FAIRFIELD — Dominique Jackson was probably told a bazillion times not to run in the house as a kid.
Not only did she run indoors earlier this month, she ran real fast – fast enough at the Husky Classic at Dempsey Indoor to earn a berth in the upcoming USA Indoor Nationals in Albuquerque, N.M.
The former Fairfield High standout won her section in the 800-meter run in a personal-best 2 minutes, 6.00 seconds, beating her previous PR of 2:07.75 from 2010 and the qualifying standard of 2:08.50.
In fact, Jackson felt so good at the end of the race she was sure she hadn’t run fast enough to qualify. Then officials told her she had an unofficial 2:05.94, which turned into an official 2:06.00.
“Honestly, I’m going to tell you, I did not think I ran that fast,” Jackson said. “How the race went, I felt really strong the last 300 (meters) when I moved. I said, ‘If I feel that well, I’m not running that fast.’ ”
Jackson was floored when she found out that, indeed, she had.
“Overall, the feeling of just running fast and running 2:06 flat or 2:05 . . . was just awesome,” Jackson said. “I had to work my way into it that night – ‘Did I run that fast?’ I had to go on a 2-mile cool-down (run) because I was so excited. It felt so good. I qualified by two seconds, now just go have fun at USAs.”
Indoor races can be anything but a run in the park, especially when it’s a crowded field and the indoor track has only five or six lanes. Nobody likes to share.
“Indoors there’s a lot more contact (than outdoors),” Jackson said. “There aren’t as many lanes, of course, six lanes, being able to move when you want to is kind of difficult. In the (qualifying) race I wanted to move before last 300 meters. I couldn’t because I couldn’t find a position to pop out and go. . . . It’s a lot smaller. When you’re trying to run fast, you’re running with a bunch of girls.”
Jackson, who won the 800 title at the 2007 CIF State Championships while at Fairfield, compared the race in Seattle to the 2006 state finals in which she finished third.
“It was a crazy race where all the girls were across the whole track like in a line, six or seven. It was kind of like that,” she said. “When you want to move, someone’s next to you. There’s a lot more contact indoors than outdoors.”
Dempsey Indoor has a generous 307-yard permanent track, meaning it took approximately 2 1/2 laps to cover the 800 meters. The Indoor Nationals will be held March 2-3 on a 200-yard banked track at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
“I’ve been doing like 2 1/2 (laps) up in Washington,” said Jackson, who is affiliated with the Sacramento Running Association. “Now I have to do four again. I’m used to it since I did four (lap races) in college (at North Carolina), but it’s a lot more tactical.”
Jackson will speaking at Fairfield High’s Black History Program, Thursday, in the school library at 6:30 p.m. In the coming weeks there will also be a spaghetti feed and possibly a car wash to help in fund-raising efforts to defray the costs of the trip to Albuquerque.
As for once she’s there, Jackson’s hoping to run three races: preliminaries, semifinals and finals.
“The key is going out and running smart,” Jackson said. “A lot of those ladies are going to go out fast. I have to be patient . . . It’s a matter of running my race and hopefully make it to finals and go out and run hard.”
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.