A Name to Know: Devon Jackson

Devon Jackson running at the Big Valley Invitational at Indian Valley Middle School in Pennsylvania. Photo by Phil Devan.

Devon Jackson running at the Big Valley Invitational at Indian Valley Middle School in Pennsylvania. Photo by Phil Devan.

Chloe Poindexter, Business Manager and Sports Editor

Freshman runner Devon Jackson has been starting off her high school running career strong. She’s only been in high school for around a month and she’s already making her mark. Currently already in the varsity line up for State High, which is the top 7 runners on the team. 

Jackson had a stellar middle school career, already making a name for herself.Some of her bigger accomplishments in middle school include winning the middle school district championship in both the 800 and mile. Additionally, Jackson broke the middle school mile record, running an impressive 5:17 mile. She also took her talents to the national level and competed at the Nike Outdoor Nationals meet. There, she ran a significant PR in the steeplechase running a time of 7:31.

Jackson has only competed in a few high school level races and has already broken well under 20 minutes in the 5K race. She is also already one of the top ranked freshmen in the state of Pennsylvania. Striving to be the best is what Jackson prides herself on.

There is no doubt the shift from middle school to high school is a huge adjustment. Not only do athletics take an entirely different form, but so does your academic and social life..

“The difference I’ve seen between high school and middle school sports is that the team puts an emphasis more on bonding and working well together,” Jackson said. “Most people on middle school teams don’t realize that you work with your teammates, not against them. I’m not really sure. I’m still deciding what my goals should be. But I know I would like to do the best I possibly can.”

Her father  motivates Jackson to be great, not just good. Jayson Jackson, Devon’s father, ran on the Penn State track and field team. He has had a long career in running and coaching running. Now, he serves as an assistant coach for the State High track team and as a coach for the Nittany Track and Field program. 

When it comes down to who or what Jackson’s biggest motivation is, the answer is always the same. “My dad saw how good I was before I even realized it and he always pushes me to be my best,” Jackson said.

Jackson officially started running at the young age of five. This was mainly facilitated through the Nittany Track and Field program. Before that, though, her dad would take her to practice and push her around in a stroller. Being exposed to running at such a young age explains why her passion for this sport is so strong. 

Jackson is ready to see what high school has in store for her. This fall, she has already begun her cross country season and will also be participating in indoor and outdoor track and field. Jackson is confident in the potential for her and the girls cross country teams season this fall. 

“I think the cross country team has a lot of potential so far. We have a chance to do a lot of extraordinary things, but we have to keep training hard,” Jackson said. 

It’s just the beginning for Devon Jackson. The best is yet to come for the young runner.

If you don’t know her name now, you will soon.