East Hampton’s Starr Shoots to Storrs
East Hampton’s senior track star Jessica Starr has committed to the University of Connecticut, making her announcement on Oct. 27.
“I am extremely excited to announce my commitment to continue running track and further my education at the University of Connecticut. I couldn't be more thankful to those who have supported me throughout this whole process,” stated Starr, who will major in political sciences with a minor in psychology.
It’s been a productive and eye-opening couple of years for Starr, who couldn’t have envisioned running at a Division I level when she first entered high school.
“The girl I was freshman year is not the girl that I am now. My freshman year I started track just to have that experience and I never really thought I would get the opportunity that I have now,” Starr said, “I worked pretty hard and when I saw my times start to hit the recruiting standards it was pretty amazing.”
Starr’s junior year was nothing short of spectacular. She broke the Class S state record in the 300 meter hurdles, running a personal and class-best 44.84, to win the event and helped the Bellringers win a state championship. She went on to top her own mark, running a 44.35 at the State Open the following week.
Her 300m time qualified her for The Outdoor Championships at the University of Oregon where she ran against the best hurdlers in the country.
It was in Eugene, Oregon when she first met UConn’s hurdling coach Erica Ferguson.
“I went up to introduce myself and I don’t think I would have gotten to where I am with UConn if I never did that. That’s why it was so great to go to Nationals because I was given that opportunity to introduce myself.”
After visiting some other colleges, Starr narrowed her choices to the state’s largest university and Bryant University. Ultimately it came down to being able to stay close to home, yet travel the country with the Huskies.
“I’ll have that opportunity to go places like Texas, Arkansas, and these big places like LSU. That is something that I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do,” said Starr. “I had an official visit with UConn and I connected with the girls, every single one of them, and both my family and I connected really well with the coaches.”
At Storrs, she’ll be joining forces again with 2020-East Hampton graduate Danielle Adams who is currently running track for the Huskies after also starring on last’s spring state championship team at EHHS.
Normally Starr, who is the Senior Class President at EHHS, runs cross country in the fall but decided against it this year, instead focusing on personal training and building strength for the Indoor and Outdoor track & field season and beyond.
This spring, the Bellringers will be aiming to defend their state title and Starr believes the team has the tools to make another run.
“I never thought what happened last year was possible, so I don’t know what this season will bring and that’s very exciting,” stated Starr, “We lost a couple girls last year and it was hard losing those girls, but I think we have some potential with the girls coming in. I think we’ll have to work hard but we are all willing to put in the work.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin