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Student Impact: Rewarding Talent

Creating Bright Futures

March 1, 2021

“I just like the feeling of running and jumping. You have that moment when you leave the ground, and you're hanging there, just floating. Nothing goes through my head when I long jump. I'm just out there, and probably the most relaxed that I ever am.” That’s how Jazmin Williams describes her ‘baby,’ the long jump event. It is the kind of transcendent experience you might associate with a lifetime of meditation. The kind of experience that only comes from years of dedicated practice.

To see her in action is a privilege. The fusion of her years of practice, passion and attention to her sport swirl together to make an awe-inspiring experience.

Williams has put it in time and the sweat and has the achievements to prove it. She is the Emporia State school record holder in the long jump with a mark of 20-03.00 (6.17m) at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships where she placed ninth. She is also a part of the school record setting 4x100m relay that ran 46.14 at the 2018 MIAA Championships. In 2019, she had a season's best mark of 19-06.25 (5.95m) to place second at the MIAA Outdoor Championships and advance to the NCAA Championships for the second time in her career. She has scored in five different events at the MIAA Championships for the Hornets in her career - the long jump, 100m, 400m hurdles, 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay.

During her athletic career at Emporia State she has been a recipient of talent-based scholarships for track and field. These scholarships were a part of her recruitment package as an incoming freshman and have augmented her tuition expenses throughout her college career. Williams says they make a difference financially and psychologically. “It’s like a thank you for your hard work. You're like, ‘Okay someone sees what I'm doing, and they appreciate it.’ So, I have to keep working hard and showing them what I can do.”

That motivation to focus on teamwork and be of service to others informs her career goals as well. She completed her BS in Elementary Education last spring and is currently studying to be an Instructional Specialist with an Elementary Content Concentration in ESU's graduate school. Once she has graduated, she would like to work in the Kansas City, Kansas school district.

Last spring, she was awarded the Elementary Education Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award. The award acknowledged that Williams performed exceptionally both academically and athletically. It’s just one of the ways she leads by example. She credits the value that the mentors on the track and field team had on her when she was a freshman and she wants to pass that along to the next generation. “I'm not really a big talker. I’m more of a do as I do type.”

With Williams’ example to follow, the next generation of Hornets will all shine brighter.