DyeStat IL Interview with Jessica Jump
By Michael Newman
Last Friday evening at the Illinois Top Times Championships in Bloomington, Jessica Jump (Metro-East Lutheran HS, Edwardsville) won both the Class 1A Girls 60 & 200 Meter Dash races. During the 200 Meter Dash, she re-aggravated a hamstring injury. Still, she was able to finish and win that race.
After a trip to her physical therapist on Tuesday, she sat down and discussed with DyeStat Illinois what her last few days have been like and what the next month will look for the multi all-state sprinter.
DSIL When did you get the injury?
JJ It was a week or two ago after the Charleston Invitational.
DSIL Did that curtail your training at all?
JJ Yeah, I took over the entire week until Prep Top Times to try to heal up a little bit.
DSIL Coming into the competition on Friday night, how did you feel during the 60 Prelims? Were you a little cautious when you ran that race?
JJ I could feel a pull in my hamstring but it was not like unbearable. I had bad starts in the 60 coming out of the blocks. You use a lot of your hamstrings and it pulls on it a lot. I was being very cautious when I came out of the blocks especially in the prelims but I wasn’t too worried as long as I made it into the finals. I guess it was my best time (7.95) but I did not feel like it was my best race.
DSIL In the finals, I noticed afterwards watching from the press area that you were favoring it right at the finish. Talk about the race and how you felt about it.
JJ I guess I had the mindset that I was going to go out and run it to start out with. I guess I was not too worried because my time was the only time in the sevens. When I started in the finals, there was a girl (Taylor Adcock, Moweaqua Central A&M HS) right there with me and it made me run harder. I wasn’t hurting but I could still feel it. I felt like I had a terrible race and I was really worried. Until they announced the results, I was worried that I did not win. I guess they said they had to look at the cameras because it was so close. My mind set was I screwed up if I did not win that race or the 200 because I wanted to win both.
DSIL You were also entered in the 400. Did you decide before the meet that you were not going to run?
JJ No, I was planning on running it. I checked in and I was ready to run. My coach (Dave Redden) came up to me and said you are not going to run it. We are going to scratch you out. I said Okay. That was pretty much all there was to it.
DSIL Were you upset at all about that?
JJ There were two girls under a minute. I have never run under a minute indoors. I think I could have done well. I don’t think I could have won it.
DSIL At the start of the 200, you came around the first turn and I saw your arm kind of flail up in the air. Talk about that race.
JJ I was feeling great at the beginning of that 200. I came out of the blocks well. I was sprinting hard. I felt great. But as soon as I got around that corner, I felt the same that I felt two weeks ago. I could feel this band in my leg completely pull. I had no idea what it was. I could hardly run. It hurt incredibly badly. I just wanted to stop right there.
DSIL But you kept going…
JJ I knew I had to finish. There were only six girls in the race and the top 8 were all state. I was determined that I was going to finish the race. So I decided to run it hard and finish it strong.
DSIL I noticed that you staggered again as you were coming down the home stretch and your arm was going up. It must have been such intense pain.
JJ Yeah…it was pretty bad.
DSIL At the finish, collapsing like you did, besides the pain that was going through your mind, what were you thinking?
JJ I guess I was happy that I finished. That was really the main thing. I did not know if my time was good enough to win it. I was not sure. I was just happy that I finished the race. I am too competitive to stop and pull myself out during the race. I was going to finish it even if I was going to break both of mylegs.
DSIL Have you ever dropped out of a race before?
JJ I don’t think so.
DSIL The last few days have been very hectic for you. Ave the doctors said anything? Is there an update on how your leg is?
JJ I did not get an MRI done. There was so much swelling so my doctor said not to come into the doctor’s office the day after. All I have been doing is resting and icing and physical therapy. The physical therapist (Chris Pifer) told me to do nothing this week…to take it easy. Next week I am going to start training in the water. The week after that, I am going to start doing some distance. The week after that, I will start competing in the 800, 4x8, one mile. I won’t do any sprints until I am ready. Or I am told I can begin sprints again.
DSIL So you are looking to get back right before sectionals?
JJ We were looking at the Walther Lutheran Meet in Chicago (4/20). I should be able to sprint again. Definitely by our county meet.
DSIL Have you learned something about yourself from going through all of this?
JJ I do not regret any of it definitely for sure. I do not regret running at all. I am glad I did. I guess I have the mind capacity to do whatever I want when it comes to it. I guess listening to my coaches is something that I need to continue to do.
DSIL Aren’t you glad that you listened to your coach about scratching out of the 400?
JJ I don’t think that was a bad idea. I know I would not have been able to finish the 200.
According to her coach Dave Redden, Jessica has been looking at Southern Illinois @ Carbondale, Illinois State University, and Concordia University @ Seward, Nebraska for her next step n her education. Jessica is looking in college to study to become a Lutheran school teacher.
We wish Jessica a speedy and healthy return to the track and look forward seeing her in Charleston this May!