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AOW: Southwest track star picking up where she left off

March 05, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

During the 2001 high school track and field season, Southwest High School freshman Jennifer Black seemingly came out of nowhere and took the Imperial Valley track scene by storm, dominating her competition and setting school records.

She set school records in the 100-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles and even broke her 300-hurdle mark five times.

So it was really no surprise when Black took the track for the first time this year in live competition last week and set another school mark in the 100 hurdles.

Against Palm Desert on Thursday, Black finished the 100 hurdles in 16.85 seconds to set another record. The 15-year-old sophomore also took first in the 300 hurdles in 54.2 seconds and won the high jump with a leap of 4 feet, 8 inches.

"I really wasn't expecting to go out there and compete because I'd been really sick lately," said Black. "I also had a bit of an injury, too. I had pulled my quad muscle, but when I was running, it really didn't bother me."


Fighting her maladies, Black got by a lot on adrenaline.

"I was really excited because it was our first meet of the year and I was just in a good mood," Black said. "Even though I was sick, I was just in a real competitive train of thought."

While Black did just about everything she could in the team's opener, Southwest's girls still fell short to Palm Desert, losing 71-56.

While she would have liked the team to begin its season on a winning note, Black knows it's a long season and the team will have plenty of chances to succeed.

For the Eagles to succeed, Black will have to be at top form and continue her record-setting pace.

"Personally, when I first started, I wasn't expecting to be breaking records by my sophomore year. But I've had a lot of support and I've been working really hard during practice," said Black. "Now I know all that hard work is paying off. And I expect to go to CIF and place at least in the top four in my events."

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