Jake Gillum remembers when he was the follower, not the leader.
It was when he first came to Metamora.
“When I came in, I had guys showing me the ropes,” said Gillum. “They taught me how to work hard, run hard and give it my all.”
That was nearly four years ago.
“When he came in as a freshman, there were some people that mentored him, he remembers that,” said Metamora cross country coach Gene Jones. “Now he says, ‘I want to leave that.'”
Gillum is now the guy that everyone looks to The senior is the top runner at Metamora High School and is also one of the top students. He is a straight A student with the desire to help others.
Especially students that don’t understand math like he does.
“Every day instead of study hall, I take a math tutor hall,” said Gillum.
He acts as a student mentor to those students.
“It’s hard for one teacher to get around to everybody so to have an extra kid in there, who’s been in these same classes to point them in the right direction to make sure they’re keeping their grades up,” said Gillum.
When Gillum does the math, he understands he’s down to just a few meets left to leave his mark on Metamora cross country.
Metamora hosts a Class 2A sectional Saturday. The state meet is the following week.
“When I look around at some of the seniors, I realize we’ve got two races left in my high school career,” said Gillum. “That’s mind-blowing but at the same time it’s a focusing experience.”