Jenna Elizabeth Prandini grew up in Clovis, Central California, and is the youngest daughter of Carlo and Theresa Prandini. Jenna was always active and athletic. She liked to compete in races with her older brother Mark and his friends and would most often beat them. Jenna looked up to her sister Christine who was also a great athlete. Jenna was the little girl who would kick the ball far in the soccer field, run past everyone and take that pass from herself to score most of the goals to win the games!
Each of Jenna’s parents were the oldest of eight siblings, so she has been surrounded her entire life by a large extended family, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who have been her biggest fans! In fact the bigger the event the more family and friends would attend. This was never more apparent than last June at the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon, when over 50 family and friends descended upon Hayward Field wearing, “Go Jenna Go” shirts to cheer on their favorite athlete! Their dedication was rewarded as Jenna scored 26 points and led the Ducks to their first women’s Outdoor NCAA National Championship in 30 years!
Jenna is particularly close to her grandparents. Harriet, her maternal grandmother, calls Jenna, “her little deer” and has spent time with her since she was little cooking, and sharing words of encouragement. Her paternal grandfather, Nonno, Carlo Sr. is 83 years old and has videotaped nearly all her races in person or off the TV or computer since she was in elementary school. He even traveled to Beijing to watch the IAAF World T&F Championships in the summer of 2015. He couldn’t miss his granddaughter wearing the USA uniform at the World Championships!
Jenna is also very close to her mother Theresa who was battling breast cancer when she started kindergarten. Jenna didn’t want to leave her mother’s side as Theresa fought through the challenges of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. At the age of six, Jenna decided to help her mom and make the Thanksgiving meal. It was a hit and Jenna has loved cooking ever since. After her mother beat cancer, she became Jenna’s first track and field coach at Mickey Cox School. To this day Jenna and her mother have a special relationship as they strengthen each other in times of need.
Jenna attended public schools in her home town of Clovis taking advantage of a multitude of activities and sports excelling both academically and athletically displaying a determined, team oriented personality, a competitive spirit and tremendous work ethic from an early age. Through elementary and middle school she was a standout performer in soccer, volleyball, basketball and track but narrowed her focus as she entered Clovis High School to volleyball and track.
A club volleyball player and four year Varsity Letterman in Volleyball, her efforts were rewarded by being named All State 2nd Team her senior year in addition to multiple league and regional honors throughout the years. In Track and Field she dominated the local scene from her freshman year, was a six time All-American, won 5 California High School State Championships, garnered an USATF Jr. National Championship in the Long Jump and earned a scholarship to the University of Oregon! She was active in student government and was the 2010-11 Student Body President. In her senior year Jenna was named Central Section Student Athlete of the Year, the B’nai B’rith Scholar Athlete of the Year and was The Fresno Bee Track and Field Athlete of the Year for the third consecutive season.
At the University of Oregon, after a foot injury forced her to red shirt her freshman year, she steadily improved again displaying a determined, team first attitude that paid off with exceptional performances at the national and international level. During her time at Oregon she has been named an All-American 15 times, won 3 individual NCAA National Championships, led her team to the first outdoor championship in 30 years, was an Academic All- American, named University of Oregon Athlete of the Year, Track and Field News Outdoor Track Athlete of the year, The Honda Collegiate Track Athlete of the Year Award and in 2015 won the Bowerman Award for the best female Student Athlete in the country.
Jenna was the leading scorer in the 2015 NCAA Indoor National Championships with 23 points, won the Long Jump, finished runner up in the 200m, finished 4th in the 60m dash and lead her team to a second place finish. The outdoor season saw her turn in the second fastest 100 meter time in NCAA history, being crowned 100 meter champion at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships, while finishing 2nd in both the 200 meters and Long Jump. This time garnering 26 points she led her team to a National Championship!
Two weeks later Jenna won the 200 meters at the USATF National Championships, earning a spot on the USA National Team. Later in August Jenna competed at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China where she earned a Silver Medal running on the USA’s 4X100 Relay.
With such an impressive track season, Jenna received multiple endorsement offers and decided to go pro and sign with PUMA. She completed her studies at the University of Oregon earning a degree in General Social Science with emphasis in business and economics. Jenna is currently training to make the 2016 Olympic Track Team and compete in Brazil.
As Jenna begins this next phase she wants to thank all the wonderful people who have helped her along the way growing up in Clovis, the sensational coaches, trainers and teammates she has had at the University of Oregon and of course her family and friends. Jenna is very close to her family and cherishes their love and loyalty. In fact she has taken that same sense of loyalty into her athletic endeavors. Jenna is loved and respected by her family, friends and teammates not just for her athletic achievements but because of her caring a giving heart.