HARLINGEN — When Harlingen High thrower Jazmine Thompson first arrived on campus as a sophomore, she never imagined being where she is today.
The thought of competing for a state title never crossed her mind, let alone the idea of continuing her career at the collegiate level.
Harlingen High head girls track and field coach Hickel Woolery, however, saw something in the then-sophomore.
“The first time I met her, I got the impression she was something special,” Woolery said. “You can’t train size, but you can train certain things. I knew I had the capabilities to take her to the next level based on the knowledge I had. I knew if I could get her, she could do special things.”
Things have changed since the first day Thompson walked on campus, evolving into one of the top throwers not only in the RGV, but in the state.
From winning a trio of district titles, to back-to-back state meet appearances, Thompson has padded her resume the past two years.
She added NCAA Division I athlete to her already decorated resume Wednesday, officially signing her letter of intent to continue her athletic and academic career at Wake Forest next fall.
Wake Forest is an NCAA DI university located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Demon Deacons compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“It is definitely surreal,” Thompson said. “I never expected this to happen. When I hit junior year, I started to believe I could do this. I told my coach let’s make it happen and here we are now.”
Thompson’s high school career began in Sugar Land, competing for Fort Bend Dulles as a freshman. There she showed signs of her potential, earning a bronze in the discus throw during the District 20-6A meet.
As a sophomore, Thompson made the move to Harlingen High and the rest is history, with her career taking off while working with Woolery.
During their first year together, the then-sophomore made huge jumps in her marks in both the discus and shot put, while also qualifying for the Class 6A state meet for the first time in both events.
Last year proved even better for Thompson, capturing District 32-6A and Area 31/32-6A titles in both events, while also qualifying for state for a second straight year.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better coach,” Thompson said. “He has definitely gotten me to where I am. Without him, none of this would be happening. He is here for my best interests. He pushes me to go far because I know I have that potential.”
Thompson has already left her mark in both the program and the area’s history books, holding the top marks in school history in both the discus and shot put, while also ranking No. 1 all-time in District 32-6A and Area 31/32-6A.
She heads into her senior year with personal bests of 45 feet, 3.25 inches in the shot put and 156-02 in the discus.
Thompson isn’t done yet, however, eyeing an even bigger year during her final season before trading in her red and black uniform for the Demon Deacons’ black and gold.
“This year, everything is wrapping up so we feel like this is my big year,” Thompson said. “We’re thinking of one thing – gold. I just want gold. I want to win everything. I want to make my mark and put my stamp on my career.”