Former college standout Jessica James returns to track for T&T
After taking a year off after college to refresh her body, former Abilene Christian University (ACU) standout, Jessica James, is returning to the track. The 25-year-old Trinidadian, who competed in both the 400m and 800m while in college, told SportsMax.tv that she is dropping the 400m for her senior career.
James is a native of Couva, Trinidad and Tobago and a five-time CARIFTA Games medalist. She also has competed at World Juniors, World Relays, World Youth Games, Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Championships, and the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Championships.
In 2015, she was ACU women's Track and Field's first-ever winner of a Southland Athlete of the Week citation. She received the citation won the 600-yard run 1 minute, 23.53 seconds and on following day she won the 400-meter dash in 55.78s before running the second leg of ACU's third-place 4x400-metre relay team that was timed in 3:50.44.
She told SportsMax.tv that after graduating with a degree in Sociology she needed time for her body to recover.
“I took a year after the Olympic trials last year so that my mind and my body could rest,” she said while revealing why she decided to pursue the 800m.
“I think I am naturally good at the 800m. I have managed to run some really great times over the years without putting in the work that an 800m person would normally do so I have decided to put in that work for it and see where it takes me.”
James, who has personal bests of 54.2 in the 400m, 2:09 in the 800m and 1:31 in the 600m, said she has already begun background work and is already in good shape heading into the new track season.
“Even though I took my rest it was pretty much active rest. In between, I have been working out. I am just going to go through the offseason phase and see where it takes me for our first or second developmental meet but we won’t be having any meets until January or February (2018),” she said.
“Right now I am fit to a point but getting there but so far it doesn’t look so bad for next year.”
She has set some moderate goals for her first season back but said she is excited about the season ahead. “My main goal is to train hard, train smart, just continue putting in the work that it takes and I am looking at 2:04, 2:05, and I am still going to jump into a few 400m as well, hoping I can run some 52s and 53s because both events complement each other,” she said.
“My body feels rejuvenated, no aches, no pains or anything like that from college so now I am mentally ready.”