ISU family mourns death of assistant track coach
The death of Jacquelyn (Jackie) Poulson, age 31, will be felt hard by so many family, friends and the Idaho State University (ISU) athletic department.
A native of American Falls, Poulson was active at ISU for over 12 years where she attended school and competed as a track and field student athlete before becoming a coach.
According to a press release from ISU, Poulson was going into her ninth year as assistant track and field coach, where she assisted coach Dave Nielsen in training multi-event athletes.
"She was the pride of our program," Nielsen said. "She was like a daughter to me. This is so untimely and tragic that I just don't know what else to say."
Poulson was a two-time All American and Big Sky champion in the heptathlon. She also worked as the recruiting coordinator for the track and field team. She holds the Idaho State University records in the 400-meter hurdles and coached All-American Cassie Merkley who broke Poulson's heptathlon record during the 2008 season.
She was a participant in the Olympic trials in 2004 and completed in the Netherlands, Puerto Rico and Italy. She also competed in the 2008 Olympic trials taking eighth in the heptathlon with 5,741 points. Poulson scored a career-high 5,538 points in the heptathlon while at ISU and has scored a personal best of 5,804 points in post-collegiate competition.
"Jackie influenced the lives of so many of our student-athletes in such a positive manner," ISU Director of Athletics Jeff Tingey said. "She was a true Bengal and an example to us all."
Poulson graduated from American Falls High School and from ISU with a degree Mass Communications. She was in the process of getting her master's degree in Health Education and getting her teacher's certificate.
Poulson was living in Blackfoot where she was engaged to be married to Blackfoot resident Kyle Tarpley, whose father Keith Tarpley, was also electrocuted in the accident which took her life.