Since childhood, Jada Crockett has played a lot of sports.
“I've been involved with sports from a very, very young age,” she said. “My parents put me in gymnastics, tennis, swimming, basketball—almost every sport. And that gave me the opportunity to continue the sports that I enjoyed the most.”
For much of her life, Jada found herself most drawn to two sports: soccer, which she started playing as a preschooler, and track, which she first tried in fifth grade. And while over the years she often took long breaks from track to concentrate on soccer, by her sophomore year, Jada decided to fully devote herself to running.
“I wanted to do track at the highest level that I could,” she said.
I wanted to do track at the highest level that I could.—Jada Crockett, class of 2023
And as a member of Rowland Hall’s track and field team, Jada certainly pushed herself to new heights. Some of her top accomplishments as a Winged Lion include taking first place in the 100 meter and second place in the 200 meter at state (as well as setting school records in these events) as a sophomore, completing the 200-meter dash in 25.46 seconds as a junior, and taking first, and setting a new 2A record of 56.74 seconds, in the 400 meter as a senior.
During her time on Rowland Hall’s team, Jada also worked toward a goal to run track at the NCAA Division I level, a hope that recently became a reality when she committed to join the track and field team at California State University, Fresno. Not only will she get to run at Fresno State, she shared, she’ll also enjoy a big school with good academics, diversity, and year-round warm weather. Jada said she knew Fresno State would be a good fit as soon as she set foot on campus, where she was able to get a feel for the team, coaches, and academics.
“I went on an official visit a few months ago and as soon as I got there, I just knew it was the right spot,” she said. “ It was just a great environment. I was very confident in my decision. I'm super excited to go out there and continue to run.”
To celebrate Jada’s decision to run for Fresno State, we asked her to share a bit more about her athletic journey and what she’s looking forward to in college. The following interview has been lightly edited.
Congratulations on committing to Fresno State! What do you love about running that made you want to continue the sport at the college level?
I enjoy the individual and team aspect of everything, just being able to run for yourself as well as get points for your team. And it's just a time where I can really free my mind of everything, clear my head. It's a good getaway from all the stressors in my life.
What are you looking forward to as a college athlete?
I want to continue to improve my times and get close to all my new teammates. And I'm really excited to figure out what my major will be and to use all the tools that I've been given from all the teachers at Rowland Hall.
Looking back on your time as a Rowland Hall athlete, both in track and field and in soccer, what moment as a Winged Lion are you most proud of?
It's very hard to narrow it down just to one, but I'd say my top two would definitely be winning state soccer my freshman year with my sister, because that was the first time we ever played together, and the last time, so that was an amazing moment. And I'd also say probably last year, my junior year, winning state in the 100 and 200 and breaking some of the school records was exciting.
Rowland Hall has definitely prepared me for this next chapter in my life, and I want to thank the faculty and staff, my peers, and my family for all their support because I wouldn't be where I am today without all the support of my amazing village.—Jada Crockett
Tell us about the skills, both academic and athletic, you built at Rowland Hall that you'll be taking with you to Fresno State.
I'd say the biggest thing is definitely time management because being a student-athlete at Rowland Hall, with the heavy workload and everything, made me manage my time and be very productive whenever I got the chance. I'll definitely bring that to college.
Is there anything else you want our community to know about your athletic and/or academic journey?
I want to say that Rowland Hall has definitely prepared me for this next chapter in my life, and I want to thank the faculty and staff, my peers, and my family for all their support because I wouldn't be where I am today without all the support of my amazing village.
Congratulations, Jada, and best of luck at Fresno State!