Written by Corbett Smith
Girls track and field Athlete of the Year: Plano East senior Jennifer Madu dominated sprints, jumps
By the end of the University Interscholastic League’s state track and field meet, Plano East’s Jennifer Madu was spent.
She’d shuttled along from event to event, with at most a little more than 90 minutes of recovery time between performances.
After the start of her final event, the 200 meters, she knew she was running on fumes a quarter of the way into the race.
“I was done 50 meters in,” Madu said. “But that’s where my training kicked in.”
And no one was better trained or more talented than Madu at this year’s meet.
She competed in four individual 5A events at the meet and won all of them: the long and triple jumps, and the 100- and 200-meter dashes.
Plano East, the state’s largest high school with more than 6,000 students, finished fourth in the team standings solely because of Madu, who scored all 40 of her team’s points.
If Plano East’s 4x100 relay — in which Madu ran the anchor leg — had not dropped the baton in the first exchange, a team medal was likely.
Plano East came into the event with the third-fastest qualifying time. A top-six finish would have provided at least two points; East finished a single point away from a third-place Mansfield Timberview.
Madu, a Texas A&M signee, will compete in less than a month at the USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field championships for a spot at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona. She won the 100 meters and competed in the triple jump in last year’s World Juniors, in Lille, France.
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