Maddie Jenner Set Gold Standard During U19 Championship Run

Maddie Jenner controlled eight draws during Team USA's 13-3 win over Canada in the championship game on Aug. 10, 2019.

Maddie Jenner didn’t begin focusing heavily on the draw until after her freshman year at McDonogh (Md.). Her older sister, Olivia, was just graduating and heading off to Duke, where she would soon go on to set draw records for the Blue Devils.

Maddie would have sole responsibility of the draw, and that was all the motivation she needed. After her Olivia went off to college, Maddie replayed YouTube highlights of her older sister dominating inside the circle.

That tracks with how the sisters had trained in the past. Maddie said it was always more “watch and learn” rather than technical training.

“Watching her excel in high school really motivated me,” said Maddie, who is entering her junior season at Duke and doing more than just following in her sister’s footsteps.

The sisters reminisce while on a phone call for this story, sharing laughs about how they probably could have benefitted from being more productive together.

Maddie said she’d have to protect her sister’s ego growing up, and she’d get mad when Olivia wasn’t trying her hardest against her younger — and at the time, shorter — sister. Olivia, who is 5’10”, quickly chimed in.

“We’re just very competitive people,” she said.

One day, there was a “wow” moment for Olivia when she noticed her sister had drastically improved. She wasn’t quite as strong or tall just yet but winning the draw in the yard wasn’t as easy.

When Maddie shot up to 6’ 2”, she was able to use her height to win the ball in the air. It was apparent then that she would be a force in the circle.

The Jenner name is already well represented in the Duke and NCAA record books. Olivia is Duke’s all-time leader with 512 draws, a mark that ranks fifth in NCAA Division I history. She also holds Duke’s single-season draws record with 150.

Another Jenner could stake her claim for the record books in a few years’ time.

In Maddie’s 2020 season at Duke shortened to nine games due to COVID-19, she secured 96 draws. Last year — her sister’s senior campaign — she won 88 draws in 17 games.

“I always say that records are meant to be broken,” Olivia Jenner said. “There would be no one else I would want to surpass what I achieved than my younger sister. If the season would have continued, I think she would have far surpassed the single-season record.”

Maddie already has one thing her older sister doesn’t — a gold medal.

On Aug. 10, 2019, the U.S. U19 women’s national team thumped Canada 13-3 to capture the gold medal. At the heart of the Team USA effort was Jenner, who won eight draws in the game to finish her seven-game tournament with 61 draws.

“I remember being extremely nervous before the game,” she said. “The crowd and the energy of the stadium were amazing. It was such a special moment beforehand walking out of the team huddle going to take the draw.

“Honestly, the whole game was like a blur.”

In team meetings, U19 coach Kelly Amonte Hiller frequently preached about the importance of the draw, which put the spotlight on Jenner, the team’s primary draw specialist. She rose up to not just meet expectations but exceed them.

“That was probably one of the proudest I’ve been of her,” her sister said. “To see how hard she had worked, it was the culmination of a year-and-a-half.”

Maddie deferred some of the credit to her backyard training partner and, at times, toughest competitor.

“She definitely set the standard,” Maddie said.

But not the gold standard. Maddie did that last summer.

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