1st in state

If you had to pick one word to describe Jaida Barrows, it would have to be awe-inspiring. 

In addition to her 4.0 GPA, in April, she was recognized for her state-wide leadership. Now she's done another amazing thing. Jaida placed 1st in State in Cross Country in the Ambulatory division. Just qualifying for that meet is no small feat, but that never deterred her for one minute.

“She has the heart and determination of a lion,” said athletic director, Jason Coburn.

Jaida, now a junior at Kelso High School, starting running in 8th grade. With her poor vision and cerebral palsy, this is quite challenging. She ran cross country in Regionals in 9th grade, trained all last year through the pandemic, and made a goal of getting to State by her senior year. Even after taking time out for the two recent surgeries to help with her walking, and subsequent physical therapy, she accomplished that goal a whole year early.

This year in cross country she went to Regionals and broke her personal record with a time of 24.11 for 1.5 miles. At State last weekend, she broke another personal record with a time of 39.03 for 2 miles – down by nearly a minute from her previous best. And, she was the only female in her division at both regional and state meets. Another testament to the incredible hard work and grit it takes to get there.

On Tuesday, she led a parade of student athletes through the halls of Kelso High in celebration of several school successes for cross country, girls soccer, and varsity football. 

Congratulations, Jaida. And thank you for being a source of light and inspiration for us all.