When one looks around during a high school indoor or outdoor track meet, one may think they are seeing double — or triple — of Belfast's Jack Hansen.

The junior track-and-field standout will be at one event, and, the next moment, he will be across the track at another, as he runs, jumps and propels his body in many different directions.

Seemingly, he essentially has to be in two places at the same time.

Contorting, twisting and jumping to new heights has made Hansen one of the best track-and-field athletes in the state, and he has the school records, a boatload of league titles and four state championships to back it up, which includes the two state titles he won on Feb. 16 at Bates College in Lewiston.

Hansen is a standout jumper, hurdler and vaulter. Truth be told, he probably could excel at any of the track events if he wanted to. And he realized that at a young age.

"In middle school I didn’t do track until seventh grade," Hansen said. "I tried it out and I liked it. I tried all the events to see if I was good at it. In eighth grade I almost jumped 20 feet [in long jump] so I knew I was pretty good at it. I was excited for high school indoor track to start, because I knew they had a pretty good team."

"High school’s different because we’ve lifted a lot more weights and done more training, than I did in middle school, which took it to a whole new level," said Hansen.

Hansen's excitement translated to skill in indoor and outdoor track. The sports may carry the same name (except for the environmental location), but are much different in approach.

"Training indoor compared to training outdoor, you have to work out in the hallways," said Hansen. "It’s more restrictive to the workouts you can do. It’s more short distance, which is fine for me because I’m a jumper, and I don’t have to do much long runs."

Hansen, also a standout football player, competes in multiple events on the track and in the field, something that's not out of the ordinary in the sport, but to be successful in each is difficult.

The 17-year-old, also recognizable by his long blonde hair (which, perhaps ironically, looks a bit like a cool Lion's mane), is limited to three events in indoor track and four events in outdoor track. During the indoor portion of the season, Hansen focuses on long jump, hurdles and pole vault, while during the outdoor season, the junior adds high jump to the mix.

"For pole vaulting it’s really hard to find facilities to be able to practice," said Hansen. "We have to practice at the meets and get as many run-throughs as I need. We are lucky that we are able to go to Colby [College] a couple of Wednesdays this year, which helped a lot."

"At practice I didn’t really like running, and I’ve never really liked distance at all, said Hansen. "I was always able to jump really well. Playing basketball I was able to grab the rim in middle school, so I knew I had some ability there, which then carried onto the track, and the events."

"It’s a lot of long practices," he said. "I’m always one of the last ones there because I have to do everything. I’ll do long jump and then a half-hour later I’ll do some pole vault drills, and then more drills. Having a lot of coaches helps as well, because all the other coaches can work with groups of kids to do what they do best."

"Jack is an extremely talented athlete who is just starting to reach his potential," said Belfast track-and-field coach Dale Nealey. "Jack has the potential to be a state champion in just about any jumping, hurdle, or sprint event he decides to do. He is one of the most talented athletes I have coached over the last 30 years. He has the potential to be very competitive at the college level."

At meets, the Stockton Springs native focuses not only on the physical aspect, but the mental as well.

"I get tired, but doing [the events] helps me to stay in shape," said Hansen. "It’s a lot of work to keep in shape. Going from each [event], you need to know the order of events [at a meet]. Are the girls first, guys first, listen very well throughout the meet for first call and last call. You need to have a good mental memory and keep track of everything in your brain."

"I like running the hurdles before other events because it warms me up completely," said Hansen. "I’ll be sweating after that event. It keeps my mind off of things as well. It clears your mind for the next event. If I do bad I know I have the next event to do better. Having three different opportunities [in pole vault, long jump and high jump] helps too, because if you do bad on the first jump, there are still two more jumps. That’s a big mental boost, and keeps you strong, knowing you have three under your belt."

Hansen, who also holds the state boys freshman long jump record, has not had a problem with the mental or physical aspects of either sport, or its subsequent events, as he has won a state title in each of his three years in high school.

The Lion athlete holds two school records in indoor track as well, with a 21-foot 8.5-inch long jump and a time of 8.04 seconds in the 55-meter hurdles.

The first state title came in Hansen's freshman outdoor track season in long jump, followed by a state title in pole vault in outdoor his sophomore year, and, this past season, championships in pole vault and long jump during the indoor season.

"[Winning my freshman year] was pretty crazy," said Hansen. "There was a lot of competition and I was the freshman coming in and was supposed to win it all. It was nerve-wracking because I was going between pole vault and hurdles and long jump. I remember I was in first place by a half an inch [in long jump] and I had one jump left, and the other kid had one jump left, and luckily he didn’t jump further than I did, so I won by default. I almost had to jump again, but I was psyched."

"Long jump my freshman year was the biggest [state championship I won]," said Hansen. "I worked really hard my freshman year and that was my goal. I achieved it and it felt really good. My coach was really excited. He was all excited, my teammates were all excited and my family. Everyone was going crazy."

"My pole vault win my sophomore year there wasn’t much competition," said Hansen. "I started my vaults when everyone was finished, so I was jumping by myself, which was nice, because I had more time and could concentrate more."

"[The success has] felt kind of weird because I’ve always been good," said Hansen. "Everyone has always been looking up to me, and saying good job, which has also been really nice. After freshman year the nerves go down and I’m more relaxed and just compete."

State titles have eluded Hansen in hurdles — his favorite of the events — and high jump, but a win in hurdles would mean a lot.

"It would be pretty big," said Hansen. "[Hurdles are] a more technical event and it’s harder to do."

Despite being a four-time state champion, with "around 10-12 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference [Class B] titles," the junior has more goals in mind.

"I want to break the state record in pole vault," said Hansen. "I’ll be jumping around 15 feet which is my goal. I want to hit 22 feet in the long jump, at least, and then win state titles in the pole vault and long jump again, and maybe hurdles. I’m going to try the 300-meter hurdles this year possibly. I’m going to try to see if I can do it. I practiced them last year a couple of times."

Despite being pulled in different directions, Hansen continues to show he is flexible, and never backs down from a challenge.

Hansen is the son of Mark Hansen and Jodie Stout of Stockton Springs.