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Wisconsin native aims for Olympic Trials after consecutive NCAA titles

Posted at 12:41 PM, Apr 11, 2024

"When people ask what sport I do here? I'm like oh track. They're like oh what event? I'm honesty all of them," Back-to-Back National Penathalon champion Jadin O'Brien said.

O'Brien, a Pewaukee native, said that competing in her track and field sport for Notre Dame requires a lot of skills.

"Indoor season it's the pentathlon, and that's the hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump, and the 800," O'Brien said. "And then for outdoor? I'm a heptathlete which means I do all of those events plus javelin and the 200."

After a stress fracture in her left shin, a strained hamstring, and a torn ligament in her elbow, the 2023 champ said 2024 taught her all new lessons.

"My whole career, I've given the glory to God because that is the reason I'm able to do what I've been able to do and overcome what I've overcome," O'Brien said.

Growing up in Pewaukee with tons of successful athletes, O'Brien said there's something in the water.

"Just coming from that area? It's a very happy, safe, supportive environment," O'Brien said. "And a lot of kids can just thrive there. I think that that must have contributed to all the success."

Now after finishing 12th in the Olympic Trials as a freshman, O'Brien said there's one goal left.

"The end goal is to be healthy, ready to go for the Olympic Trials at the end of June. And then from there, the Olympics. And that's been my goal since I was 7," O'Brien said. "My grandpa is an immigrant from Ireland, and I grew up just hearing stories of like just how wonderful our country is, and yet it has flaws. But it has provided so much for my family. So much for other families. To represent the red, white, and blue? I don't know if there's a greater honor, for an athlete, in the world."

Prayers and the mental game have helped O'Brien, since being a Division I athlete is not always easy.