VERONA (WKOW) -- Verona's Jackson Acker is called a "gentle giant" by track and field head coach Joff Pedretti but an incredibly fierce competitior.
"As athletic as he is and as humble as he is, he just keeps wanting to get to that next level. He keeps wanting to see how good he can be," said Pedretti, who has coached the Wildcats for nearly 20 years.
The future Badger has an impressive track and field resume in his senior season. Acker is Top 5 all-time in school history in the 100 meter dash. He recently shattered a school discus record that stood for almost 30 years. The toss is currently the seventh best in the nation this season.
"A few of the coaches told me that it would even be close to be broken," said Acker. "Once they pulled the tape away and there wasn't enough to measure, that's when I knew it was over 200 feet."
With college football summer training beginning shortly, Acker could have sat out this track and field season. Rather than focus solely on football, he wanted to sprint to the finish line for unfinished business.
"I couldn't leave off with just two years of track," said Acker, whose junior season was cancelled due to COVID-19. "There was stuff I had to finish [and] records I had to break. My mother was a big part of that. She wanted me to finish out strong."
In just a matter of weeks, Acker will go from Big 8 to Big Ten.
"Straight from our spring football season, into track, graduating, and moving in that same day or the day after and then workouts right after that so I'll be a busy man."
The WIAA Boys' Track and Field Championships will be held on June 24-26 in La Crosse, WI at Veterans Memorial Stadium.