By Gio Gennero | Sports Writer
Baylor track and field senior sprinter Kamden Jackson has found success in his running career thanks to his stubbornness.
“Anytime you see me step on to a track, I’m going to fight,” Kamden said. “No matter the race, no matter the weather. If I perform good or if I perform bad just know I’m going to fight every time. It’s what I came to do.”
Kamden has grown into an All-American and all-conference athlete; in high school he won four state championships. Winning hasn’t necessarily been the focus, to him, but more so a side effect of Kamden’s determined personality.
Karen Jackson, Kamden’s mother, said her son has always ran though life with a certain stubbornness that doesn’t allow him to quit. According to Karen, this has been apparent in Kamden and comes through in pivotal moments in his life. Going into high school, he was diagnosed with ADHD and his counselor suggested an alternative schooling track.
“Kam told her no, he wasn’t going to do that,” Karen said. “He told her he wanted to run and couldn’t do that on an alternative track. Kam is the person who if you tell him he can’t, he wants to prove to you he can.”
For the Baton Rouge native, Kamden said track has become something bigger than himself, and a large part of that is his family. Even in the middle of a race when he said he’s so locked in on running that nothing else exists, he can always hear his mother and grandmother in the stands. Even when they aren’t in attendance, he hears his family yelling “come on, Skip.”
“That just keeps me going, just thinking about that smile,” Kamden said. “Even when I lose, they are just so proud and it makes me feel good. It’s more than track, it’s more than just a sport. Whenever I step on that track it’s not about me anymore. It’s like, I’m about to go do whatever I can to keep that smile on their face.”
Kamden said he loves to keep a smile on his face at all times on and off the track; however, specifically on the track, Kamden has had to go to war time after time. He’s had to battle injuries that piled on top of the pressures already there. Fortunately, there was a good support system in place for him with his family and people at Baylor.
“[I have] a support system who didn’t give up on me when I gave up on myself,” Kamden said. “[I battled] injuries and the mental stress that comes with it. Not even just mental stress from track but just from life, growing up, becoming a man and going to school and everything.”
Over his four years at Baylor, Kamden has made it to nationals and has some strong accomplishments under his belt. He said he’s still hungry and determined to continue to keep climbing higher.
“One of my goals is I want to win a championship, whether that’s an individual championship or a championship as a team, I want a ring,” Kamden said. “I love to win, so I want that ring. That’s just me, that’s what I want. I don’t think I’m going to sleep right until I get a championship.”