Jadyn Gerardi of Lick Creek leads team to national title
Jadyn Gerardi of Lick Creek has had quite a cross country career, considering she is only in the 6th grade. She just keeps adding to her resume every time she runs.
After winning the SIJHSAA championship at Du Quoin, where she ran faster than all the girls in both classes, she competed in Chillicothe at the Shazam State Championships, where she finished 15th overall, while competing against mostly kids from Chicago and the northern half of the state.
Most of the top competitors were 7th and 8th graders as well, and everyone competed in one class.
After a good showing in the state championships, Jadyn was picked up by the Chicago Speed Cross Country team to compete in the Cross Country Coaches National Youth Championships to be held in Paris, Ky., just outside of Lexington.
Gerardi didn’t just show up, she was there to compete.
Gerardi finished third overall in the 11-12 year old division, covering the very challenging 1.86 mile course in 11:08, which was a personal best time.
She led her Chicago Speed team to the national championship, just outpacing the Louisville Tigersharks by 2 points, on Nov. 22.
“Jadyn is really learning to race against some of the best runners in the country. She ran a really smart race, not getting out too fast, knowing her pace and where she needed to be,” coach Matt Denny stated.
Gerardi was 8th about halfway through the race as she sat in the back of a pack of six runners.
At that point she started to pick them off one at a time, to finish ahead of the entire pack by the end of the race.
“I think Jadyn can run at the front. She just has to get a little more experience and get used to how fast the best in the country get out and realize she can do it, but she is very smart and knows what she is doing. This all is a learning process,” Denny stated.
Denny said Jadyn Gerardi is a name you should get to know, and follow over the next several years. She is starting to make a name for herself on the national scene, which is just the beginning.