Chasing Champs: Jeremy Farr (Wolmer's Boys' School)
Wolmer's Boys' School has a history of producing well-rounded and accomplished student athletes. Jeremy Farr continues to maintain that legacy of excellence. Described by his colleagues as extremely humble and reserved, his electric performances captures an awestruck audience whether it is being a double gold medallist at the ISSA Grace Kennedy Boys' and Girls Championships or representing the country at the CARIFTA Games. He sat down with the Gleaner to give an exclusive interview on his track and field journey and the keys to his personal success.
Q: Why did you start doing track and field?
A: Well I think it was in kindergarten at Lannaman's Prep and we were at PE and my friends said, "Letâ€™s race," and basically I won. Then they were like, â€œOk Jeremy you seem to have some sort of athletic ability, you should come out and try for the track team,â€ and I did and I guess it worked out in the end. I made the track team that year and then from then on it was just a progression to what it is now. So my reason for joining track was because people saw the potential in and told me to explore it, so I did.
Q: Why did you specialize in your event?
A: I specialized in hurdles because the coach at the time, Mr. Harley, saw me and thought hurdles seemed like a good fit for me so he told me to try it. I did and eventually, it got better and better and as you can see, I am a pretty decent hurdler now. So that is thanks to Mr Harley.
Q: What do you consider your greatest achievement to date?
A: I wouldnâ€™t say I have a single greatest achievement but I have a culmination of a lot of great achievements especially in my 2017 year. So double gold medallists at Champs, bronze medallist in the 110 hurdles at CARIFTA, I went to Penn Relays for the first time and then another great achievement, in my opinion, was me being selected as the youth ambassador for Jamaica to go to the Youth Olympic Games. So I wouldnâ€™t say that I have one single achievement but that combination of achievements I hold near and dear.
Q: How did you feel after achieving this feat?
A: For Champs, it was a surreal feeling, I did not know how to feel, I did not know how to act because that is something completely foreign to me; not only winning at Champs but breaking a record so I did not know how to feel or how to act, I was just happy. I donâ€™t think I have smiled that much ever. Same feeling for CARIFTA, same feeling for Pennâ€™s, it just made me completely electric and just a dream come true for me. Same thing for Argentina as well. Never in a million years I would think I would be attending the youth Olympic Games and attending as the ambassador for Jamaica. That, to me was a big honour.
Q: What would you consider your greatest challenge and how did you overcome this challenge?
A: My greatest challenge would be injuries, injuries, injuries, injuries. How do I overcome them â€“ You do physiotherapy and you do strengthening exercises. I mean you have to overcome the mental aspects as well. So when you are injured, you have to be constantly reminding yourself that ok I am going to get better and try not to panic, try not to fret that it is not working, it is. You have to stay positive and there are people around you who will help you to stay positive like coaches, family and friends who will motivate you to keep going even if you are injured.
Q: What are the personal goals that you have set for this season?
A: My personal goals for this season is to stay injury free. I think once I am injury free and once I perform at my best then opportunities are boundless for me. That is just the main thing, stay fit and whatever will come, will come.
Q: What subjects do you do in high school and what is your favourite subject?
A: I do Pure Math, Literature, Caribbean Studies and Physics. My favourite one is Pure Math because I like numbers and Pure Math is strictly numbers based. Not to say I donâ€™t like Physics but Pure Math is something that clicks with me. Math in general is something that comes naturally to me so I gravitate towards Pure Math more than any other subject.
Q: What are your plans after school?
A: Of course, I want to go to university. I donâ€™t know whether here or abroad. I am just looking at both options now. I want to pursue a degree in actuarial sciences and from there move on to be an actuary.
Q: Do you plan to pursue a professional career?
A: I want to be an actuary and if possible, I will continue a career in track and field depending on how well I do after high school.
Q: Do you have any other interest or hobbies outside of school? (Music, drama, arts etc)?
A: Outside of school, I have many interests. I like reading plus reading for pleasure. I play games and listen to music a lot. I like hanging out with friends. I am also a lover of old time cartoons, so cartoons from the 80â€™s, 90â€™s and 2000â€™s like Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! and The Jetsons.
Q: What type of music do you have in your playlist?
A: I have all kinds of music in my playlist on different genres, so dancehall, there is a little bit of EDM, there is some pop, there is some soul, there is rock. So there is a mixture of everything. I think my preferred genre would be R&B and pop. I am more of a mellow vybe, I guess I am just more of a chill, laid back type of person.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of training and what would be your perfect day?
A: Just relaxing, enjoying good company, laughing and having fun. My perfect day would just be a chill day, probably going out with friends or my girlfriend, watching a movie, going to the park or having some picnic or even hanging out at home and watching a Netflix series, playing video games or something. That is my perfect day.
Q: Which athlete do you consider your greatest inspiration?
A: My greatest inspiration to me right now would be Jaheel Hyde. That is because I can relate to him the most because I grew up watching him perform at a pretty high level at Wolmerâ€™s while I was there and he was there. I think my athletic path right now is almost synonymous to his. So I see him as an inspiration to me and an indication of what I can be or even better.
Q: What qualities do you possess that best enable you to be successful?
A: For one, I am humble. Humility goes a long way. I am quiet, hardworking and dedicated. I work hard in silence. I just let performances and actions speak for themselves.
Q: Who has supported you during this time and what is their impact on you?
A: My support system is pretty great and it is from coaches, from family, from friends, my girlfriend and such so I have a pretty decent support system that always backs me and always has my best interests at heart.
Q: How do you balance your academic and athletic success and what advice do you have for other students who want to achieve the same level of success?
A: Personally, I think you have to make up your mind that you are going to balance both. There is no secret to balancing both apart from time management. I make sure I manage my time properly and donâ€™t let one be sacrificed for the other. Basically, if you want to do well at both, then you will find the time to prepare and train and study at the same time. It is up to you to make that conscious decision to do well. That would my advice to anybody who want to achieve my level of success. Just make up your mind if that is what you want to do, be dedicated, work hard and stick to it to matter what, no matter what challenges you face or obstacles that may come in your way. Just get over them, work hard, set goals and work towards them.