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Greensburg's Jackson - one of the nation's best throwers

Mar. 15—GREENSBURG — The 2024 outdoor high school track and field season is about to get started as athletes close out the indoor season with next weekend's state finals in Indianapolis.

One of those competing in the state finals is also one of the state's and nation's best throwers — Greensburg's Emarie Jackson.

Emarie is preparing for her final go-around in a Pirate uniform and the senior has high hopes for this season.

"I want to be a state champion. Hopefully, I can get that and then get another win at nationals," Emarie said.

Emarie won the shot put at last year's New Balance National meet at the University of Penn in Philadelphia. She also took fifth in the discus at the same national meet, earning her two-time All-America status.

She is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation in the shot put. Emarie is a four-time All-State athlete — two as a sophomore and two as a junior. Jackson finished second at last year's state finals in the shot put and third at the state in the discus.

Emarie is focusing on taking it a step up on the podium this season with a state title. What might be in her way? The nation's No. 1 ranked shot put athlete is also from Indiana, Bloomington North's defending state champion Hadley Lucas. These two will again be in the mix for the state title.

Early Introduction

Emarie started throwing in the sixth grade. But that was not her first time around the sport. Her father David was a thrower in high school and college and is the throwing coach for the Pirates.

"I started in sixth grade, but I have been around it my whole life. Dad being a coach, I was around it really young," Emarie said.

Having Dad as a coach lets Emarie get advice and encouragement even after practice.

"We talk about it all the time. When I wake up, that's what we talk about," Emarie said with her always present smile.

Early on, David saw potential in his daughter in the sport.

"When I saw her release and right hip action, I thought potentially there was something there," David said. "She has a live arm."

Potential is just the beginning. There is work that has to be done to take potential to greatness.

"It takes a lot of dedication with all the drill work and work in the weight room," David added.

The realization for Emarie that she had the chance to be great at the two throwing events came her freshman year. When she made it to the state finals, Emarie starting thinking she had a shot at being really good.

Present time

Emarie is the school record holder in both the shot put and the discus. She broke the school record, which she held, in the shot put at Bloomington this indoor season.

Emarie's record toss was 50-3.5 and put her in first place in the meet, until the final throw. Defending state champ Lucas threw 51-0 on her final throw to take top honors.

Emarie also has the school record in the discus and a personal best 153-11, set at last year's national meet.

Although Emarie is usually the favorite to win the throwing events for the Greensburg's meets, she battles the other competitors and strives to do the best she can each and every day.

"I want to capitalize on every moment. I want to maximize each meet and throw the best that I can on that day," Emarie said.

With all the technology available, the Jacksons know where Emarie ranks each week in the state and nationally. That can also help motivate Emarie.

"I know what I need to throw each week," Emarie added.

The offseason work is vital to keeping Emarie at her best. For her first three years of high school, Emarie played football, but that did deter her focus on her throwing workouts.

"After football practice, I would go throw until the sun set. It is all year long," Emarie said.

That dedication can weigh on an individual, but Emarie has some advice for those looking to get better at their sport.

"Embrace the suck," Emarie smiled again. "Especially the days you don't feel like being there. Take every opportunity and squeeze everything you can out of each day."

"Even when it is hard, don't quit," Emarie added. "I was not very good when I first started throwing, but I continued to work and got better."

Future

After Emarie completes her final throw in a Pirate uniform, she will prepare to compete at the Division I level at the University of Delaware.

How does a Greensburg athlete choose to become a Blue Hen?

"Coach Hill," Emarie said as her face lit up. "Coach Hill and and all the coaches were really great. They are great people. Coach (Darrell) Hill is an Olympian and I really wanted to train under him."

Hill, placed 12th at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, talked to Jackson before he locked down a coaching job.

"He saw me throwing at a meet and told me that he wanted me to throw for him," Emarie added. "He got the coaching job at Delaware and contacted me and the rest is history."

Contact Aaron Kirchoff at aaron.kirchoff@greensburgdailynews.com