Salute to Seniors: Jaden Jenkins of Byrnes

Cover photo by Perry McLeod

Name: Jaden Jenkins
High School: Byrnes
Event PRs: 

  • 110h: 14.38
  • 300h: 40.68
  • 400h: 58.02

Hobbies: Basketball, gaming, & graphic design

What was your most memorable race/competition?
For sure the race I'll always remember is winning state this season in the 110 hurdles. That race was bigger than just me because I dedicated that win to a fallen teammate of mine, Markell Nesbitt, who wanted to win a state title more than anyone else on the team.

Out of all your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most? 
Winning state for an individual event, but also contributing to bringing Byrnes High its first ever State Championship in track & field.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?
The only thing I wish I could've done would be getting started earlier in the sport. I feel like if my love for track started earlier I would've done so much more.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?
A couple of years ago I tore my hamstring during AAU season so the recovery from that was tough and sometimes the pain from it would linger on but I just had to learn how to push through the pain.

What will you miss most?
Definitely the atmosphere. High school track meets are where everyone really comes to prove themselves & show off their progress. The energy from the athletes, parents, & anyone else involved is unmatched.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes?
If track is something you really want to be good at you have to stay disciplined & determined. Your diet plays a huge role in how you perform. Also mentally, track is the toughest sport there is so if you can stay strong up top, the things you can do are incredible.

How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals?
Coming to Byrnes I wasn't the best athlete so all my coaches have played a huge role in my successes. They taught me that I should never be satisfied. That's there's always more to what I can do. That mentality is something that will not only stick with on the track but in life.

What kind of impact did your family have on your time as a high school student-athlete?
Family has a huge impact on anything I do. I've always wanted to do big things to make them proud & they've always been behind me supporting me 110% so I'm forever grateful for that.

What are your college or post-high school plans?
I will be attending Campbell University where I will be studying Mechanical Engineering and continuing my track career.

What do you hope to achieve after high school?
Getting my degree is going to be most important to me in college for sure & I also look forward to making even more progress as an athlete.

Do you see yourself coaching in the future? Please explain and if so, what level & why?
For sure I see myself coaching later once my career is done & even the people around me at my school have said so too. At Byrnes I had already found myself "coaching" some of the other hurdlers, trying to help them improve any chance I get. There's truly an art to hurdling that I love & any chance I have to help others no matter what level it is I'll take it.

Any shout outs?
Huge shout out to my mom who has been everything to me over the years. Also a big thanks to my coaches Jennifer Nesbitt, Johnny Nesbitt, Angel Nesbitt, Travis Alexander, & Steve McGill. Without all of you none of this would be possible. Lastly, to Coach Givens at Campbell, I can't wait to do big things with you these next 4 years.

If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be & why?
I want to one day travel the world & learn about different cultures. I have big dreams to become a professional hurdler so maybe that'll help me be able to visit other countries.