Glenn continues Climb as one of state’s best
by Ron Brown
In just her third year of track and field competition, Monroe High School junior Jamie Glenn has made quite an impact on the sport at the Class 1A level.
This spring, Glenn was one of only seven Redhawk girls athletes to make the trip to Greensboro’s N.C. A&T State University for the 1A state championships. Despite the small roster, the Redhawks finished in third place, thanks largely to Glenn’s ability to earn points in several different events.
Glenn cleared 37 feet, 9 inches to claim gold in the triple jump and also placed third in the long jump with an effort of 16-11.75. If that wasn’t enough, Glenn added a fourth-place finish in the shot put (34-5.75) after only picking up the event this spring. Throw in a second-place finish in the 4×100-meter relay (50.26 seconds), and Glenn directly contributed to 29 of Monroe’s 67 team points at the championships, leaving little doubt as to why she is the 2011 Union County Girls Track Athlete of the Year.
“Jamie started out the season with a little bit of a shin injury but worked through it,” said Monroe High coach Johnny Sowell. “She is a quiet leader on the track for us, working hard by example. But when we train, the team knows that she is driven toward her goals, as well as what the team wants to reach.”
Glenn said she got her start in track and field by watching her siblings. Her brother, Issac Blakney, was a three-time Class 1A champ in the triple jump for the Redhawks and now is a rising sophomore football player at Duke University. Glenn’s sister, Natalie, competed in the shot put at Monroe.
Glenn’s successful start in the sport – she was Union County Weekly’s 2010 Girls Track Athlete of the Year as well – has her aiming for even loftier goals.
“I want to compete in the Olympics,” said Glenn. “I had a great year here this year, but I also know that I can do much better with a lot harder work. I am going to get into summer programs that will make my senior year something special.”
Glenn, who also is a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Monroe and a starter on the basketball team, has an impressive list of college opportunities she could pursue and has narrowed her choices to Wingate, East Carolina, Duke (to follow her brother), UNC Wilmington or maybe even the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
“Wherever I go, I would like to pursue a degree in architecture,” said Glenn. “I want to travel all over the world, and a career in this field will provide me with that opportunity.”
But before then, Glenn would like to end her high school career on a high note, preferably with a team state title. Given the impact she’s already had in four different events, Glenn can help make that happen with the work ethic she has displayed since her freshman year. She said she will continue to work hard and train in the offseason for another run at a track state title.
“It is great to have special athletes like Jamie come along here,” said Sowell. “She started in ninth grade, and she isn’t burned out by the whole situation. She is a hard worker and has lofty goals that she truly wants to reach.
“Next year can be a special year for both her and the team,” Sowell continued. “It would be great to reach a team state championship next season, and I think that we can do that.”