Jackie Patterson ’18 decided to start track in the winter of her freshman year because her friends persuaded her to join for fun. But over one year later, she is 2.2 seconds away from breaking the girls’ school record for the 400-meter dash with her time of 58.7 seconds.
Patterson’s newly found passion for the sport can be attributed to her desire to continually improve. “I love how you always have room for improvement, how you can push yourself a little bit farther and work a little bit harder and it will all pay off,” Patterson said. “I love seeing my work pay off as a tangible time, and how I can continue to improve that time.”
With no prior experience, track was a foreign sport to Patterson when she began in 2015. Going from being a novice to an elite runner required hard work and a competitive attitude. “[So far,] it has been all about working hard and pushing myself,” Patterson said. “There were a lot of people on the team who I looked up to, and I wanted to be like them. I tried to compete against my teammates on the track and in the weight room.”
Patterson runs the 200, 400 and 800-meter races. She specializes in the 400-meter and aspires to break the school’s girls record of 56.5 seconds. To achieve this goal, Patterson trains during the season by running six days a week and lifting weights. Looking ahead, Patterson has several goals in mind as she continues her high school career. “A goal of mine is to make it to the Emerging Elite Nationals. I would also like to qualify for the Meet of Champions my senior year.”
With three more track seasons left in her PHS career, Patterson looks forward to continuing the improvement of her newly found passion.