As a two-time state champion in the long jump at Mt. San Antonio College, Ronald Hill prepared himself to be a contributor for the Texas Longhorns immediately after stepping foot on campus. As a student and person at Mt. SAC, Ronald Hill prepared himself for life at a Division I university. Now, he has put it all together and will accompany the rest of the Longhorns to New York City for the New Balance Collegiate Invitational. TexasSports.com caught up with the Walnut, Calif. native and went Off the Track.
On the difference between junior college and being at Texas: The biggest difference is the level of competition, obviously. In JUCO, I would dominate the competition, but here, I know I'll have to take it to a new level. This is the elite level and I'm excited to compete in it. As for training, it isn't necessarily harder. There are just differences here and there. I have to give a lot of thanks to Trey Zepeda (Texas men's track and field strength and conditioning coach). At Mt. SAC, there really wasn't a weight-training program. We would just go into the weight room and workout on our own, but here, the coaching staff pays more attention to detail, so you get more done.
On how the conditioning affects his performance: I can already tell a difference and I've only been here since January. Normally, around this time, my legs would be fatigued after a couple of jumps because I'm not used to having an indoor season. But, thanks to the training, I'm fresh and ready to go each time I jump.
On his expectations for this weekend: I'm hyped about going to New York. I've got standards that I've set for myself and I'm excited to get out there and try and reach them. I want to at least go 25-6. That is where I finished the year last year, so I want to start off this season jumping at least that far.
On his experience: I've gained a lot of experience at the elite level by competing internationally. It is totally different than competing at the JUCO level or in high school. There are a lot more people watching, so I think I can help some of the younger guys get used to this level of competition. I think it is all about getting comfortable.
On the team atmosphere: I love being a part of this team. It is like a family around here. In high school, the better athletes seemed to separate themselves and at Mt. SAC, it seemed like everyone was trying to do their own thing, so they could get to the next level. Here, it is like "you made it" because everybody is here for the same reasons, so there is a real team effort. I've got to prove myself to the guys on the team and hopefully, I can exceed the standards that they have set for me.
On getting acclimated academically: Mt. SAC was a pretty difficult school and my goal was to get to the next level, so I didn't want to become a statistic as far as not doing well academically. I buckled down and did my work, which prepared me to come here and be able to make the transition. I'm thankful for my time at Mt. SAC because I don't think I would have been as prepared to succeed at this level, if I would have come here right out of high school.