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November 24, 2021

SV’s Jeremy Kain verbally commits to compete at Duke

The cross country season is far from over for Scotts Valley High standout runner Jeremy Kain. But his plans for the future are already set after he made a verbal commitment to compete at Duke University next year in the fall.

The two-time Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League cross country individual champion announced Monday that he would be taking his talents all the way across the country to Durham, North Carolina.

Kain said he was impressed with the way Duke takes care of its athletes. That includes providing them with tutors or therapy that they might need. 

He also mentioned it was important for him to join a group of men that have the same passion as he does and that they all want to succeed as much as him.

“Just having a group of people that is going to motivate you along with you motivating them is something that I really wanted to be a part of and I think I found that there,” he said.

Scotts Valley first-year coach Todd Hoffman said that Duke is not only getting an excellent athlete but a great person, as well.

“I’m really excited for Jeremy and he’s worked hard to get this,” Hoffman said. “He absolutely loved the visit there, the campus and the team feel. So, I think he’s going to a great spot.”

The Blue Devils are currently ranked 26th in the nation, according to USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Cross Country rankings. Last year, they placed 16th with a score of 462 in the 10,000 meters race at the DI cross country championships.

Kain said there were many reasons that went into his decision, but the short story is that the student-athlete culture at Duke was something he couldn’t pass up. He visited the campus two weeks ago and he was ready to make a commitment that same day.

“I literally had zero complaints and it was such a good time,” he said. 

Kain decided to hold off on his decision and visited a few more campuses to see the different cultures and compare them to Duke.

“The team culture was something that I really wanted to be a big part of and I think that’s what I found there,” he said. “Not only that, obviously academically they’re a really incredible school so I’m just fortunate enough to be in that position.” 

Kain had an official visit to UC Berkeley and an unofficial visit to Stanford earlier this year. Toward the end of the last week, he was on the phone with up to 10 different coaches in one day so he could finalize everything and see what other offers were on the table.

Kain spoke to representatives from UCLA, Princeton, Brown, North Carolina, Oregon, University of Portland and Stanford.  

Stanford was at the top of his list. They called him two weeks ago and Kain thought he was receiving some good news.

Instead, they told him that the recruiting period was over for this year. 

“For the longest time I wanted to go to Stanford but at the end of the day I think the way I’m looking at it is one door closes and five others open,” Kain said.

Kain said the decision wasn’t an easy one to make, especially knowing that Duke is nearly 3,000 miles away from Scotts Valley. But he’s extremely excited to experience four years living in a different culture because not too many people get the chance.

Kain said the past two months were crazy. At times it felt like he was never home and always on the phone.

“I felt like a businessman and it was a lot of fun,” he said. “It feels very good to be wanted and just being in the position I’m in, very fortunate and kind of a little bit surreal and it still is pretty surreal.” 

Hoffman said that Kain can now focus on finishing the season on a high note. 

“Now he just has to go out and run, which is something he loves to do,” Hoffman said. “There’s not all that other stuff going on. He’s excited.”

Kain said it feels like a big weight is off his shoulders but his commitment to Duke doesn’t mean he’s going to start slacking. He mentioned that he’ll still be running at full speed and performing as well as he can, especially with the SCCAL championships scheduled for Nov. 4 at Pinto Lake County Park in Watsonville.

Kain has some big goals he wants to accomplish before he heads off, such as leading the Falcons to a fourth straight league title and hopefully a run at the Central Coast Section or CIF State championship.

“Individually I’d like to be able to win State as well to help our team do that,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to the postseason and then obviously heading into track. I’ll be even more excited because I will say I’m more of a track runner than a cross country guy.”


Mickey Phelps

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