Sophomore Jasmine Deckard has been filling up the stat sheets and racking up hardware in her second year at Missouri Southern. A native of Little Elm, Texas, Deckard has been running since she was seven years old and has never looked back.

Deckard runs the 100m and 200m dashes and excels at both. Deckard enjoys the 200m them most, as it “isn’t too short or too long.”

When asked about her favorite thing about the sport, her response is that of a champion. 

“The end result and seeing myself progress. Perfecting on what I’m doing keeps me going,” Deckard said.

Perfection is often a far-fetched term when it is used in sports. Pitching a perfect game in baseball or softball is highly unlikely, but not impossible. In football, a quarterback completing all his passes is unlikely, but not impossible.

In track and field, it seems like perfection can be obtained by improving in each race. Setting obtainable goals and achieving them day in and day out is perfection in Deckard’s eyes. 

To keep herself focused, Deckard puts a goal in a personal diary before each event. This goal is usually a time to strive for, or even beat.

“Being hard on myself helps me do better for the next meet,” she said. 

As her own biggest critic, Deckard said these methods have helped her improve each race, helping her to set personal records in almost every event.

Every great athlete has someone he or she looks up to. Role models help athletes have something to strive for.

Deckard has a humble soul in victory and defeat, which may stem from the athlete she looks up to most: Olympic world champion Allyson Felix.

Deckard said Felix’s humility, even after all her successes, is what makes Felix her greatest role model.

Deckard has strived to make Southern her home. As an elementary education major, she is open to the idea of staying in Joplin after graduation. She enjoys the quiet nature of southwest Missouri and would embrace a career here.

Deckard attributes her academic success to her philosophy of “school comes before practice.”

She enjoys her training regiment, which she describes as being extremely balanced. She practices during the mid-day and is finished by 5:30 p.m. This allows her to focus on her studies while maintaining an elite athletic skillset.

In her spare time, she enjoys shopping with friends, hanging out and relaxing.

Hailing from Texas, Deckard was embraced by the team, which is what makes her feel at home.

“When I got there, the team wanted to get to know me and I liked that,” Deckard said.

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