HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — "We were all crying our eyes out because we're seniors and we just wanted to finish out our season."
That's was the reaction that Jessica Jennings and her teammates had when they found out that the rest of the track season had been canceled.
"It was just very devastating and sad," Jennings said, before adding, "and it also like kind of made me open my eyes to how big this whole thing was. If they're canceling spring sports they're canceling more than that in life right now and just how big an effect this is going to have on everybody."
Jennings is a three-sport athlete at Lake Hamilton, running cross country and track, while also swimming for the Red Wolves.
She's been running recreationally since first grade and has come to love the 3200 meters.
"The 3200 is a lot more mental," she said. "It's all about keeping one pace for a longer distance and I enjoy challenging myself to work on speed while trying to work on keeping that throughout the entire right and not just doing it right at the beginning or at the end of the race."
Jennings got a scholarship to continue her cross country and track career at Ouachita Baptist University. Though she wasn't sold on OBU at first, that changed when she set foot on campus.
" went and toured and I got the same feeling that I got from Lake Hamilton," Jennings said. "It's just a big community and team and overall the school wants to further not just their school but the community around them and help out."
She's planning on majoring in Biology and wants to go to medical school. With her background in athletics, a career in orthopedics seems like a perfect fit.
"I volunteered with the Sweetheart Program in 10th grade," she said, "I did over 100 volunteer hours at National Park Medical Center and I just fell in love with it there."
As she moves on, she wants to thank everyone at Lake Hamilton who supported her over the last three years.
"They've been a big influence in my life and where I'll continue," Jennings said. "And I want to remind them just to keep trying to be positive no matter what the outcome might be because I mean, as long as we keep that I think that we'll all keep improving and keep going in the direction that we want to."