Jasmine Wilson, an eight-year-old sprinter and former Student Athlete of the Week, is pacing the 8U circuit in the AAU. Over the summer, she won three gold medals in the AAU West Coast Junior Olympics and two gold medals in the AAU Junior Olympics in Florida.
The West Coast Junior Olympics took place in Las Vegas with temperatures of over 100 degrees. Wilson used the temperature as a source of motivation.
“If it was really hot, I wanted to get in the car,” she said. “I knew if I run faster, I can get off the track faster and get into the cool air.”
Wilson competed in the 100m, 200m and 400m during the AAU West Coast Junior Olympics, but chose to focus on the 100m and 200m for the AAU Junior Olympics.
“I was gonna do the 400m in Florida, but I wanted to do better in the 100m and the 200m, so I ended up not doing the 400m,” she said.
In the AAU Junior Olympics, Wilson ran the 100m in 15.00s and ran the 200m in 30.65s in the finals. Her record for the 200m is a personal best, she completed the 200m with a 38.82s time during the 2018 AAU 14U Youth National Championship.
“It made me feel a lot better because I’ve been training harder this year and it was all worth it,” Wilson said.
For the 200m preliminary heat, Wilson came in second; this inspired her to run faster in the finals. Her gold medal performances in the Junior Olympics also rewarded her with a special hat for both races, an item that Wilson had aspired to possess.
“I got these really cool hats that you can’t get until you’re eight and under,” she said. “They don’t give it out, only on really special track meets.”
Wilson is a member of the Black Lightning Track Club, she noted how difficult it was to train during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We had to find ways to try and work out together,” Wilson said. “We started doing Zoom calls and then we worked out on Zoom and towards the end of the season we ended up getting back together.”
Since last year, Wilson has been expanding her track talents by learning to hurdle. She has competed in 60m hurdles events. This year, she trained with a hurdling coach to learn techniques.
“When we do fun drills, it’s very fun,” Wilson said. “One of them, we stand right in front of the hurdle, we walk until he says go and when he says go, we have to sprint as fast as we can to the hurdle.”
Wilson also practices gymnastics; she noted that practicing gymnastics provides the type of brawn that is needed to compete in track.
“You need to be able to be strong in order to do good,” Wilson said. “In gymnastics, you need body strength so that helps me in track, I can get stronger.”