Senior sprinter Jasmine Washington should seriously consider becoming an author because she has been rewriting the Gaucho track and field record books since she first stepped foot on UCSB.
On May 16, UCSB racked up 118 points at the Big West Track and Field Championship, which was not only the highest mark in school history, but almost doubled last year’s score of 63.
Washington largely contributed to the Gaucho’s resurgence by leaving her competition in the dust in the 400 meter. While Washington stood tall over her Big West counterparts with an impressive time of 53.58 seconds, she also succeeded in matching her record best time in the 400.
Assistant Coach Jeff Jacobs credits Washington’s unique drive for perfection to her success.
“She is very motivated. As a coach you always have to come up with ways to motivate,” said Jacobs.
“Not with her. She is self-motivated and has always been going all out; if there was ever a problem it was trying to hold her back.”
Matching her personal best was a feat all in its own, but the time was also the mark that eclipsed the school record she previously set this year. It was the third time this season she had succeeded in matching her personal best.
Washington, however, is no stranger to setting records She already holds the UCSB records in the 100 and 200, along with her 400 bar.
Additionally, Washington helped spearhead the 4×400 relay earlier this season on May 2 against Irvine in which her team shattered the school record with an jaw-dropping time of 3:47.31 minutes.
Washington began erasing the Gaucho record books as soon as she stepped on the scene her freshman year.
“At the meet I was running, my whole family was there,” said Washington. “I was really excited when I found out I had set the record because my family didn’t get to see me run that often.”
Matching her school record time in the Big West Championship marks a culmination of four years of tremendous success in the track and field program.
“It’s interesting how symmetrical her progression has been,” said Jeff Jacobs. “Her freshman year she finished in fourth place in the 400m and she was mad that she didn’t finish in the top three and didn’t get a plaque. Her sophomore year she finished third and still wasn’t satisfied. Her junior year she finished second and really wanted to win. After red-shirting a year she finished first this year and was able to qualify nationally; it was a really interesting progression.”
Washington attributed her drive to improve to her desire to see the team improve.
“I always know the team is counting on me to score points,” said Washington. “This time I knew people were counting me; it’s like a big family.”
Now, as a reward for her hard work and dominant performances, Washington will have a chance to prove herself and represent Santa Barbara on a much larger stage at the NCAA West Regional Championships.
“It is something I was building on my whole career,” said Washington. “It is really a culmination of hard work all my years here.”
Washington’s superior work ethic and a unique drive for success lets her exit the UCSB scene helping reload the UCSB track program and with a record book filled with her name. But how long will her records last?
“I don’t think it will be that long the way the program is growing,” said Washington. “Hopefully it will last a year, but I know for the program to improve they will have to be broken eventually.”
Washington will leave the program holding every sprinting record except for the hurdles.
“She is a very special athlete,” said Jacobs. “She is clearly the best sprinter we’ve had at UCSB.”