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Glory Days – Jackie Holt Clark

The Union Staff Clark
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On a sunny, probably breezy day in 1964, a track meet was being held at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo for all of the local middle schools.

I can look back on that day as one of excitement and accomplishment.

It was truly my glory day.



I knew I was fast. At 11-years-old I could run the 50-yard dash in 6.3 seconds. My sixth grade physical education teacher always told me I was Olympic material. But could I win three events – the 50 and 75-yard dashes and running broad jump – in one day?

I knew that the competition was tough. But on this particular day, just a few months shy of my 13th birthday, I could do no wrong in track and field.




What really amazed me was winning the broad jump. I had only practiced for that event for a short time that day. But in the end, I did it, winning all three events in the girls seventh grade division, collecting three blue ribbons for my efforts.

I always wondered did I win because I had eaten the right amount of carbs? Did I have a great warm-up? Did I pray to win? Was I really focused? Or was it something else? Was it just my day?

Reflecting on this accomplishment now at the age of 51, I appreciate that a divine intervention took place.

I was given my day in the sun.As long as I can remember, running has been a part of my life. I’ve enjoyed training and running in several half marathons, many 5 and 10-kilometer events, especially a run put on by the Reno Gazette Journal.

It was a thrill to be out for a day with thousands of other people who share the same passion to run. I know that special day in 1964 inspired me to continue to do well in the sport of running.

Even though my high school didn’t have a girls track team and I never again placed first, I will always have that great memory.

Unfortunately, because it has been 39 years since, I do not remember my times or how far I jumped that day.

I do remember having a nice write up in the San Mateo Times newspaper, which wrote that Jackie Holt was a ‘star’ in the seventh grade girls division.

And what a day that was!


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