Jessica Jericoff has had a busy week. She graduated from Oakdale High School on Friday, May 21 and also made a decision on her future. The former Mustang has signed her letter of intent to attend Southern Utah University this fall. She will participate in track and field there, throwing for the university in Cedar City, Utah, suiting up for the T-birds.
During her time at Oakdale High School, Jericoff was very active in the sports programs. She wrestled and ran track. In January of 2019 Jericoff was on the wrestling team. Her older brother was also a wrestler and that helped spark her passion for the sport.
“My brother wrestled so I loved it. I would watch him from the stands and I would be so proud of him,” said Jericoff.
Her time on the team would take a turn as she suffered an ACL injury that ended her season. She sustained a torn ACL in her right leg. However, after many obstacles, including a tough road to recovery, the pandemic and uncertainty, she focused on her true love, throwing.
Prior to becoming one of the section’s premier throwers, Jericoff was involved in travel softball and track. She realized that she was not the fastest person on the track and decided to join throwing both discus and shot put.
“I approached coach Brett Chappell and I immediately fell in love with the sport,” recalled Jericoff.
When the pandemic hit, Jericoff spent her time at home. Fresh off recovery from her surgery, she decided to work out from home to improve with her throws. She and her father, Steve, got all the necessary materials and constructed a throwing ring in their country home yard. Jericoff would practice throwing at home and into the neighbor’s pasture.
“I am so grateful for them. Allowing me to throw into their field has helped me power up and work on my craft,” the new OHS grad said.
Like many other student-athletes during the pandemic, the recruiting process has been unorthodox to say the least. Jericoff was determined to get into college and continue her throwing career as well. In August of 2020 she began the process.
“To be honest, it was a downer. You could not meet with the coaches or staff face-to-face, on campus visits were odd because you were not allowed to do or see much,” she explained.
Later that fall she went to Southern Utah University and felt an instant connection.
“I love everything about it. I like the location, everyone (that she had a chance to meet and talk with) was welcoming, the scenery is breath taking,” noted Jericoff. “I am a mountain girl at heart so this checked all the boxes.”
Between her injury, the pandemic and a shortened senior season, Jericoff made the most of her high school days and worked hard to accomplish her goals. She said, however, that she did not do this on her own and thanked those who helped her along the way.
“No goal is achieved by any one person. I am very fortunate to have such a great support group with me,” she said.
She offered thanks to her parents, Steve and Cheryl Jericoff; coach Chappell; her trainer Suzy Powell (former United States Olympian); neighbor/pasture owners Stan and Donna Cook for allowing her to use their pasture during practice at home and her teammates throughout the years.
“I could not do anything without my parents and coach Chappell is amazing,” Jericoff summarized. “The best at what he does.”