ORU’s track and field team will welcome a hometown sprinter to the club this year.
Tulsa’s own Kayla Jackson is a part of ORU’s 50th freshman class and is coming off a scorching hot summer full of competition and success. Jackson graduated from Victory Christian School and ran for the Oklahoma Jaguars prior to joining the ORU team.
“I chose ORU because I wanted to be close to home and I love having my family around,” Jackson said.
She won a state championship for Victory in the 4×100 relay as well as the 100-meter race. She competed nationally for the Jaguars during the summer following her local success.
It was a competitive summer for Jackson when her season with the Jaguars was in full swing. As the temperature rose, so did Jackson’s level of competition. Jackson was on the national scene for the Jaguars and competed within the United States Track and Field (USTF) circuit.
“There are fast girls from all over: St. Louis, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, and I mean it was hot,” Jackson said.
Jackson placed fourth in the 100-meter race at the Regional Championship in Conway, Arkansas in July.
Her finish advanced her to the Nationals in Humble, Texas. There, she placed fourth within her heat in the 100-meter Nationals race. Jackson is hoping to carry her success over to the NCAA level as she joins the ORU track and field team.
“My main goal is to make nationals here,” Jackson said. “I want to make nationals.”
She anticipates competing in the 100-meter and 200-meter races while at ORU but is more than willing to experiment and have some fun.
“I always wanted to try pole vaulting. It looks fun. They probably won’t let me try that though,” she said. “My friends love being around me because I am a really fun person. I like to have fun.”
Jackson credits the man that recruited her, Shawn Venable, for making her feel a part of the ORU community.
“Coach Shawn makes you feel like you are already a part of the team when you are really just trying to make the team,” Jackson said. “It is a sense of community, like a family.”
As Jackson prepares for the first season of her college career, she will take advantage of being in her own backyard.
This time it won’t only be in front of those who have watched her compete her whole life but in front of the ORU community.
Editor’s note: This is part of the Oracle’s continuing coverage on ORU’s 50th freshman class. Follow the action by using the hashtag #OracleFrosh50.