Freshman Cross Country Star Runs to the Top

Freshman Cross Country Star Runs to the Top

Kendall Faulkner, Sports Editor

Humility is a very rare quality among athletes; however, freshman Jassmine Macon, 18, is not only one of the youngest and best runners on the Women’s Cross Country team, but she is also very humble.

“To be a freshmen in college, it feels really good,” said Macon. “But it is also nerve racking because I did not think I would be the number one girl.”

The 2014 Women’s Cross Country team has won first place in six meets and second in two meets.

On Oct. 24, during a meet in Ventura, Macon took the individual conference title, helping Glendale College acquire its 10th executive conference title. The women’s team is currently ranked number one in the state.

“She is our top runner and she will probably be All-American,” said Eddie Lopez, a Cross Country coach. “She won conference already.”

Lopez described Macon as a coach’s dream athlete and said he has only seen about 10 other girls with Macon’s talent throughout his 28-year career.

“I like the way she races,” he said.  “She is easy to coach. She does not go crazy and she is not stubborn. She is probably the best finisher in Southern California.”

At 18 years old and straight out of Granada Hills High School, Macon is already beating multiple Glendale College freshman records and beat the best finishing time in Santa Barbara and Golden West.

Macon said she wants to make it difficult for future freshmen to beat her records by setting the standards high.

Although hearing that she has done a lot for the school keeps a smile on her face, Macon does not let it get to her head.

Macon’s main coach throughout her life has been her father, who is currently helping coach at the college and has helped nourish his daughter’s talent since she was 5 years old.

“She was well coached by her dad,” said Lopez. “He pushes her, but she knows what it takes to become a champion. She is a division one athlete.”

Her father always advises her to “have fun” before every meet, and that is what she intends to do as she continues to chase her goals and pursue her dreams.

Although she has beaten several records and acquired an individual conference title, Lopez said that Macon still does not want to be team captain.

“She told me many times she wants to be treated like everyone else,” he said.

He said this is a characteristic he has seen in most of his top runners.

With two meets left for the season, Macon said one of her goals is for her team to stay united to beat Mount Sac, which is Glendale Cross Country’s biggest rival.

With her goals set for the rest of the season, she is already anticipating her coming years in college.

Macon’s dream school is Oregon State University, which she has wanted to attend since she was 7 years old. She is majoring in Health Science and has already received a letter from Hawaii Pacific University. Lopez said there have been many calls from schools interested in the freshman athlete.

“It is exciting to see someone excel like that and [to see] that she has a good future,” said John Cicuto, the school’s athletic director.

One of Macon’s dreams also includes competing in the Olympics.  She wanted to try out for the 2016 Olympics, but she does not know if she is ready. However, she said she can feel it when her body is prepared and when her mind is in the right place.

Being the number one runner at 18 years old, Macon is excited for what is to come in the next races and seasons ahead.