Multi-talented athlete making her mark in short time at college level

MJ Inguito

Jason Reed, Reporter

In just her first year as a college athlete out of Frontier High School, Bakersfield College cross-country runner Jessica Campbell has solidified herself as the school’s top runner.
Campbell has been a key part of the success the Renegades women have had over the course of the season. She has been BC’s first finisher in every meet so far this year, including two second-place overall finishes in four races.
“I’ve always taken it seriously,” Campbell said when asked how cross country was for her in high school. “I would constantly push myself every day.”
Campbell went on to explain several of the injuries she acquired in high school. She felt that she pushed herself too hard in both practice and in the race.
“There’s a limit to where you’re pushing yourself too much, and I kind of go over that limit,” Campbell explained.
When talking about high school injuries, Campbell said she strained both of her hamstrings during her junior and senior year. Campbell talked about her knee injuries and also touched on the fact that she had to deal with having asthma.
Campbell made her college cross country debut back on Sept. 7 at the Fresno Invitational. She finished in 12th out of 159 runners with a time of 19 minutes 36.93 seconds. BC finished eighth out of 18 schools.
In Campbell’s first home meet of the season, she helped lift the Renegades to a first-place team win while finishing second individually in the women’s 5k. Campbell was one of five Renegades to finish in the top 14.
In the race, she posted a personal record, coming in at 19:08.
“My biggest dream is to go to the University of Oregon,” Campbell said when she was asked what four-year school she wanted to attend.
Campbell said she loves that Oregon has Nike as their sponsor and added that she loves the campus site.
Campbell also talked about how much BC coach Dave Frickel has helped her in her freshman year.
“He’s helped me a lot,” she said. “He’s very positive and he always tells me to listen to my body, and usually I have a problem with that because I feel constantly feel like I need to give myself 100% to improve.”
When talking about Frickel, Campbell said when he [Frickel] coaches, “he knows what he’s doing.”
Campbell said Frickel would talk to her about the mistakes he made as a runner, so that she wouldn’t make them as well.
In terms of other sports, Campbell played basketball her freshman and sophomore year in high school.
She said she stepped away from basketball because she realized that she wasn’t as strong in it as she was in cross country. She first ran cross country in elementary school.
“In fourth grade my P.E. teacher said I should do cross country, and I didn’t like running at the time so I didn’t want to do it,” Campbell said. But Campbell ran anyway after getting support from her parents.
“They’ve always been there to support me,” she said. “She’s (her mom) put a lot of money and time into it, because she believes in me. She thinks I can go far with this running.”
Campbell’s next run will be Oct. 25 at the Western State Conference meet at the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area located in Los Angeles County.