May 13, 2022 | SPORTS | By Samwel Makyao | Photo Courtesy of Marilyn Jackson
Marilyn “Mar” Jackson ’22 is a member of the Colorado College Track and Field team. She is from Southern California and majoring in Organismal Biology and Ecology. We met with Mar in Tutt Library, room 412, and talked about her Track and Field career at Colorado College. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Samwel Makyao: At what stage in your life did you decide to compete in Track and Field?
Mar Jackson: I decided to do track my freshman year of high school. Our high school would put you into physical education if you weren’t in a sport year-round. Since volleyball was only a sport in the fall, I decided track would be better than having to wear the PE outfits our high school had.
Makyao: How does it feel to represent the Tigers?
Jackson: It’s an amazing opportunity to represent the Tigers. For the past four years, I’ve been proud to say that I’m a track team member. Additionally, I’m very grateful for the experience that this Division-III program has provided me.
Makyao: Who’s your role model or what inspires you to be the best and why?
Jackson: Last year, I was the only upperclassmen girl on the sprints, jumps, and throws side of track and field. Due to that, I was thrown into the position of captain. As I was a rather uncommitted member of the team, I was a bit unprepared to be put into a leadership role. Our previous women’s captain was the magnificent Liza Huschle. She had been our captain for two years and had been an incredible role model to everyone she interacted with. Her calming demeanor and infectious smile made everyone feel welcome on the team. I knew that there was no way I could measure up to her, but I wanted our newest members to feel as deserving to be on the team as I had my freshman year. That’s what motivated me the most these past few years. I would do anything to help my teammates feel comfortable and supported as they navigated through the insanity of life on the Block Plan as a student-athlete.
Makyao: What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years?
Jackson: The hesitant plan I have been telling those around me is that I will be taking this next year off to work at the Denver Animal Hospital and gain one more year of experience in the field before attending veterinary school. Also, I will be applying to schools this summer and hope to attend CSU, Cornell, or Washington State. But I will gladly attend any school that accepts me.
Makyao: What one day or moment of your CC Track and Field career would you like to relive and why?
Jackson: I would say any of the days our team had to run hills together. Nothing brings people together like calf cramps and overwhelming nausea.
Makyao: What is your pre-race ritual?
Jackson: Before every competition, I like to listen to music and watch videos of what the triple jump or javelin form looks like. Once I get to the track, I go through the same warm-up drills and then hope for the best.
Makyao: What is the most competitive race you’ve ever done?
Jackson: The most competitive race I’ve ever been in was my first indoor meet at Air Force Academy. I was a freshman at the time competing in the long jump alongside Olympic heptathletes. It is probably the most intimidated I’ve ever been at a meeting in my entire life. After that experience, if I was ever nervous about the upcoming competition, I would tell myself, at least they aren’t Olympians.
Makyao: What’s the best piece of advice about Track and Field that you’ve ever been given?
Jackson: One that I remember was from Coach Ron. Although it’s not a direct quote, it was along the lines of “you’ll get out of track what you put into it.” It helped motivate me to dedicate myself to lifting and trying harder in practice. From that advice, I improved both physically and mentally over my last two years on the team.
Makyao: What other sport would you like to have played competitively at CC and why?
Jackson: I would have loved to play competitive volleyball at CC. I started playing in middle school and have loved the sport ever since. During my senior year of high school, I stopped playing club after my varsity season ended as I assumed I wouldn’t be attending a school with a D-3 volleyball team. Although I don’t play on the team here, I’ve enjoyed playing beach and grass intramural volleyball with my friends.
Makyao: If you could have a chance to meet any current Track and Field player who would it be and why?
Jackson: I would love to meet Emma Fowkes. She is a well-known D-3 hurdler and future heptathlete. Her passion and commitment to the track team are an inspiration to all. If Emma Fowkes was unavailable, I’d be honored to meet any track athlete on the Colorado College Track and Field team. I’ve heard that they are a great group of people.