Natasha Jackson Leaps Toward Olympic Goal

Alumna wins Pan-American Cup and places second at Canadian Nationals

Jul. 23, 2014 By Neil Morgan

Biola alumna Natasha Jackson (’11) took her first international victory and the 2014 Pan-American Combined Events Cup title with her heptathlon performance at the games on Friday, July 18. The Canadian track and field star and 23-time NAIA All-American also placed second in the Canadian Nationals during the same competition.


It was a big leap forward for the multi-event specialist, who set some personal-best marks and inched closer to qualifying for the 2016 Canadian Olympic team.

 

“This was a huge score for me,” Jackson said. “It brings me within 70 points of the Olympic standard, which I have two years to attain. This new score definitely keeps me on track.”

 

Jackson completed the day with a combined score of 5,928, which placed her first in the Pan-American Cup, an annual international competition that includes some of the best heptathletes from the United States, Cuba, Paraguay, Mexico, Brazil and others.


Her score also placed her second overall among Canadian competitors; Jillian Drouin won the Canadian title with 5,972 points, but was not part of the Canadian team, meaning her score didn’t count in the Pan-American Cup.


Jackson picked up two individual event wins, and she finished in the top three in three of the other five events in the competition. She finished in 17th and 19th place in the javelin and shot put, respectively.

 

She improved her best overall heptathlon score by about 200 points and attained personal-best marks in the 800-meter (2:13.15), long jump (6.09 meters) and the 100-meter hurdles (12:43) — placing first in the latter two events.


Jackson's personal bests are now better than the target Olympic qualifying goal in four of the seven events. She hopes to hit more of those marks at the end of August when she competes in the Woerden Athletics Combined Events in Woerden, Netherlands.

For more information on Jackson's Olympic quest, read her personal website and blog.    

Contact Jenna Bartlo, media relations specialist, at 562.777.4061 or jenna.l.bartlo@biola.edu.

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