Oakmont’s Jazmin Harper signs letter of intent, makes a sprint for Stanford

By: Bill Poindexter/Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
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The cardinal Stanford banner, tacked on a wall in the Oakmont High School career center, stood out – as did the guest of honor for a national letter-of-intent signing ceremony Wednesday.

Jazmin Harper – star sprinter, star student – signed with Stanford as Oakmont administrators and Harper’s fellow students and parents watched, applauded and cheered.

Harper wore a Stanford zip-up. Her mom, Cheryl, wore a Stanford shirt, in cardinal of course. Dad Michael adjusted his Stanford hat. Nothing wrong with the ‘S’ in the middle. It was the missing ‘U’ and ‘C’ on either side to which Cheryl and Michael jokingly said they’d have to adjust. Both attended USC. Michael played football for the Trojans.

“As parents, obviously, this is a very proud moment for us,” he said.

Cheryl Harper reflected on Jazmin’s freshman year, balancing track and field with the International Baccalaureate program.

“She’s worked hard over the years to obtain all of that,” Cheryl said. “It takes a village to raise a child, so thanks for being a part of that village.”

Jazmin has run the 100-meter sprint, 200, 400, relays and competed in the long jump for the Vikings. She finished fifth in the state in the 400 as a freshman and sixth as a sophomore. She had her pick from an impressive list of colleges: Cornell, Columbia, Vanderbilt, Nebraska, the Naval Academy. She also weighed Sacramento State.

She thanked her teachers and friends and said, “It’s just been nice saying hi to you in the hallway.”

Track coach Ryan Nugent said he knew from “day one” Oakmont was lucky to have Harper on the team, and the senior has grown to take on a leadership role.

“This moment is the culmination of hard work,” Nugent said. “Her impact is a positive that we’ll see for years to come. It’s a major gain for Stanford to have her run for them.”

The coaches were smiling as much as the Harpers, Jazmin and her friends. Jazmin is the oldest of the Harpers’ four children.

Said Cheryl, “One down, three to go.”

Contact Bill Poindexter at