Two-Time All American

December 13, 2023

Jessie Jazwinsk competes in the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships in San Diego last Saturday.

Two-Time All American

Pirate News is a presentation of Hart Public Schools in partnership with Oceana County Press. 

By Allison Scarbrough, News Editor

HART — Hart High School junior Jessica Jazwinski placed ninth in the country Saturday, Dec. 9, at the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships in San Diego, earning All-American status for the second straight year. 

Jessie was the highest placing high school junior in the field. She earned All American status last year, placing 11th.

The 16-year-old running phenom has also captured back-to-back individual state championships in cross country.

It sure seems that Jessie was born to run. The elite runner has been described as having a machine-like pace. 

“It’s really exciting. I’m really proud to get All American status twice in a row — especially to improve my place by two places. It was a really exciting performance.

“At the start of the race, I went pretty hard. I went out a little faster than I usually do. I was in the moment, and I kind of sprinted out.” She finished the first mile in 5:07, which is about 10 seconds faster than her usual pace She was in 16th place after the second mile, having slowed down a little. “But in the last mile, I finished really strong and ended up ninth.

Jessie gets a big hug from her number-one training partner — younger brother Bobby.

“I didn’t have the best strategy going into the race — I didn’t race the smartest. I toughed it out, and I’m really happy with my finish.”

Jazwinksi’s list of accomplishments in both cross country and track is astonishing. Her freshman year she was on the Pirate cross country team that gained its fifth state title, and she captured third place individually — before earning her back-to-back state titles her sophomore and junior years. 

In track and field, the Pirates won two straight state championships the last two seasons. Jessie led the way with a state championship in the 3,200 meter race; runner up in the 1,600 meter; and third in the 800 meter race. She ran with the 3,200 relay team that finished in fourth place.

She was a member of the 3,200 relay team that took first place at the track and field state finals her freshman year.

Jessie plans to compete in track nationals. “I’m excited to compete with some of the girls who I competed with in cross nationals at track nationals.” She also plans to compete in cross country nationals again next year. “I might be doing two next year, but we’ll see what happens.

“I really credit my family for all my successes.” Younger brother Bobby, who is a freshman at Hart, is following in his sister’s fast footsteps. “I train with him all the time. He’s my biggest fan and my best training partner. I wouldn’t be where I am without him.” The 14-year-old captured third place at the cross country state finals last month. “He just had to tie me, because I got third my freshman year,” she joked. “He was a little disappointed, because he wanted to win state, but he had such an amazing season this year.

“My parents are always supporting me along my journey too. They’re always there to help me. My family is my biggest reason for my success.” 

Jessie’s has two other siblings — sister Sammi, 11, and brother Johnny, 9. 

There is a friendly sibling rivalry among the kids. “My sister always tells me she is going to break all my records. She’s becoming a really great runner. She broke 20 minutes in the 5K this year. She already ran faster than I did at that age.”

The youngest, Johnny, is starting to get into running now, said Jessie. “He likes to go to the track meets, and he jumps into a few of the sprints.” 

Jessie hopes to one day compete for the United States on a worldwide stage, possibly the Olympics. “That is a long-term goal I definitely plan to shoot for. That’s definitely a dream of mine.”

Obviously, colleges across the country will be vying for her commitment.

“I hope that after college I can run professionally and then continue to run for the rest of my life.”

Contributed photos by Katie Jazwinski

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