Comanche Nation of Oklahoma
Janee’ Kassanavoid, member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma, is the daughter of Janet and Ron Kassanavoid. Youngest of 6 siblings, she grew up with three all NCAA Division I athletes. Born and raised in Lawson, MO and graduated from Lawson High School. A multi-sport athlete, lettering in softball, volleyball, basketball, and track & field.
In 2013, Janee’ attended Johnson County Community College on a Track & Field scholarship for one season. She became an Indoor NJCAA Runner-up in the weight throw and an Outdoor NJCAA Champion in the hammer throw. In 2014, she attended Kansas State University on a Track & Field scholarship, becoming a 3x Big 12 Champion and a 4x All-American during collegiate career. She is the current K-State weight throw 21.81m (71.60 feet) and hammer throw 68.21m (223.09 feet) school record holder.
In 2018, Janee’ graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. She is currently a professional Nike Track and Field athlete, representing Team USA and as a Nike N7 ambassador she is representing culture and sharing the journey to gold as a Native Athlete.
A history making moment was becoming the first Indigenous woman to medal at the World Athletics Track and Field Championships by claiming the bronze medal. Her personal best throw with the hammer was 78.00m (255.91 feet) becoming the third best in the USA All-Time and the sixth best in the World All-Time. This throw in May was named the USATF Athlete of the Week honors.
Janee’ was the 2022 Indoor National weight throw Champion and the 2022 Outdoor National runner-up in the hammer throw. Closing out the 2022 season, claiming the GOLD medal as the NACAC Champion in the hammer throw. As an elite athlete competing on the biggest stages; the main goal is to inspire and empower the next generation of athletes. She is continuing to break barriers, to be a leader and pave the way for youth, women, and fellow natives both on and off the field and to create spaces where we never thought were possible before.
Photos: 2022 World Athletics Track and Field Championship Hammer Throw Bronze Medalist First Indigenous Woman to medal at the World Athletics Track & Field Championships; Photographer: Getty Images