As our winter athletic season approaches its finish line, we are already celebrating our stellar standouts — including senior captain of the Indoor Track team Jada Kenner ’24. Jada’s track career at Western Reserve Academy is studded with remarkable achievements, and she has long secured her place as a star in our school’s track history. She finishes this season strong, with multiple PRs, most recently placing 8th in the 60 meter dash at the Spire Showcase — a meet Head Coach Erik Chaput describes as “the Millrose Games of the Midwest.”
Jada has been a part of the Indoor Track team since its start in 2021, and her records in the 60 meter, 200 meter, and 400 meter dash have set the standard to beat in years to come. She has also set numerous outdoor records, making her our most decorated sprinter in WRA history. Last spring, at the Longstreth Relays, she won the marquee 200 meter dash with a new PR — a record that had been previously held by Kirsten Gauthier ’86, who had passed away earlier that year after bravely battling ALS. You might say a baton was passed, and one that Jada now carries with a great deal of pride and respect.
Having run competitively since she was 9 years old — following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather who both ran track — Jada’s love of the sport runs deep (so to speak). After running for so many years, she can say that what she likes most is the sport’s combination of individual and shared success.
“Everything is very individualized and gives me the chance to critique my form, block starts, etc.,” she described. “I also love how each person gets to focus on their own event but later come together to compete as a team (such as with relays) or even cheer for one another.”
And this season has provided much cause for celebration. One of the proudest moments she recalls is crossing the finish line after a tough 300 meter race at the Spire Holiday Classic, when she and her teammate Mia Maze-Ingram ’25 placed first and second overall. At this same race, Jada won the 200 meter and placed fourth in the 60 meter dash. Fellow teammate Elias Vail ’25 reached a new PR in the 200 meter race, placing 8th overall. Her co-captain Carter Fleming ’24 broke the five-minute barrier in the daunting 1600 meter run for the first time in his WRA running career, and Tavin Jones ’25 took 6th place in the 400 meter race. A crowning day for the WRA Indoor Track team, to say the least.
Of course, all athletes face their fair share of setbacks from time to time, but when Jada has a difficult or disappointing practice, she is not discouraged for long. A phone call to her mom can set her back to rights (a superpower all moms wield), and Jada takes the time to review her process and finetune what might be improved — block starts, knee drive, foot placement, etc. This commitment and devotion undoubtedly is one of the reasons she was selected to be a team captain and sets a standard of excellence for the role, another reason she can feel proud of her athletic tenure at WRA.
And if this is how she handles her setbacks — the obvious next question is what is her favorite way to commemorate the proud moments?
“I get myself ice cream!” she shared.
Now that’s a celebration we can all get behind. Congratulations to Jada — and the entire track team — on an exhilarating season so far. It just might call for a trip to Coldstone (or Lulus!) to really ring in the victory!