Triple jump star Trigg on the rise in New Mexico

Sam TriggENGLAND under-23 triple jump champion Sam Trigg is hoping for a big 2016 season after moving to America.

The Erme Valley Harriers star graduated from Oxford University last summer and opted to undertake a two-year Masters course in exercise science at the University of New Mexico.

As well as studying, Trigg competes for New Mexico Lobos track and field team.

Training with their jumps and sprints squad in sunny weather and with an impressive coaching and support team is already bringing rewards.

In January, he clocked a new 60m personnel best time of 7.27 seconds in his first indoor meet – the New Mexico Cherry and Silver Indoor Invitational in Albuquerque.

Although he picked up a slight injury that prevented him competing in the triple jump, Trigg should be back in action next weekend at the Don Kirby Collegiate Elite Invitational.

The 22-year-old admits training in New Mexico is completely different to what he has been used to in the past.

“In terms of my sporting career, this has been a massive step up in a number of ways,” he said.

“Since starting track and field in 2010, I have had fantastic coaches (Peter Sneary, Tom McNab, and my current coach Daniel Hooker) but have always trained alone without regular training partners.

“I also did what I could with the facilities I had, which most of the time meant layering up for the wet and windy conditions at Brickfields and my old school – Ivybridge Community College.

Sam Trigg

“In stark contrast, the University of New Mexico boasts a track team of over 80 regularly-competing individuals, divided in to squads who train together every day at set times, as well as multiple coaches, athletic trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, sports psychologists, nutritionists and doctors, all on hand whenever needed.

“Furthermore, the sports complex is incredible – with a track, a huge weight training room, training/physio room, and even a study centre complete with protein shakes and snacks.

“New Mexico also has 300-plus days of sunshine a year which means the trousers only had to come on for December and January!

“I’ve been welcomed into the jumps and sprints squad with open arms and I have loved every minute, whilst simultaneously making big performance improvements with my US coach, Jade Ellis.”

Trigg feels he is in the best shape of his life and believes ‘a big jump’ is on its way.

He was disappointed he did not get the chance to do it in Albuquerque after impressing in the 60m.

“I managed to pick up a small injury as I came out of the blocks in the 60m,” he said. “Thanks to the adrenaline of the race, I didn’t feel too much pain and remarkably coming through the line in a personal best time of 7.27s, but this meant that I had to miss the triple jump the following day.

“Although any injury is extremely frustrating, I was thankful to have picked it up in New Mexico as the support and facilities that are available here are brilliant.”

Trigg might be loving the athletics in America, but he admits he does miss home.

“My girlfriend moved out here with me which has made the move far smoother but I often miss home – family and friends, English food, even the weather,” he said.

City of Plymouth’s talented runner Poppy Tank is another athlete heading to America to further her athletics career. She will take up a scholarship at the University of Utah later this year.

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