It's obvious that Gabrielle Jennings of First Baptist Christian (Slidell, La.)
is a spectacular runner, with strength and endurance.
The big question is: How strong is her neck?
We must ask the question, because as reported by nola.com
, the senior earned her 37th state title Thursday. That's a whole lot of medals to lug around one's neck.
Needless to say, she was named the Louisiana High School Athletic Association's Outstanding Performer at the Class C state meet after four more titles. With a career resume like that, she might just earn the award based on pedigree alone.
But she kept striving, winning the Class C 3,200-meter race, the 1,600 and the 800. She also ran a leg on the 1,600 relay. Her times of 2 minutes, 16.92 seconds in the 800 and 5:00.60 in the 1,600 beat state records she already held. And although her 11:36.77 in the 3,200 was not a record, she beat the next-best competitor by more than four minutes.
Louisiana allows youngsters to take part in high school athletics, thus the lofty total. According to the New Orleans Advocate
, she is the seven-time defending champ now in the 1,600. She has won five in a row in the 800. The medal total comes from competition in outdoor track, indoor track and cross country.
And she's not done. She's only a junior.
"It's amazing. I just can't even put it into words. I know people have asked me that question a lot of times before, and I've kind of answered the same way. You can't really explain it, but when I was in fourth grade, and I was getting picked on by all these other kids, and I didn't fit in, I was too skinny, I didn't belong anywhere, running was my little thing to call my own, and looking back, I would've never thought that I would be where I am today when I was in fourth grade," she told nola.com.