Feb. 10, 2014
By Phoenix Harris ’14
With only one more home meet remaining on the schedule, senior track and field sprinter and jumper Jessie Christian is ready to leave her mark.
On the track, she plans to do so by achieving national recognition.
“I want to propel myself into national competition sphere of girls,” says Christian. “I was up there for a second and then a lot of competitive girls bumped me back down. My current goal is to continue to beat my personal records and get back into the swing of things.”
For Christian, chasing this goal means concentrating on practice, prioritizing organization and focusing on competition, all of which she says are extremely important now that this is her final year of competing at the collegiate level.
“There’s a time cap,” she explains. “I think that’s the biggest thing. I know, especially as a second semester senior, that I have set goals and only so many weeks to get them done. I know a lot more about how many meets I have to qualify for certain things. It pushes me to focus in and say to myself, ‘Do I really want to get this done? Because if I do I have to perform in these meets early on!'”
So far this season, Christian continues to jump close to her personal records. She’s more focused then ever and intent on meeting the clear-cut goals she set for herself preseason. Those goals include becoming a top competitor in both the long and triple jump and going to nationals.
“I want to make sure I’m up there, especially now that our school’s in the ACC conference,” she continues. “I want to go to a national competition and I think I can. I’m very attentive when it comes to who’s at the top and how far I have to jump in order to go. I’ve just really kept my eye on the prize.”
Even with her focus on the competition, Christian has found a way to leave her mark on campus as well. This year, she’s done so as president of Notre Dame’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC).
SAAC’s aims include strengthening relationships between all of Notre Dame’s 26 athletic teams, encouraging student-athlete involvement in community service projects and promoting communication between the ND Department of Athletics administration and the student-athlete population.
As the president, Christian says her biggest project thus far has been revamping what used to be know as the “Signature Series” into what is now known as “IrishOn3.”
“With the Signature Series, our biggest goal was to improve student-athlete attendance at sporting events,” says Christian. “It was a good initiative and it started out really strong, but student-athletes were kind of confused as to what was going on.”
This year, with Christian’s help, the SAAC has employed more publicity and focus to the idea – creating what is now called IrishOn3.
IrishOn3’s motto is “26 Sports. 1 Team. All in.” and it now involves a point system. Student athletes who go to home games, away games, regular season games and other events are rewarded points when they do things like tweet pictures of themselves at the events and use the hashtag #Irishon3.
“There’s also an award at the end of the year at the Notre Dame OSCARS ceremony,” adds Christian. “So far, IrishOn3 has been really successful.”
In addition to being the President of the SAAC and working on IrishOn3, Christian is an ACC Representative for the SAAC as well. Along with three other student-athletes – rower Kiersten Dehaven, soccer player Max Lachowecki and basketball player Tom Knight – Christian helps work with different schools in the ACC to make all student athlete programs efficient and beneficial.
“What we’ve done so far is look at all the different schools’ student athlete advisor counsels and see what programs are working better and why,” says Christian. “Being an ACC representative is basically working towards making all the schools’ student athlete programs as strong as possible.”
It’s obvious Christian has gone out of her way to set high goals for herself and all other student – athletes at Notre Dame. It is equally apparent that she is intent on meeting those goals.
The track and field team will compete at home for the last time this season at the Alex Wilson Invitational Feb. 22, 2014. Come out and support Christian and her fellow seniors as they leave their finals marks on their home track!
For more information on the Notre Dame SAAC, visit: http://swd.nd.edu/leadership-development/student-athlete-advisory-council/
For more information on IrishOn3 initiative, visit: http://swd.nd.edu/leadership-development/student-athlete-advisory-council/irishon3/