Jayden Ulrich: The Time For 2021 Is Now

Jayden Ulrich emerged as on the scene in 2019 with a state title and a runner-up medal for her efforts


It's hard to believe that Jayden Ulrich was just a blip on the track and field map entering the 2019 season. As a freshman for East Alton-Wood River High School, Ulrich dabbled in several oval events which included competing in a 200m race at the state sectional round. Ultimately, though, it was the shot put that earned her some notoriety as a fourth-place finish in the 2A classification.

The shot put is an event that has seen a transformation over the past 12 years with the likes of Dani Bunch (Mahomet-Seymour), Kelsey Card (Carlinville), "KD" Kathleen Young (Warrensburg-Latham), Lena Giger (Highland), Bailey Wagner (Grant), Emmonnie Henderson (Edwardsville), and Chloe Lindeman (Fulton). The magical 50-foot mark has been breached and it lends to the imagination for Ulrich to achieve and perhaps surpass her peers someday.

The 2020 season opened with so much promise as Ulrich set an indoor personal best of 47'8" which was good for US #3 at the time of the COVID-19 season shut down in early March. It is speculative as to how far she would have progressed, it is fair to say that she would have been the state's overall best thrower.

In a recent virtual tossing contest, Ulrich heaved this 155'9" performance in the discus throw. That effort was so good if it were an official mark, it would be the fourth-best effort since 2000 according to our Milesplit database. Ulrich has reportedly made big strides in her secondary event with 10 throws over 145' and several more that has landed past 150'. It was realistic to think the 160-foot territory is next when the season is reopened.

"Although the season was cut short, I have made steady progress in the discus and kept practicing shot put," said Ulrich. Obviously confident and ambitious when thinking about the big picture. She added: "I was upset that I didn't get to compete at the Indoor Nationals in New York and lost my whole season, but I knew I still had to work just as hard to maintain everything. I was excited for the state meet [too] because I knew I would be going up there with big numbers and would have hopefully had a chance to set a record in the discus and become the state champion in both events."