Record-setting youngster Jada Newkirk chasing Olympic dreams 

Twelve-year-old Jada Newkirk broke a longtime pentathlon record and is hoping her burgeoning track and field career eventually leads to the Olympics. (Cindy Chew/Special to The Examiner) - TWELVE-YEAR-OLD JADA NEWKIRK BROKE A LONGTIME PENTATHLON RECORD AND IS HOPING HER BURGEONING TRACK AND FIELD CAREER EVENTUALLY LEADS TO THE OLYMPICS. (CINDY CHEW/SPECIAL TO THE EXAMINER)
  • Twelve-year-old Jada Newkirk broke a longtime pentathlon record and is hoping her burgeoning track and field career eventually leads to the Olympics. (Cindy Chew/Special to The Examiner)
  • Twelve-year-old Jada Newkirk broke a longtime pentathlon record and is hoping her burgeoning track and field career eventually leads to the Olympics. (Cindy Chew/Special to The Examiner)

Jada Newkirk’s “what I did last summer” essay should be an interesting one.

Competing for San Francisco’s Team Onalysis, the 12-year-old San Mateo resident shattered a pentathlon record at the Region 14 USA Track and Field Multi Event Championships in Livermore.

Newkirk broke the age-division record that had stood for 17 years by tallying 2,704 points in the five-discipline event. The young pentathlete qualified for the National Junior Olympic Championships in Wichita, Kan.

It was hot in Kansas the last week of July. Newkirk playfully debated with her mom, Teleza Newkirk, whether the temperature was 113 or 115 degrees on race day.

“We practice in 58-degree weather all year,” intercedes coach Otis Campbell.

The first four events went well. Newkirk racked up 868 points in the 80-meter hurdles and had no problem heaving the shot put, her weakest event, almost 24 feet. The high and long jumps followed, and the young star was excited to be in second place leading up to the day’s final event, the 800-meter race.

“I was so dizzy,” said Newkirk, who suffered from dehydration during the race. “But I was determined to get across that finish line.”

Newkirk did finish and proudly assumed her position on the podium — after the ceremony was delayed for 20 minutes pending her subsequent hydration and recovery — as the recipient of the seventh-place medal for her division with a final score of 2,183 points.

“She gave it her all the whole day from beginning to end,” Campbell said. “Her goal was to get a medal and she got the medal.”

On July 27, the Newkirks arrived home, delighted not to be in Kansas anymore. On July 30, Jada won a completely different type of pentathlon.

At the 2011 Miss California (North) Pre-Teen Pageant in Santa Clara, Newkirk was awarded best actress, casual wear winner and most promising model while being named fourth runner-up in the photogenic category. There she took the top rung of the podium as she accepted the crown of queen.

Now it’s back to school for the seventh-grader at Katherine Delmar Burke School in San Francisco. Newkirk is running cross country for the school’s team, as well as with Team Onalysis.

The spirited runner needs to keep training in order to attain the ultimate medal.

“I hope to be an Olympic gold medalist in 2020,” Newkirk said. “In long jump and heptathlon.”

Her short-term goal is to be crowned 2011 National Pre-Teen Queen in Anaheim in November.

 

Team Onalysis

WHAT: A developmental track and cross country team for kids 6 to 18

INFO: www.teamonalysis.org or (510) 459-1501

RECORD RUN: Jada Newkirk broke the 17-year-old pentathlon record at the Pacific Association USATF Region 14 Multi Event Championships for her age group.

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David Liepman

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