Even when you blaze the track as a distance runner, there are often hurdles that sit before you, obstacles that must be overcome. Jackie Addy ’19 has had her share during her collegiate years, and thus far has leaped high over each one and left them in the dust like most of her opponents.
Jackie graduated from HIES in 2019 – a more than decorated cross country and track athlete, a broadcast/journalism star, and a good student who – by junior and senior year – found herself and her coaches answering recruiting emails from Georgia to Oklahoma and beyond.
She left HIES with an individual cross country title in 2018, left the tracks holding EVERY top 10 mark in both the 800-meter and 1,600-meter runs, finished either third or better in the state in track in both of those events and eventually ended the recruiting war by choosing University of Florida.
It was at UF where she met two huge hurdles – one of course was COVID, while the second was the University of Florida itself.
“After COVID, I was sick my sophomore year and couldn’t compete due to NCAA standards,” Jackie recalled. “My junior year, once I got back, it just seemed that everything I did wasn’t enough. It was always more, more, more. It got to a point where I wasn’t even sure I liked running anymore and wondered what I was doing.”
After the 2021-2022 school year, her coach told her that if she didn’t hit the high standards, she could train and be on the team but wouldn’t be put in a race. With that, Jackie’s race became inward. She included her mom and stepdad and close people when making what turned out a great call – both on and off the race venues.
“I entered the transfer portal and, within 24 hours, I had over 100 coaches interested in me. It was SO nice to be seen again instead of just thrown aside,” she said.
It was the Baylor University coach – formerly at Auburn and formerly someone who had recruited Jackie while at HIES – who convinced her. “Have you ever thought about coming to Texas?” he asked.
She hadn’t, but she did. “My mother went to Rice and she’d considered Baylor for law school, so she was familiar with the state,” Jackie said.
Present day, perhaps it can’t be said that it is NOT location, location, location, but instead location, chemistry and timing, and Jackie now seems to have all three in motion faster than her kick down the stretch.
Her roommate is her best friend. Their slogan is “person over player.” She loves running and is competing in her second year there. And on a side note, that will soon take top priority, her future career seems to be taking shape.
Majoring in broadcast/journalism with a minor in corporate communication, she is in charge of the Baylor TikTok and Instagram accounts, worked a year ago with an affiliate of the Florida Marlins baseball team, and has interviews lined up with professional organizations in different sports. If this isn’t enough, the Baylor coach always brings Jackie to the front when potential running recruits come in.
She looks to her future in anticipation and excitement, rather than it being a workout that’s too tough to complete.