On Nov. 8, 2020, Jillian Stafford announced her verbal commitment to the University of California Los Angeles for track and field. Stafford’s future looks exciting at UCLA, the number one public university in the U.S., where she hopes to continue her rigorous academic history as well as her track and field career.
Stafford was also ranked 3rd in the nation for the hammer
Stafford’s dedication to reach the performance ability that she has achieved was not easy by any means, yet she continued to work towards improving in track and field. She has trained with her older brother, a Dana and UCLA alum, as he trains for the Olympic Trials and she trains for her future at UCLA. Stafford was also ranked 3rd in the nation for the hammer, according to Hammer Media. Furthermore, her skill and hard work were recognized by several other schools. She was recruited by the University of North Carolina, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, US Naval Academy, and West Point. However, she felt that UCLA was her best choice. She emphasized that being close to home was a big factor, as well as the weather and the support system that the coaches offer, which is ultimately why Stafford chose UCLA.
Stafford’s journey to success was not easy. She explains how she trains three to five hours every day for five days a week. Stafford describes how “it’s been really great seeing my hard work pay off,” although “every day isn’t easy … going to practice for hours a day and then coming home to do homework, not to mention how many times I’ve had to miss hanging out with friends.” Stafford describes the support of her coach as “pivotal” to helping her grow as an athlete. Despite the challenges she has faced, she would not change a thing, as it led her to this success of entering UCLA with a verbal commitment.
Staffords’s success serves as a reminder of what hard work can accomplish. The future certainly looks bright for her as she will continue to pursue her academic and athletic interests at one of the best Universities in the country this coming fall.
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