SDSU 6k record holder Jessica Kain comes from a family of endurance and success – The Daily Aztec


Jessica Kain, who broke the school record in a 6km race at the end of September, comes from a family of national and world champion athletes

Senior Jessica Kain is part of the San Diego State women’s cross country and track and field team. Kain comes from a family of professional athletes. His parents were both triathlon athletes, graduating from UC Santa Barbara and later competing in the Olympic trials for distance triathlons.

Kain was born in Santa Cruz, a small knit coastal community south of the Bay Area. It is also known as a runners community with great runners known to hang out in the area. The beautiful, natural terrain of Santa Cruz’s many trails was the perfect place for Kain to enjoy his long-distance runs.

Thanks to his parents’ long running careers, Kain grew up more athletic than most. When Kain was only 3 years old, she participated in her first triathlon. Later in her teens, she started playing football and athletics.

“I knew I had to be an athlete,” Kain said.

Around the time college started, Kain began to take racing more seriously. Yet it wasn’t until the freshman year of high school, when she developed a stress fracture in her leg, that Kain had to make a decision about her future.

The decision to continue playing football or competing as a runner was a tough one, but deep down Kain knew running was her calling. As his parents ran throughout his childhood, the idea of ​​becoming a runner was not new to Kain.

“Both of my parents are my biggest influence,” Kain said.

Kain’s father, Pete Kain, won four world championships, and his mother, Shari Kain, is in the X-Terra Hall of Fame (which is a certain mountain bike used in triathlons). She also participated in the women’s Tour de France. Both of his parents now own their own triathlon teams and train professional athletes.

Kain’s brother, Jeremy, is currently a freshman at Duke University competing in cross country and track and field. He holds the world record for the fastest 12-year-old miler. His time was 4 minutes and 36 seconds.

On September 17, Kain became the fastest 6k runner in SDSU history. In the race which consists of four miles, his time was 20:46.7, about five minutes for each mile. The previous record was set in 2017 by Christine Kent who ran 20:47.8 at the UC Riverside Invitational.

Kain is looking forward to continuing and achieving his goals. She is very goal-oriented and preaches about her visualization techniques to help her stay focused before every run.

“I want to break (the record) again,” Kain said. “I am my own competitor.”

Kain wants to keep breaking his own record and keep testing his limits. It drives her every day to keep going, even when the 20-30 hours a week she dedicates to sport seems impossible.

Beyond the trails and the track, she plans to turn her love for running into a job like her parents did. A runner’s visualization and mindset is one of their main factors for a great race.

“(Cross-country) is so tough mentally,” Kain said.

Kain plans to work with athletes to break down their mental barriers by writing a book or creating an app. Kain reads many books on visualization techniques, she also specializes in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on communication, hospitality and stability.

Kain also has a passion for helping the environment and people who aren’t athletes. Kain’s track team talked about doing events in the near future to help the San Diego community. She says the city has become her new home and wants to help the homeless.

She wants to go to shelters and on the streets to provide essential items, especially during the holiday season.

“Giving back to my community is what I take away from living in Santa Cruz,” Kain said.

Kain’s running career will continue after his time here at SDSU, his goal is to run professionally, competing in the 2024 Olympics for the 1500 meter race.

Title IX gave the women plenty of opportunities to show off their talents for all to see. Kain says she’s proud and wants to show young runners that they can be good athletes, but that doesn’t mean giving up.

“I’m a strong woman,” Kain said. “I’m not just a runner, it’s not what you do that defines you, it’s who you are.”

Kain plans to race for the rest of his life even after his competitive career is over.

“Once a runner, always a runner,” Kain said.

Kain was the All-Mountain West Outdoor Track Team in 2021, as well as the Mountain West Cross Country Athlete of the Week in September.

Last season, Kain finished 11th at the Mountain West Outdoor Championships in the 1,500 meters with a time of 4 minutes and 30 seconds. She placed 25th overall in the 1,500 meters in the NCAA West outdoor preliminary rounds.


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