Is Nebraska Pole Vaulter Jess Gardner The Next TikTok NIL Superstar?

university of nebraska logo Jess Gardner

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Is junior pole vaulter Jess Gardner of the University of Nebraska the next breakout NIL superstar in college athletics? She could be.

With a solid fanbase on social media, combined with a growing record of success at the Division 1 level of track and field, Gardner is poised to potentially follow in the footsteps laid down by LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne.

Prior to joining the Cornhuskers track and field team, the Lincoln, Nebraska native was the runner-up at the NSAA Class A State Championships in the pole vault in 2019, 2018, 2017 and took third in 2016.

According to her bio on the Nebraska track and field website, Jess Gardner is majoring in nutrition and health sciences and was named to the Academic All-Big Ten in 2021 and 2022. She was also named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar in each of those years.

In 2022, she finished 15th at the Big Ten Indoor Championships in the pole vault, with a height of 12’8-1/4″, won the Graduate Classic with a clearance of 12’11-1/2″ and the Mark Colligan Memorial with a height of 12’6-1/4″. Gardner also won the pole vault at the Sooner Invitational with a height of 12’7-1/2″.

Off the track, Jess Gardner is beginning to blow up on social media with one of her recent TikTok videos garnering over 2.3 million views.

@jessgardner25 Your Mark Colligan TJ and PV champs!! 🥇🌟❣️ #huskers #nebraska #gbr #trackandfield ♬ i get the bag – sped up audios for you

Another TikTok video Gardner shared over the weekend that’s closing in on half a million views already sees her and one of her Nebraska track and field teammates, Ashley McElmurry, visiting Texas Tech and dancing to “God Blessed Texas.”

@jessgardner25 God Blessed Texas 🤠🤠 #nebraska #huskers #trackandfield ♬ God Blessed Texas (Special Version) – Little Texas

McElmurry, a junior from Missoula, Montana who competes in the triple jump, also has a pretty stout following on TikTok and often teams up with Gardner in videos.

@ashleymcelmurry Your fav duo 👯‍♀️ @jessgardner25 #gbr #huskers #gobigred #trackandfield ♬ sonido original – Esteve

Here’s another video Gardner and McElmurry recently shared that has over two million views.

@jessgardner25 we baaaaack @ashleymcelmurry ♬ Dont play with it x candy shop – Hunny Bee 😈

Look out NIL world, here they come.