After a fantastic outdoor track season last year, one in which she earned All-Metro outdoor track Performer of the Year honors, it was unclear just how much better McDonogh senior Jada Seaman would get in her final indoor track campaign.
Turns out that Seaman had her own goals in mind and was ready to get to work shortly after the outdoor season ended.
“At the beginning of last season, she had a goal that she wanted to jump 20 feet [in the long jump],” McDonogh coach Devin Robinson said. “That has been her goal since last year at New Balance Nationals. So we started putting in the work, she worked hard in the summer, in the fall, went to track. Even over winter breaks and Thanksgiving breaks she could have not worked out if she didn’t want to, but she really put in the work.”
It showed, particularly in her performance at the IAAM the championships. She started by winning the 55 dash in 7.0 seconds, breaking the previous conference record by 0.13 of a second. She would later better that performance at the New Balance Nationals Indoor, running it in 6.94 seconds for the fastest 55 in the state this year.
She took second in the 300, running a 40.14 and finishing behind Bella Whittaker of Mount de Sales, who set the conference record in her victory. That second-place finish was still good enough for the fifth fastest time in the state.
And in the long jump, she set herself up for the New Balance Nationals by winning by nearly 3 feet, clearing 19 feet, 3.5 inches — nearly an inch better than the previous IAAM record.
At the national meet, she reached her goal, jumping 20 feet, 5 inches, third overall in the nation and the furthest jump in the state by over a foot.
For Robinson, all of these results came from the extra work that Seaman put in when no was watching.
“I think really this year she started honing in on my talent alone is not going to get me to where I want to be, it’s going to take some work,” Robinson said. “Her understanding that and really internalizing that and really putting in the hard work as well is what pushed her to this level. She was there before, she’s always had the talent and I have always seen the potential in her. But her putting in the work and taking that extra mile, making sure she’s going to the weight room and finishing those workouts. Those little extra things along the way really put her over the edge and put her where she is now. I’m extremely proud of her.”
Seaman’s hard work was a shining example to her teammates and one that pushed them to surprise many when they defeated favored Mount de Sales, 156.5-154, to win the IAAM championship.
“She was very crucial to our team success,” Robinson said. “Mount de Sales was the favorite and I said that to them almost every day. When we were doing things like wall sits or core work, I told them we have to put in the work. It’s about who wants this championship the most. Those girls they really wanted it and having Jada’s leadership with that indoor team is what really helped us to win that indoor championship. They really fought for it, I was really proud of them, they supported each other, they pumped each other up. The camaraderie on the team is a result of Jada’s leadership and the other captains, they really enjoy each other’s company, they push each other and it’s a really good team experience.”
Though Seaman has goals for the outdoor season, including getting to 21 feet in the long jump, she will also be preparing for her next step as she is set to run track for the University of Virginia starting next fall.