ARTICLE ON FORMER NYACK STUDENT-ATHLETE, ANNE JACKSON, FEATURED IN NCAA MAGAZINE
Article by Penny Foland, Nyack College Head Athletic Trainer
Click HERE for a link to the article in the NCAA Magazine
Runners always want to finish well and finish strong. When Nyack cross country team member Anne Elisabeth Jackson collapsed during a practice run Nov. 17 and died hours later, the response of friends and admirers was unanimous: Anne had finished her earthly life well.
Anne, a music education and vocal performance double major with the "voice of an angel," maintained a 3.97 GPA. She had begun running only in 2010. The week before her passing, Anne expressed excitement about her new found passion over dinner with her father. "Anne was extremely animated as she attested to the peace and joy she experienced while running," Gordon Jackson said. Her academic excellence, her musical gift and her budding athletics interest were surpassed only by Anne's love and compassion for others. Tributes from friends and leaders in the sports and college community said it all.
An unforgettable trait was Anne's smile.
"Every time I would see Anne, she was smiling," recalled Keith Davie, Nyack's director of athletics.
Wendy Muckell, her cross country coach, said: "She was every coach's dream. She taught me a lot."
Anne loved quotes attributed to American athlete Sasha Azevedo, who declared: "I run because it's my passion and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than a physical exercise. It's a consistent reward for victory!"
Latia Deyli, Nyack's assistant women's cross country coach, said Anne's response to the Azevedo quotes was, "That's why I run!"
Dan Mara, the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference commissioner, said the loss of Anne was felt deeply at all 14 CACC campuses. "As we have learned more about Anne and her life," he said, "it has become clear that she embodied all the outstanding qualities we seek to instill in the student-athletes of the CACC. It is very fitting that her spirit of sportsmanship be perpetuated and honored by the conference."
Putting action to those words, the CACC renamed its women's cross country team sportsmanship award for Anne and also made a generous $1,500 donation to the Anne Jackson Memorial Scholarship Fund established at Nyack. The CACC is a family, and the support given to the Jackson and Nyack family was heartfelt.
"Anne Jackson personified sportsmanship," Nyack President Michael Scales said. "She was competitive, yet she always wanted to bring out the best in everyone around her. Her character, integrity and care for others exemplified our core values. She will always be remembered as the kind of person we all want to become."
After Anne died, a cross country team member shared a fitting story with her father. "Anne and I were last in a run," the young man said. "I was ready to give up, but Anne said we could finish ... and we did!"