With his success in the 400 meters this year, it’s easy to say that Jacob Hines will run that event while attending the University of California, Santa Barbara.
He points out, politely, that his priorities are set.
“I’m going to Santa Barbara to major in physics — where I’d like to run track,” Hines said.
Academics are the most important focus in his life. He understands what academic achievement is all about. He graduated from Half Moon Bay High School as an A student.
School was his main focus in his junior year while battling ganglioglioma, a rare type of brain tumor.
It all started during that year when he felt some discomfort. He was able to focus, but the discomfort was worrisome.
Once diagnosed, he had the tumor removed during surgery. At the conclusion of the recovery, the goal was simple. It had nothing to do with being on the track team.
“It was to get back to the academics,” he said. “That’s what I was focused on and that’s what I still am focused on. Academics first and sports second.”
To get back to academics, he insisted on returning to school as soon as possible. He was happy to be back in school so quickly.
“I had less homework to make up,” Hines said. “I got back on top of it.”
His fear about his mental ability was quickly resolved.
With his grades still up, he did go out for track.
“It wasn’t a competition that year, as it was a physical recovery, which led up to my senior year,” Hines said.
Everything led to the finals of the Peninsula Athletic League Championships. Hines finished fourth in the 400, setting a school record of 50.46 seconds. His high school career ended later that day as he helped Half Moon Bay finish second in the 4x400 relay.
He earned the team’s Most Inspirational award.
“If you look at my senior year, it was a pretty nice year,” Hines said.
Hines has a deeper understanding of sprinting since his exit project in high school was the physics of sprinting.
He’s had conversations with the coaches at Santa Barbara about going out for the team. If time doesn’t permit it, he and classmate Ryan Roberts, who will also attend UC Santa Barbara, might start a running club.