Shawnti Jackson: the life of a 15-year-old future Olympian


Photo Courtesy of Shawnti Jackson

Shawnti Jackson covers her face in shock as she breaks her first national record.

Lauren Rochelle, Opinions Editor

Eat. Sleep. Train. Repeat.

One would think these are the only measures someone would take as a future Olympian – not for 15-year-old Shawnti Jackson, future Olympic sprinter. Our student body wishes Shawnti Jackson luck as she embarks on her journey towards her first Olympic gold medal. 

Jackson, a deeply humble eleventh grader, inspires the community and others as she shares her destiny to come. As thrilled as Jackson is for her awaited forthcoming, she never fails to add how staying a kid for as long as possible is important to her. 

“I’d rather be a kid than grow up too fast,” Jackson said. “I want to still hang around my friends and compete in state meets before I start any Olympic trials.”

Jackson believes her past played a major role in becoming a record-breaking sprinter. She began her love for running at a very young age. 

Although Jackson’s dad, two-time Olympic gold medalist Bershawn “Batman” Jackson, seldom brought his track life home, she says that he pushed her to be the best runner she could. 

I try to think of myself as normal, but in the back of my head that I have a future and have to hold myself accountable at a higher level.

— Jackson

“When I was seven I went to my dad’s track meet and there was a kids section that had the next big stars,” Jackson said. “I was too young to compete but my dad knew the meet director who put me in it. I passed them and I ended up winning the race…everyone thought I’d be a good track star.”

And they were right. In the years to come, Jackson would break three national records and become top in the nation in many other events. 

“I broke the high school national record for the 50 meter, 55 meter, and 60 meter,” Jackson said. “I am No. 2 in the nation for the 300 meter.”

Although Jackson plans to compete in the next summer Olympics in 2024, this would not be her first Olympic qualification. 

“The past Olympic year I had the qualifying time to go to the trials, but I didn’t go because it was the same weekend as my state meet,” Jackson said. 

Shawnti Jackson remains focused as she finishes the 300-meter. (Photo Courtesy of Shawnti Jackson)

Shawnti Jackson attended our school her freshman and junior years, spending her sophomore year at a different local high school, Cardinal Gibbons Catholic School. 

“I wanted to go to a new school last year [sophomore year] to be around a new environment,” Jackson said. “I figured that I just liked it better at Wakefield… the team here is closer and we have a better bond.”

Jackson always responds humbly and with the best attitude when asked about her future as an Olympian. 

“I honestly think of myself as a regular kid, I walk around school like a regular kid,” Jackson said. “I talk like a regular person, I interact like a regular person… to a certain extent, I try to think of myself as normal, but in the back of my head I know that I have a future and have to hold myself accountable at a higher level.”

As her home, our community will always be incredibly proud of Jackson. She inspires teachers and students alike each and every day and the community will always be cheering her on – whether it be from the Wakefield stadium or from our TVs at home when she competes at the 2024 summer Olympics.