📸 Through The Lens | Enlightened Path

Kansas Jayhawks

Kansas Athletics staff photographer Jeff Jacobsen shares his memories of what he saw “Through the Lens” from his 23-year career with the Jayhawks.

The title of this photograph was “Enlightened Path” when it ran in the weekly Bird’s Eye View photos feature I produced for five years. The purpose of the feature was to show KU sports in ways different than standard action photographs and to take viewers beyond the fields, courts, pools, river and tracks.

It is easy to see the sun shining inside KU’s Anschutz Sports Pavilion as Teri Huslig ran down the long jump lane in January 2016 during the Jayhawk Classic. What you can’t see or know is how often I would walk into Anschutz around the time the long jump would take place in the days before the meet to check the sun’s path. I checked heat sheets early the day of the event to make sure Huslig would be jumping while the sunbeams marked the way. That work paid off.

As word of the COVID-19 virus’ impact on the sporting events of the world spread with alarming speed, I readied to photograph KU student-athletes competing in the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this past month. The event never took place as every KU athletic event disappeared from the calendar.

Huslig graduated in the spring of 2019, but that shining path she ran along came back to me upon returning home to a world where the new normal was far from ordinary. I share it with you again. We can only pray that we will sooner than later see an enlightened path that will lead us out of this pandemic into an even brighter future for our world, country, state, city and university. Stay well.