Spanish Springs junior sprinter Jessica Ozoude is the fastest girl in Nevada.
Last Friday, she claimed the DI 100 meter state title at the state meet in Carson. Then on Saturday, she won the 200 and 400m state titles.
Her thoughts on the dominating weekend after having time to reflect?
“The weekend was really stressful,” Ozoude said. “But it was kind of fun.”
She was coming off the what was likely the biggest two days of her athletic career, and it was “kind of fun.” That’s who Ozoude is. She’s not one to boast. She runs her race(s) and life goes on.
In fact, she doesn’t even sound too impressed with her feat.
“I think I can be faster,” she said.
Ozoude won the 100m state title in a time of 12.29 seconds – nearly half a second in front of Las Vegas sophomore Teleda Williams. She defended her 200m state title in a blazing time of 24.29 seconds – a new stadium record by .52 seconds and 1.03 seconds in front of Williams again.
Those titles, she expected. The 400m title was a surprise.
“I didn’t think winning the 400 was possible,” Ozoude said. “A lot of the girls were running in the low 56s and 55s and I was a 57 so I didn’t think it was possible.”
Spanish Springs’ sprinter blazed a personal best 55.35 seconds – which was also a new stadium record (by .44 seconds) and .73 seconds in front of second place finisher, Linnea Saltz, a senior from Coronado.
“My coach told me to stay with the girl that was in lane 4, so I did that until I got to the 200 (halfway),” Ozoude said. “And then at the 150, I saw a girl in green in lane 6 or something and she was ahead of me. I was like ‘this isn’t right, she shouldn’t be there.’ So I started to go.”
As shocking as the win in the 400m was (in Ozoude’s opinion), her best race was the 200m. And still it was a bittersweet accomplishment.
Ozoude has spent all season chasing after the state record of 23.99 seconds that has stood since 1984. She was three tenths of a second off that time.
With less than ideal weather conditions in Carson last Saturday, she wasn’t focusing on the record going in to the race. But if Mother Nature and cooperated, perhaps she could’ve made Nevada prep track and field history.
“There was a strong head wind when I got off the curve. I feel like I could’ve had a better time if it wasn’t for that,” Ozoude said. “It was very frustrating because that’s the record I really wanted. And yeah, I didn’t get it.”
She’s wasting no time trying to get faster.
Ozoude has continued to practice after school in preparation for the Golden West Invitational on June 11 at Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, Calif.
The oldest prep invitational in the country (it started in 1960) features an incredibly deep field annually. Past participants have filled more than 200 positions on the United State Olympic team.
Ozoude will compete in the 100m and 200m at the meet.
It’s the first step to defending her trio of state championships next spring. It’s the next step in getting three tenths of a second faster in the 200m.
“I think I can,” Ozoude said. “I think I can get it.”