SHS grad Jasmine McMullin enjoying record-setting season at Western

Jasmine McMullin headed to Division II nationals for triple jump


By leaps and bounds

After nearly four years of sweat and toil, Jasmine McMullin — then a high school senior from Sequim — had made the biggest leap of her athletic career, a place on the medal stand at the Washington state 2A finals.

Bigger things upon a grander stage were in store, however, and she wasn’t sure she wanted to jump in once again.

“I was so unsure whether I wanted to even try to get on the team at Western,” says McMullin, now a junior at Western Washington University in Bellingham.

“I contacted the coaches and they said I could walk on,” she recalls. “It was a very last-minute decision. Track turned into such a huge part of my life. It was a good last-minute decision.”

Good for her, and for the Vikings too. In her third year at Western, the 2013 Sequim High grad has become one of the top Division II triple jumpers in the nation.

On Feb. 20, McMullin launched to a mark of 40 feet, 1.25 inches, to win the triple jump at the Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor Track & Field Championship in Nampa, Idaho. Her effort is a WWU best and set a Northwest Athletic Conference Indoor meet record. It likely will be a top-five mark among all Division II colleges this year, WWU coaches noted.

Western Washington coach Pee Wee Halsell recalls McMullin as an incoming freshman.

“We try to look at people (performing at) a conference level — she was at the back end of that, to be honest,” Halsell says. “We had a pretty good rich tradition of the triple jump in the conference.

“We had growing pains in her early years but that’s (true) with anybody. It’s her work ethic. To see her development, even this year from last year, is amazing.”

McMullin and Western teammates Miranda Osadchey (high jump) and Travis Milbrandt (60-meter hurdles) compete at the NCAA II Indoor Track & Field Championships, set for March 11-12 in Pittsburg, Kan.

“I was just lucky to even get on the team,” McMullin says now. “I didn’t have any huge goals, maybe make some friends. I wanted to get better in college … but I never dreamed of doing something like this.”


Jasmine McMullin competes for the Sequim High  Wolves as a junior in April of 2012. After three seasons as an alternate to state McMullin earned a pair of top-10 finishes at the state final as a senior.  Sequim Gazette file photo by Michael Dashiell



McMullin’s track and field career began with her father Brian McMullin, who would take her and younger brother Paul to run nearly every day in the summer. Her father noticed her athletic talent and suggested a number of times she had the potential to compete at the college level.

In July of 2009, just prior to McMullin’s freshman year, Brian suffered a heart attack and died while the two were out for a run.

“It was just really hard,” McMullin said in a previous interview. “(We) were really close, so I was really, really heartbroken.”

She credited her Sequim High School teammates’ friendliness and welcoming attitude for her sticking with the sport.

For three years at Sequim High McMullin posted strong efforts on the track, showing particular promise in both long jump and triple jump events and in Sequim’s 4×200 and 4×400 relays. After leaping to identical 32-foot, 7-inch season bests in the triple jump as a freshman and sophomore, McMullin hit 33 feet, 2.5 inches as a junior. The marks were good, and it earned her a spot at the state meet each year — but only as an alternate.

It was in 2013, her senior season, that McMullin broke through, vaulting to a 36-foot, 4.5-inch triple jump at the Olympic League championships that set a school record. She broke her own record at a sub-district meet a week later, then broke off a 36-foot, 8.5-inch triple jump at a district meet that remains her top prep mark.

She went on to place third at the state 2A meet with a 35-7.25 effort in the triple jump and missed the medal stand in the long jump by one place, taking ninth overall with a 16-foot, 7.5-inch leap.

Her triple jump and long jump were tops on the North Olympic Peninsula that year.

Still, McMullin was unsure if she wanted to take on track at the next level.

Now, as McMullin puts it, “I can’t even imagine what Western what be like without track.”

Wear and tear

As the Western track coach at Western sees it, the triple jump simply isn’t for everybody.

“You’ve got to have decent speed, good resilience and strength; it’s probably the toughest (event) on the body,” Halsell says. “You have to know when to rest, when to push through things. Plus, you’ve got three jumps, not just the one, so it’s coordination.”

McMullin says she’s suffered some of those aches and pains.

“You can’t be afraid of shin or knee problems,” she says. “Triple jump is really hard on your body. It looks difficult to learn. I think once you get started and just get the timing right, it’s really fun to bounce the air.”

Says Halsell, “You’ve got to know what your body’s doing. That’s a big part of where her growth has been. She’s done a lot of work on the field as well as off.”

The work paid of with marked improvements in her freshman and sophomore years at WWU. Now McMullin is competing with the best Division II triple jumpers.

Halsell says McMullin may have bigger leaps in her future.

“Time will tell,” he says. “Yes, we can refine (her jump). I can see places where we can tweak her landing.

“How much further?” Halsell muses rhetorically. “That’s a good question.” A 41-foot jump is possible he says.

“She’s becoming more and more consistent.”

Plus, the WWU coach says, McMullin approaches her training with a good attitude.

“She’s good to work with, and fun, a sense of humor,” Halsell says.

McMullin says she still carries memories of her father as inspiration with her.

“He’s always on my mind,” she says. “I’m really happy and sad … to think of what he would say.”

An English major at Western, McMullin has set her sights on becoming an elementary school teacher.

As it turns out, the practices and competitions haven’t deterred McMullin from her professional goal. She’s still on track to graduate with a teaching degree and elementary education certification.

Most of McMullin’s family — mom Jane and grandparents Ed and Patty DuPraw — are still in Sequim. It’s a draw that has McMullin thinking she’d be happy to be back in her hometown after earning her degree.

“I would love to come back and teach in Sequim, and even coach in Sequim,” she says.

There’s still some work — academic and athletic — to do. Still, McMullin has leapt into some rarified air.

“In high school I just had very little self confidence,” she says. “Even when I got to Western, that was a huge thing. That was one of the things my coaches tried to do fix, to convince me I could do something special. It started to get me to believe in myself.”