FAIRFIELD — Destination: Moscow.
That’s the goal former Fairfield High and University of North Carolina track star Dominique Jackson has set for herself this year, to be part of Team USA at the World Championships.
Jackson has come full circle since winning a California state championship in 2007, re-connecting with former coach Dave Monk in her quest to join the nation’s elite track performers.
She’s also the overall Sac-Joaquin Section 800-meter record holder, running a time of 2 minutes, 6.09 seconds in those state finals.
“I’ve been training since the spring time, since I’ve been back in California in hopes of making the world team,” Jackson said. “I’m living back home and getting a lot of support from my family.”
One thing Jackson isn’t getting is paid in her drive to be one of the world’s best. She is part of the Sacramento Running Association, but she doesn’t live there, so her income isn’t what it would be if she did.
“They are helping me out a little bit,” Jackson said. “I am doing a fundraiser. The SRA helps a little bit, but since I don’t live in the area, I don’t get all the benefits. This helps me raise money to get to meets.”
To earn a spot at the U.S. National Outdoor Championships at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, in June, Jackson said she will be running in all-comers meets at UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Los Angeles and at the University of Washington, looking to meet the outdoor qualifying standards.
Now under the watch of Monk, the current track coach at Armijo, Jackson is excited.
“I have made Armijo my training stomping ground,” she said. “(Coach Monk) does all the workouts and he’s the one pushing me. At first, it was like ‘OK, I’m used to this, doing the same things we did before but I was wrong.
“I’m getting my butt kicked. I’ve never felt better. I’m as fit as ever. I’m healthy, which is awesome. It’s great to have him as a coach again. . . . It’s a breath of fresh air to be back with Monk. I’m just taking it by each day. “I have a big goal in mind, but it’s also ‘go out and have fun.’ I’m excited to be back.”
Monk is just as excited.
“It’s been really encouraging to have her back,” Monk said. “We shared a rare chemistry between a coach and athlete (at Fairfield High). It’s exciting to work with her again. I felt like when she left, she had a ton of potential.”
Monk wants to tap back into that potential and see how far Jackson can take herself.
“I’m trying to get her to be realistic with herself,” he said. “The post-collegiate competitive scene is a difficult scene to survive, making a living of it without a lot of support. I told her we need to do it right . . . and she needs to be ready to challenged.
“We had to crank up the level. I wouldn’t take this on with her unless she wanted to do it right. She has raised the bar about what the work requires. The last six weeks she had legitimized herself. She has set some personal records in workouts. It’s starting to catch fire.”
A fire that Jackson hopes stays lit all the way to Moscow and beyond.
Reach Brian Arnold at 427-6969 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/barnolddr.