Future Star: Jayla Atkinson Making An Impact On State Scene

The latest subject of our weekly Future Star series, where we highlight the achievements of an underclass athlete on-the-rise, is Stow-Munroe Falls' Jayla Atkinson.

The only hesitation with her inclusion is the 'future' component of our feature, as it's clear that the sophomore mid-distance / distance specialist has already arrived with respect to state level prominence. 

Atkinson burst onto the high school scene last year, as a freshman, taking a pair of third place finishes in the 800 at the OATCCC Division I State Finale and the OHSAA Division I State Championships.

At the latter she clocked an ultra-impressive 2:11.69, a mark which stationed her at No. 9 for 2024 grads nation-wide at season's end and in the top 100 overall in the USA during what was a break-out year with half-mile performers from coast to coast reaching new heights. 

Circling back to this current campaign, Atkinson is unbeaten in two individual outings: a 400 meter victory at Youngstown State this past weekend and a quarter-mile triumph at Blue Division No. 1 in her season opener. She's also done yeoman's work while taking on anchor duties for her Bulldogs relay teams. 

Atkinson's 2:19.24 and 1:00.17 800 and 400 individual marks rank her at No. 9 and No. 2, respectively, on Ohio's 2022 overall indoor listings. 

Her successes haven't been limited to the oval, though. After two seasons in the XC fields, Atkinson has added eleven individual meet titles to her resume, a personal best mark of 18:23.60 over the 5 kilometer distance, as well as back-to-back appearances at the OHSAA State Cross Country Championships

Watch below Atkinson's 1st place efforts from Youngstown and SPIRE.

YSU ~ 400m

Blue Division ~ 800m