Finding space for the stage, the track and the classroom


Zachary Araki/Assistant Editor

Miss Title Town Jacquelyn Walker, a sophomore athletic training major, right, hands out band-aids at a tabling event for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals with Miss Southeastern Louisiana University Chelsey Blank, a junior accounting major.

Jacquelyn Walker, a sophomore athletic training major, aims for success whether running at a meeting, competing on a stage or studying for a test.

A track scholarship, the athletic training program and warmer weather brought Walker from Jefferson City, Missouri to the university.

“It was an adjustment at first knowing I can’t just go home anytime I want, but the track team made me feel at home immediately,” expressed Walker.

Walker competes as a hurdler for the track and field team. At the “Tulane Early Bird Twilight” in 2018, she placed second in the 400-meter hurdles. Walker shared how she became involved in track and field.

“I played about every sport as a kid, but track was always my favorite and the one I was best at,” shared Walker. “I competed in my first meet in fourth grade.”

Kyleigh Genco, a sophomore athletic training major, met Walker through the athletic training program.

“She is truly compassionate about anything and everything she does,” explained Genco. “She carries herself with pride, and that’s something I respect about her. Being a collegiate student-athlete is definitely a challenge, and she makes it look so easy. You never hear one negative thing come out of her mouth no matter how bad of a day she’s had.”

Last semester, Walker competed in the Miss Southeastern Louisiana University pageant. She described participating in it as an amazing experience.

“It was my first pageant I had ever done, and once we started rehearsals for it, I knew it wouldn’t be my last,” stated Walker. “I made amazing friendships and learned so much.”

For the pageant’s talent portion, Walker showed off her vocal abilities.

“I’ve been singing my entire life,” said Walker. “I was in my first theatre production singing at the age of 4. Music is a big part of our family, so it just happened naturally, and I love performing.”

Currently, Walker holds the Miss Title Town crown for Maryville, Missouri.

“Competing for Miss Title Town was a blast,” said Walker. “I met the sweetest girls and really just had fun with it. It was my second pageant, so I was a little more relaxed because I knew what to expect and what the process was.”

Walker discussed what pageantry offers.

“I had such a good time competing for Miss Southeastern, and I feel that pageants really build life skills that you can’t get anywhere else, especially when it comes to the interview process and on-stage question,” shared Walker.

For all of Walker’s accomplishments, Genco described her as being down-to-earth.

“You would never know she has all of these talents and crowns unless you’ve been around her long enough,” stated Genco. “She never once brags about herself, which she should because she’s awesome. Although being Miss Title Town and a collegiate athlete are both honors in their own right, she is a caring, fun-loving individual.”

Walker plans to continue competing in pageants and wants to hold a state title. Academically, she aims to enter chiropractic school after graduation.

Walker said, “It has always been an interesting field of work to me, and I believe it will help me be more marketable to professional or big college sports teams to have my ATC and Doctor of Chiropractic.”

Though handling academics, pageantry and athletics can stress a schedule, Walker tries to prioritize.

“School always comes first,” shared Walker. “My teachers, coaches and pageant directors are all very helpful and understanding of everything on my plate, and they’re very encouraging of me ‘doing it all.’”

Pursuing excellence in each of the three fields requires drive.

“I have such passion and love for all of these things and an amazing support system from my family, friends and team,” expressed Walker.