The Connecticut native and senior long-distance runner Jessica Drop will be competing in her second NIC this weekend. Drop will be the only long-distance participant for the Lady Bulldogs.
In past seasons, Drop has seen much success in her collegiate track and field career. She has qualified for four championships between her indoor and outdoor track efforts.
Those championship appearances can be attributed to her performances in the 5000m run.
Drop has the best finish in program history with a time of 15:53:16 and is one of only two All-Americans in the 5000m all-time.
But despite her success in the 5000m, Drop has turned her focus to the 3000m for her final year of eligibility.
Drop clocked an impressive time of 9:03:29 at the Razorback Invitational that shattered another school record and earned her ninth in the National Indoor Championships 3000m.
— Georgia Track&Field (@UGATrack) January 31, 2021
When asked about her decision to compete in the 3000m this year instead of the 5000m, Drop responded:
“I always liked the 3K better just because it’s shorter with less time to think,” said long-distance runner Jessica Drop. “ I just thought I was better at the 5K, but having that fast time at the 3K makes me excited that I can be good at the 3K.”
The SEC has had a stronghold in track and field in nearly every capacity for the last two decades. And fortunately for Drop, the indoor championships will yield some familiar opponents.
The 3000m will see nine SEC participants, which hopefully gives Drop the advantage heading into the race.
The familiarity among her opponents has helped her prepare with a more intentional mindset.
Since Drop has competed against most of the girls in the field, she acknowledged that the pace could go either way. It could be a more quick and honest pace, or just as easily be a longer, strategic one.
“Some of the girls in the race like to take it out fast,” said Drop. “I want it to be a more honest race because it will give me an opportunity to run a fast time which I think I am ready for.”
It seems that Drop is eager to run a fast race because she desperately desires to achieve a new PR during this event. She was very vocal about what it would mean to her specifically.
“Breaking nine minutes would be a great achievement,” said UGA All-American Jessica Drop “ It’s a mark that every runner who does this event wants to hit because it puts you on an elite level.”
Drop will have that opportunity this weekend in Fayetteville.
Jessica Drop can become the first women’s long-distance runner to place for Georgia at the National Indoor Championships since Linda Detlefsen in 1984.
And more importantly, she can aid in UGA’s hopes to acquire their second indoor national championship in the last four years.