs throughout the season, but I believe we were a much better team than our record showed, I still think about the fun times during basketball season a lot and wish the best for my teammates that graduated and my old teammates that are still there. students so I’m fortunate enough to be able to build a good relationship with my professors so I can get the assistance I need. College work is obviously a bit tougher and a lot bigger of a workload compared to high school, but you also have a lot more time outside of the classroom to get all that work done so I’ve been able to handle it pretty well,” he said. “I finished my first semester with a 3.75 GPA and made the Dean’s list which I’m pretty proud of. For the sports side of things in college, it is much tougher, but it’s also been some of the most fun I’ve ever had running track aside from my senior year at Golden Valley where I made many great memories and lifelong Friends on the Track and basketball teams. Practices here at Indiana are much more intense. We also lift two to three times per week before practice so I’m pretty sore and tired a lot, but I genuinely love it. Another big difference in college rather than high school is that, everybody has a positive attitude and really works hard because if you slack off, your teammates will call you out and the coaches will call you out and nobody wants that, so everyone goes hard without complaining, we just get it in. All in all, it’s just a really great environment here at my school for track since everybody is trying to be great. I know I made the right decision to come here.”
Ballard couldn’t be more content with his situation and is looking to have a great season this year.
The hard work and constant training has pushed Ballard to his max, bringing out the best in him. He has improved by a massive 1 foot and 2 inches in long jump; his new PR now being 22’6”.
“My goal coming into college was to jump 23’ by the end of the year. I already jumped 22’6” relatively early in the year so my goal still is to hit that 23’ mark which I believe I can since we still have a couple more indoor meets and then all of outdoor season to go. I’m really excited to see what I can accomplish in the rest of the year,” Ballard said.
Ballard went down in history as the 2018 foothill league champion and will go on the make history at Indiana Tech. Ballard made a huge impact on Golden Valley Track’s success in the 2018 season and motivated his teammates to jump farther that season and for seasons to come.