Airport High’s Jayla Jamison looks to a bright future in track
Are we witnessing a star in the making?
Airport High School track team member Jayla Jamison has the ability to do some phenomenal things.
She is just in the seventh-grade, but qualified in four events in May’s South Carolina High School League track and field championships. She was the only seventh-grader who qualified in more than two events in the competition for high-schoolers.
Jamison, 13, finished second in the 400-meters and the 200-meters. She finished third in the long-jump and fifth in the 100-meters.
“She’s special,” said Airport High School track coach Travis Barnes, who has been coaching various sports for 15 years. He said lots of young athletes have dreams, but, Barnes said, Jamison has the talent and the ability to go as far as the U.S. Olympics. He also said it is an honor for him to coach such a gifted athlete.
“It’s not just me,” Barnes said, “everybody who sees her, says it.”
Of the whole Airport track team, Barnes said Jamison is faster than all but a couple senior boys.
He also said Jamison works hard to get better and she runs year-round.
“She is a future record-breaker,” said Barnes. He said Jamison’s goals include college track and field and she has a relationship with USC track coach Curtis Frye.
Barnes said Jamison has the talent to run for a college team now.
Jamison is a student at Pine Ridge Middle School. She plays for the Pine Ridge basketball team and was All-Region, Barnes said. She was also honored by the S.C.Coaches Association of Women’s Sports.
And Jamison is not the only athlete in her family. Her father, Patrick, and mother, Felicia, were high school athletes. And Felicia Jamison played basketball at Benedict College.
Jayla’s brother, Patrick, ran for the Airport track team and he runs track at USC Upstate. He helps coach Jayla when he’s home.
Barnes also said her mother is not satisfied unless her daughter is working hard at her sport. “She pushes her,” he said