Following her fantastic first Irish National title at the weekend in the U18 Girls High Jump, this is a short summary of Jade’s dedication and talent that led to her success and perhaps parents could let their younger athletes have a read of this article as it will help motivate them when they read about Jade’s progress from U12s to U18s.
Jade is in the club since she was knee-high. Her first taste of National success was as an U9 in 2013 when she was a sub on our U9 Girls relay team who took bronze in the National finals. That whetted the multi-talented athlete’s appetite for the National stage.
She dabbled in cross-country over the years with the club and with Craughwell NS, placing 27th in the National U11 Cross Country in 2015 but quickly gravitated towards the high jump when she hit the U12 age group.
That year Jade placed 5th in the Connacht Indoor U12 High Jump and later placed 7th in the Connacht Outdoors U12 High Jump with a best of 1.15m on both occasions. That summer she entered into the All-Ireland ‘B’ Track & Field which is open to anyone who didn’t qualify for the ‘A’ Championships and it turned out to be a watershed moment as it gave Jade her first National High Jump medal with an excellent leap of 1.19m to claim the silver medal.
Jade kicked on from there to win the Galway indoor title in her age group each year except as an U17 when it was not held due to the pandemic – leaping 1.30m in the U13s, 1.50m CBP in the U14s which was a new Championship Record, 1.50m in the U15s, 1.56m in the U16s and 1.60m in the U18s this year.
She repeated much of this in the Connacht indoors, placing 6th as an U12 with 1.15m, 4th as an U13 with 1.30m, 1st as an U14 with 1.50m, 1st as an U15 with 1.45m, 1st as an U16 with 1.55m and absent as an U17 due to the pandemic and as an U18 due to a clash with the Scottish Indoors.
Jade’s success was not just confined to Ireland, with a 4th place finish as an U13 in the Scottish National Indoors in 2017, a bronze medal in the same championships as an U15 in 2019 and the coveted gold medal in the U20 age group earlier this year after a marathon jump-off to win the title at 1.64m – the only time an athlete from the club has been involved in a sudden-death jump-off.
Her outdoor progress paralleled her superb indoor record – joint 3rd in the Galway U12s with 1.15m, 4th as an U13 with 1.30m, 1st as an U14 with a Championship Record of 1.50m, 1st as an U17 with 1.50m and 1st as an U18 with 1.60m. And a similar progression in the Connacht Outdoors with 7th place as an U12 with 1.15m, 2nd as an U13 with 1.38m, 1st as an U14 with 1.45m, 2nd as an U15 with 1.50m, 1st as an U17 with 1.61m and 1st as an U18 with 1.60m.
Following on from that National B medal as an U12, Jade won silver in the National U13 Girls Outdoors 2017, silver in the National U14 Girls Indoors 2018, bronze in the Scottish National U15 Indoors 2019, bronze in the National U17 Outdoors 2021, bronze in the National U20 Indoors 2022, gold in the Scottish National U20 Indoors 2022, bronze in the Irish Schools Senior High Jump 2022 and now gold in the National U18 Outdoors 2022.
Jade had hit a block around the 1.50/1.55 mark coming into 2021 and that year she saw a remarkable series of PBs, improving in July to 1.58 and then 1.61, in August to 1.63, and in November to 1.64, 1.67 and 1.70. Her 1.70 leap ranks her in 33rd place on the Irish All-time Indoor List.
The club is very very proud of Jade and you can see from her progress above that success was not instantaneous and a lot of hard work has taken her to where she is. Definitely one to watch for the future!