The sport of running may be one of the oldest and most basic forms of competition. For Orange Lutheran senior Jane Freeman, it is where she finds her joy.
“I genuinely love running,” says Freeman. “I think that’s kind of weird to people, but it makes me happy and allows me to get out any feelings that I have. It’s something that I love…and there’s a feeling I get with it that I can’t get anywhere else.”
Freeman is a 400-meter specialist for the Lancers track and field team and has been a varsity member since her freshman year. She competes in both the 400-meter and 4 x 400 meter relay events and has found her niche in what is a challenging distance to race.
“It’s a very difficult event, but I like that it pushes me and allows me to work hard,” says Freeman. “I like distance events, but I don’t have the stamina for it, so I think I just kind of met in the middle of sprinting and distance. It’s the perfect fit for me. I don’t think I could do anything less, and I don’t think I could do anything more.”
Freeman has used her high school track experience to not only better herself as a runner, but to develop her leadership skills as one of the team’s captains.
“I think a big part of me being a leader is just encouraging other people, especially in practice…and allowing them to know that they’ve worked hard for what they’re doing,” says the 18-year old.
Freeman was instrumental in helping the girls team secure the 2019 CIF-SS Division 3 Runner-Up title last spring. Former OLu track and field head coach Marvin Davis spoke about Freeman at February’s National Signing Day event on campus and referenced how her skill as a generational athlete and her ability to lead her teammates have been large contributors to the program’s recent success.
“Your leadership, your ability to hold others accountable, your candid optimism and your relentless effort to make others believe in the team vision are only a few of the characteristics that describe the type of athlete you are,” said Davis of Freeman.
Freeman will be taking her skills to Vanguard University in the fall, where she will compete for the school’s track and field team while studying elementary education. She feels blessed to have her parents and supportive teammates in her life, and she credits her older sister and best friend, Olivia, for being an inspirational role model.
“My sister is the most motivational person in my life,” says Freeman. “I look up to her in many ways. She’s an incredible person, and she loves God. She’s super kind to other people, and she’s hilarious in every way.”
In her spare time, Freeman enjoys roller skating with her friends, and she is also active in her church, Harvest Christian Fellowship, where she has served as a volunteer at Harvest Crusade events. When it comes to feelings of anxiousness or nervousness that come with being a student athlete, Freeman leans on her faith to keep her calm.
“I feel like God is the only person who can give me a sense of peace,” says Freeman. “I’ll just pray, and I know that God is giving me the strength. He’s given me this gift to serve Him…and allowed me to know that I’ve been training for this and that I have the strength to do it. I know it all comes from Him.”