Jenna Prandini holds tight to her roots, #3, by Sam Fariss for RunBlogRun


Prandini_Jenna-Q-OlyTrials21w.jpgJennifer Prandini, 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, photo by Kevin Morris / Kevmofoto

Prandini holds tight to her roots

By Sam Fariss

Jenna Prandini is the definition of a track and field hometown hero. Raised in Clovis, California and an alumna of the University of Oregon, Prandini has held tight to her roots and support system.

Prandini's success began as early as 2011 when she competed for Clovis High School. She earned victories in the 100 meters, 200 meters and long jump starting at a young age - winning state titles in all three events - and her winning streak continued into college.

"I really wanted a team that would be competitive every year... Here it's the best of everything: You get a great team, great coaching, great facilities, and great academics," Prandini said about Oregon's program.

Prandini_Jenna-Q1-OlyTrials21w.jpgJennifer Prandini, photo by Kevin Morris / Kevmofoto

While competing for the historic University of Oregon track and field program, Prandini brought home three NCAA titles as well as a few second place and third place finishes for the Ducks.

College was not her first time competing at Hayward however, as the US Junior Championships were also held in Eugene - she earned a gold in long jump there as well. Frequently returning to Eugene for her collegiate career and now her professional races, Prandini has yet to fail in the world-renowned Hayward Field.

Prandini_Jenna-SF-OlyTrials21w.jpgJennifer Prandini, 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, photo by Kevin Morris / Kevmofoto

The first time Prandini qualified for the Olympics was at the US Track and Field Olympic Trials in 2016, coincidentally also held at Hayward, where she qualified for the women's 200 meter race in Rio - she finished 10th overall at the actual games.

Prandini found success at the Olympic Trials a second time, when they were hosted in Eugene once again, qualifying for both the 100 and 200 in Tokyo.

"It's exciting that it's here now finally... I feel like we've been waiting for it for two years. Just the fact that we get to step on the line and race at the Olympic Trials is exciting," Prandini said.

One accomplishment remains elusive to Prandini however; an Olympic gold medal. Winning silver in the women's 4x100 meter relay in Tokyo, Prandini earned the first Olympic medal of her career. Despite being a two time Olmypian, she has yet to earn herself a gold but maybe that will come at Paris 2024.

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