Family Hurdles

Brothers at St. Mary’s High School Win State

Jamar Marshall, 17, and his brother Jadyn, 15, have been collecting track and field titles across the country for years now. With countless accolades under their belts—including Jamar’s recent state record-breaking 110m high hurdles run at the California State Track & Field meet this spring—the two brothers from Saint Mary’s High School are hurdling toward success, one race at a time.

“I already have my mind made up that I want to go to college for track and one day make it to the Olympics,” Jadyn says. “I do not want to be an average runner who does average things. I want to find things that can separate me from someone else.”

The secret to these boys’ success is each other.

“Competition versus my brother is great for me because I have the best training partner in the country,” Jadyn says. “I look up to him as an athlete because I inspire to be better than him.”

Jamar adds, “We have always been competitive with each other, by comparing times, touchdowns, and points. Who is going to have bragging rights in the house?”

The boys’ track coach at St. Mary’s, Myke Lewis,  sees the boys’ relationship first hand.

“Coaching them is a joy,” he says. “It’s different. You have two of the most fierce competitors living in the same household.”  That sibling rivalry, he says, builds a different bond than other athletes.

Jamar and Jadyn started their track and field careers at 10 and 9 years old respectively. Both settled into hurdles when they realized they weren’t going to be the best runners on a team—a solid plan for two young men who pride themselves on being the best.

“I would barely make finals [in running],” Jamar shares. “So, my mom asked me would I like to try hurdles.”

The boys’ mom went all in, crafting hurdles out of PVC pipe she bought from Home Depot and introducing Jamar to a friend of hers who had competed in track at a collegiate level.

Her hard work has paid off. Jamar and Jadyn have been racking up awards ever since. At 10 years old Jamar ran the 80m hurdles against 11 and 12 year olds and placed 5th in his first-ever AAU Junior Olympics the same year. Jadyn made it to state finals as a freshman and was celebrated as the fastest freshman hurdler in state history.

“I have so much to be proud of and so many accomplishments,” Jamar says.

“Most people don’t get a chance to compete against their younger brother, but I do. I want us to be like Seth and Steph Curry.” – Jamar Marshall, St. Mary’s Track & Field

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