Track star Jack Houck commits to Wittenberg


One of the fastest high school track runners in northeast Ohio, Jack Houck, announced on Saturday, Mar. 13 that he would be continuing his academic and athletic career at Wittenberg University.

This comes as no surprise, as the two-time AAU National qualifier was destined to compete at a high level.

Houck started his track career in third grade at Holy Family, but this was not his first true love.

“I always enjoyed track and seemed to have success in it during grade school, but I had no passion for it,” the former state finalist claimed. “Running track was the product of my friends doing it and me being somewhat fast. Basketball, baseball and football took priority over track.”

Instead of running track his freshman year, Houck decided to play baseball with his friends. It wasn’t until his sophomore year that he started to focus on.

“After my freshman year baseball and basketball were not as enjoyable as I wished they’d be and I decided to take a risk and go all in on track,” said Houck. “Sophomore year I threw myself into indoor track which I didn’t even know existed before that year. New teammates helped encourage me to continue with indoor track and I found myself having more fun with track than I had before.”

Fun was not the only achievement in Houck’s sophomore campaign.

Along with becoming a state finalist, he was first-team NCL and won the First Year Impact Award while reaching 185 points throughout the season.

He would go on to compete in summer track events, despite dealing with a knee injury and a concussion from a car accident. Fighting through adversity, he still managed to qualify for the AAU Junior Olympic Nationals in Greensboro, NC.

Unfortunately, like many others, his high school junior season was cut short due to COVID-19.

But adversity is Jack Houck’s middle name.

Houck took quarantine seriously; you could always find him at an open track or in his miniature gym in his basement.

His hard work paid off, as colleges started to notice. Summer was filled with contacting coaches to find his home for the fall of 2021.

After going through the long, torturous recruitment process, he finally decided on Wittenberg University.

“I chose Wittenberg because of how I believe I fit into the school and track team,” Houck said. “I always thought I’d end up at a big school like my parents, but after my first visit at Wittenberg, I instantly fell in love with the close family environment.”

Houck plans on studying communication at Wittenberg.

But his journey doesn’t stop here, since he is motivated like never before after his season was taken from him.

“My individual goals this year are to make it back to the State Meet and to reach my personal best times and marks,” Houck said. “As a senior leader this year, I want to motivate my teammates to get to the district meet and beyond.”

Fans can watch Houck this year in the Long Jump, 400, 200, 60, 100, high jump, 4×100, 4×200 and 4×400.