Junior exercise and sport science major, Derrick Wood has been on track and field teams since sixth grade. He initially took to the track as something to do after basketball season, but it eventually turned into Wood’s ticket to a NCAA scholarship with NSU. He started by running the 110-meter hurdles, but transitioned into the high jump, long jump and triple jump.
Wood has lived in Florida his whole life and attended Royal Palm Beach High School, about 45 miles north of NSU’s main campus. He was on the track and field team every year of high school, while also playing on the basketball team. During his senior year, Wood was a state finalist in the high jump.
Wood was a highly competitive athlete right from the start of his NSU career. In his first meet, he was able to capture the number one spot in the high jump with a mark of 1.93 meters or 6’3”. At the FAU Invitational in March 2011, he was second in the high jump with a distance of 1.98 meters or 6’6”, which is a NSU school record.
The biggest meet that Wood has competed in so far was the NCAA Division II South Region, where he placed third in the high jump and triple jump. His triple jump mark of 13.26 meters or 43’6” was a personal season record. At the end of the season, he received an All-Region award for the high jump.
Wood’s success continued into his sophomore year. Throughout the season, he tied his previous record in the high jump and set a new NSU school record in the triple jump with a distance of 13.89 meters or 45’7”. He also finished third in the triple jump at the FSU Relays and at the University of Miami meet.
I sat down with Wood to ask him a few questions:
What is your best track and field memory?
My best memory was winning my high school regional track meet with a jump of 6’8”.
What is your best accomplishment in track and field?
I’d say my best accomplishment is getting a scholarship to come to school. Also, I was 17 years old and at the AAU National Junior Olympic meet in Detroit, Mich. I ended up placing second in the nation for my age group.
What do you like the most about Head Coach Hagopian?
I like that he just wants the best for his athletes. He makes sure that his team grows and gets better all the time.
What is the hardest part about being a student-athlete?
The hardest part about being a student athlete is waking up early every morning, even when you’re not in season. In high school, we never practiced so early in the morning.
Which meet(s) are you looking forward to the most?
I’ve had some really good success in the triple jump at the University of Miami meet, so I’m looking forward to going back. We actually go to that track a few times this season, so I’m looking to hit my best jump there. I’m also looking forward to the conference meet since it is our first year being in a conference.
Who is your favorite athlete?
I like Dwyane Wade. I’ve been watching since he first came into the league. It is cool to see where he came from to where he is now.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I wouldn’t mind flying. I would be able to eliminate walking. I want to fly for emergency reasons and just for fun.
If you had an all-expense paid trip, where would you want to go?
I would go see my best friend play college ball. He plays basketball for Colorado State and he’s climbing the ranks so it would be nice to see him.