Jump for Joy: Bergen’s Stevens Wins National Title

PARAMUS, N.J. – Bergen Community College student-athlete Kaden Stevens is a national champion. Stevens, of New Milford, placed first in the triple jump at the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III men’s outdoor track and field championship last month in Utica, New York.

En route to the national title in the triple jump, which featured a leap of 14.24 meters, Stevens also placed second in the long jump. For his efforts, Stevens earned a spot on the first-team all-America roster.

“I was absolutely ecstatic,” he said. “I put so much work into this moment that it was almost overwhelming.”

In a season marred by injuries, Stevens had an indirect path to the national championship. He only competed in two regular season meets, limiting his chances to earn a national championship bid. Nonetheless, Stevens placed second in his events at the spring Ramapo Invitational and earned a spot at nationals. He credited his parents, coaches and teammates for encouraging him to persevere.

“Because of the hurdles I went through, I realized that I’m a lot stronger than I may have thought I am,” he said.

Stevens graduated from the College as part of the May class of 2023, earning an A.S. in computer science. He plans to transfer to a four-year college, though he will take a gap year to prepare. The time away from campus life will also afford him with the opportunity to possibly earn a scholarship as he navigates his college search.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (www.bergen.edu), a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

Photo caption: Kaden Stevens at the NJCAA Division III track and field national championships.

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