track and field
Schwartz participated in the pole vaulting event at the Athens Games in 2004, and was drawn into Group B of the qualifications round. She tried her first jump at 4.15 and failed twice before clearing the allotted height. Jillian's prospects looked up as she cleared 4.30 in her first try but she was eliminated for failing to clear 4.40 on three attempts. Schwartz finished eleventh in her group.
Jillian was a member of the U.S.A track and field team in Athens 2004, and competed in the pole vault. When asked why she picked the sport: "There are so many factors involved it makes it a lot more fun than just flat-out running or jumping," she replies. "And I guess there always is a little—I don't want to say fear, but it gets your adrenaline going to be that high in the air."
Schwartz was an All-State track athlete at Lake Forest High School in Illinois. However she did not pole vault until college since female pole vaulting was not allowed in her home state until well after her graduation in 1997. Jillian competed for Duke University from 1998-2001 and holds the school records in both indoor and outdoor pole vaulting. While still in Duke, she made the Sydney 2000 Olympic trials but failed to clear the opening height. Schwartz won ACC Outdoor championship in both 2000 and 2001. Jillain cemented her position as one of the top U.S pole vaulters as she finished second in both the outdoor and indoor 2002 National Championships.
She has made an impression on the international circuit as well. On the Grand Prix circuit she finished third in Zagreb 2003 (4.20), and second in Eugene, Oregon 2004 (4.60). Jillian also came close to winning an World Indoor Championships medal as she ranked fourth overall in 2004 (4.60).
Birth and Death Dates:
b. September 19, 1979
Lake Forest, IL
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