Minah Ganjani

Jessy Scarpone has been an influential part of my life for so long. I first had the pleasure of meeting Jessy in the 3rd grade at Rondout school. Jessy was the first person I met after moving into Libertyville. Rondout was a new school for me and I was eager to make a new friend. Jessy and I were both new that year and as an 8 year old girl, talking to another new student seemed less scary than talking to the other students. Our 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Skoien asked us to come up in front of the class and introduce ourselves. At that moment, I was terrified. I hated having attention on me in the classroom, but I remember Jessy being so unphased by it. She was so calm and cool. I admired that. On the first day of school, I shadowed Jessy. I put my cubby next to her cubby and I sat next to her. I even asked her to be my partner. This was something I had never done before. As a child, I never had the confidence to ask other kids to play with me. I struggled with the fear of rejection. Jessy, however, made it easy for me to ask her to be my friend. Her aura radiated confidence and I wanted to be a part of that. She was cool and I knew that I had to be friends with her. As we grew up, Jessy and I would make jokes on how I made her be my friend Although it was slightly true, I'm glad I did because we were able to create decades of memories together.

I will always remember Jessy as the friend I grew up with. The friend who is family. She was my sister. Jessy was always on my side encouraging and fostering me to become myself....

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Claire Jaeger

It’s hard to find the words to perfectly articulate the brilliant beacon of light that was our girl, Jessy. She was the only person I knew who could turn a piece of wood into a beautiful centerpiece or make a shirt from a flea market that looked like a newspaper the most fashionable article of clothing in the room. A published illustrator, an all American athlete, and the best professional advice giver. She was a genuine and compassionate person, always putting others before herself. Resilient, compassionate, driven, hilarious, athletic, creative, sarcastic, independent, humble... I could go on forever and there still wouldn’t be nearly enough ways to describe this incredible human I was so lucky to call my best friend. I’m beyond blessed to have had her by my side through the most formative years of my life. I could always lean on Jessy when I needed help, wisdom, input, love advice or literally just needed to share something gross with someone who I knew wouldn’t judge me... there aren’t many people like that in this world. Jessy was my comedic relief, biggest hype woman, shoulder to cry on, and person I could call or text at the drop of hat when I needed support. She always pushed me to be my best self and supported me through all of life’s milestones and endeavors. Jessy will always be remembered for her stunning and talented artwork that touched people all over the world - from her unique doodles to her print making and everything in between....

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Paige Nordland-Harrington

It is impossible to think of Jessy without thinking of how we became friends. We were in the same first grade class at Butterfield school, but my only memories of her there were being partners when our classroom chicks hatched (our chick kept pecking at her signature birthmark) and when she tried drowning me at Adler pool (a story that she would still deny to this day). Then the “great divorce of 99” brought us to different houses and different schools. Our friendship didn’t truly blossom until what we used to call “that fateful day”, when Jessy wandered up to my lunch table on the first day of freshman year and asked if she could sit with us. Of course, at the time I had no idea how significant that moment would be. What followed was over a decade of friendship, “beybe dates”, and memories that I will forever treasure. Whether it was our first horrific experience with alcohol, getting in trouble in Spanish class, staying up until dawn giggling at a sleepover, or simply sitting on the couch watching trash tv, there was truly never a dull moment when Jessy and I were together. I am thankful that our friendship left me a lifetime of inside jokes, warm memories, and “Jessy-isms” to get me through until we meet again.

Michelle Loftus 

Jessy gives me the feeling of home. Every time i saw her it felt like home-like everything was how it should be. She is a piece of me and when we were together things just felt like they should. I remember even when I was so little in kindergarten how much I looked forward to our play dates. We had the best time together always. So happy. Laughing. We were so similar we just understood each other in a way that I was lucky to experience. Jess made me feel happy and optimistic. When I was having a bad day I could spend time with her and be taken out of whatever bad or sad space I was in and just enjoy every moment with her. She made everything better and provided clarity to everything. Her sense of humor and sarcasm would fix everything. No matter how our lives changed we always fit together perfectly... we would always say our friendship always picked up right where it left off and talked about how lucky we were to have that... I know even more now than I did then how lucky that was. Jessy changed me for the better. She made me confident in who I am, confident in weirdness. Confident in being myself. To be brave. To understand what I am worth. She taught me how to be sarcastic and we had some of our funniest “bad” experiences together. Jess taught me what it’s like to have a best friend and to be a best friend. That special bond I will forever be grateful for.

Patrick Reagan
(Coach P)

Jessy made such a positive impact on both my coaching career and my life. When she approached me about running on the collegiate team I coached, I was a young, new coach and had a feeling she would develop into a very good runner. Her work ethic, commitment to the sport, fun loving attitude, and lead by example approach were the characteristics that lead to her being a national caliber runner. More importantly, her fun loving attitude and sense of humor lead to her being the best teammate. Jessy became an irreplaceable friend of mine and I miss her every day.

Coach Chris “40” Forti 

It should come as no surprise that Jessy made a splash in the NYC running scene by winning a July 4th road race a couple months after arriving in 2016. Having competed ‘unattached’ – not affiliated with a team – Whippets cofounder Matt Wong reached out to her via social media to see if she would be interested in joining us. Having unsuccessful experiences with other running clubs, she joined us for a few runs and joined the team. And we are so grateful she decided to make us part of her NYC journey.

Jessy carried her fierce, competitive spirit from college to the roads, tracks and trails of NYC running races from the mile to half marathon. She was the first Whippet to win a New York Road Runner event by winning the 5000m at NYRR Night at the Races in January 2017. She also immediately asserted herself as one of the team’s best runners finishing in the top five – a scoring position – in nearly every NYRR points race that summer. NYC is home to some of the best runners and teams in the country and her addition helped maintain our top 3 standing in the city so much so that we named her team MVP at the end of the year. But Jessy didn’t simply impress us with her running ability.....

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Hannah Lieberman

It was a cool crisp fall day and Jessy and I were walking from our apartment on 107th street to our yoga class. This was my favorite day of the week usually. It always meant I got to spend time with her, even if we were just peacefully stretching and focusing on our breathing. My yoga mat was falling apart from too much use, and Jessy always laughed when I left a giant rectangle stamp of purple foam debri at the end of class. I remember Jessy always being so graceful and peaceful like a flamingo with all of her poses. We would look out the window at the other buildings, until turning sideways to get a view of Mcdonalds and honking cars. Our yoga instructor told us to lay down on our backs and put our feet in our hands like a baby, and to let out a deep breath. Some man in the class takes it upon himself to yell HAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW and Jessy had to completely lay down on her mat because she was laughing so hard. Her laughter was so contagious....

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Ilana Strom Harkavy

My fondest moment of Jessy is one that illustrates her humble nature. Years back, Jessy and I were both working for a publication called Garden Collage. I admired her work from afar but we didn’t get to speak often because I was on the other side of the country. She always had a way with art that made me smile (And I’m extremely picky when it comes to my taste in art!)

Lucky me, our co-worker Andreana called me one day and said “I think you should work with Jessy on Just Girl! She’s way too shy to bring it up and doesn’t want to be forward but I think she’d be super into it!” This was the conversation that started it all. I rang Jessy up out of the blue and asked her to work for me, illustrating girl power graphics for my project The Just Girl Project! She was so gracious and excited about the opportunity! She kept saying “Thank you so much for giving me this opp.”.....

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Courtney Pansza

I haven’t had the words for how life has hit me, and quite frankly changed my life. And I really wasn’t ready to talk about it until right now. Last week, I lost not only my teammate, but my best friend. Let me tell you. She wasn’t just any ordinary friend. She was someone very special. To not just me but anyone who knew her.

Story Time. I was recruited to SCAD my senior year of high school. I got on the phone with the head coach who wouldn’t stop bragging about Jessy Scarpone (who was graduating) convincing me my running career could be similar to hers. Our training plans matched up. We both thrived on the added distance. Little did we know, she would soon be my training partner. After my third year at SCAD, Coach said he “has a special surprise for us” Jessy still had eligibility for one more season. After just a few meets during Cross season Jessy Scarpone, Tess St John, Diana Gorin and I became really close of friends. Later after we made it to Nationals, (We wouldn’t have done it without Jessy) we had another surprise; that Jessy had Track season as well. As I trained for my first half marathon, Jessy was right by my side. She pushed me to do my longest long runs ever....

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MaTThew Rosetti
Brooklyn Running Company

In the summer of 2017, Jessy Scarpone approached us about running the Fast Movers wave of the Brooklyn Mile. We challenged her to prove worthy creds. She politely and humbly accomodated our nonsense. And then completed with fire and grit on race day., leaving no doubt she belonged. This past week, Jessy passed away unexpectedly, leaving a gaping hole in the NYC running community. We are so saddened and offer our thoughts, prayers and most heartfelt condolences to her family, friends and Whippets teammates. Join them tomorrow morning at 8am for a memorial run, either from Columbus Circle or Grand Army Plaza. Follow the link in our profile for donations in her memory. RIP Jessy #wippetsail

Emmi Aguillard

A week ago New York City lost an invaluable member of it's running community. Jessy, I feel so incredibly lucky to have known you and called you a friend over the past few years and for a life that was far too short.

I'm grateful for this week, to see the incredible power of this amazing community of ours coming together during a very hard time. Thank you Jessy - for reminding all of us to always float to our own boat and not to any particular timeframe - but to still be there 100% for your friends. I'll never forget all of the miles run, beers shared, venting, laughing, eating, and dancing.

Love you Jessy. You will be forever missed.

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Matan Korrub

Jessy was someone whom I looked up to and admired deeply. It never ceased to amaze me how uniquely talented she was. Every time she raced or came up with an illustration I thought "here's someone who has a rare gift and is making the most of it". We were similar our fitness levels so we ran together often. She was courageous in her running, and never backed away from my suggested workouts; no matter how absurd they might have been. She was also a very emotional runner. She was quick to vent or express frustration about her training. And that's because her desire to be a great runner was so real and raw. I loved that about her.

But what I found most magnetizing about Jessy was her sense of humor. She never took herself too seriously. Nobody could mock themselves as well as Jessy could. It was impossible not to be drawn to her; and I could never get enough of her self-deprecating humor.

Jessy had a profound impact on everyone who met her, and she will be deeply missed by many. I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss and wish you comfort during this time.

Kind regards,
Matan Korrub

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Brandon Park

Our last run together, before New York and the end of the season, we did a good bit through a neighborhood I didn't know & talked about the prospects of our careers and lives; one thing that neither of us had really figured out. I had only known her for the year we overlapped, but she cared. She cared about what I was doing and what others were by just the nature of her spirit. In XC, there's what is nearly a genetic predisposition to that love of others. It's like a family that each one of us is bound; for by this very simple right of struggle. We run together, progress together, ultimately suffer together....but that means we grow together.

In contrast to all the difficulty, there's the comfort of a group of people that cares for each other more than their very being. Jessy wasn't afraid of anything and would always just tell me "everything's gonna work out". She had this ability to make me understand that life isn't this thing to worry about. There is time to do what you love, be with the people who care about and that's life. There's nothing more to a moment than the substance of it's being.

I'm just someone who draws cartoons and runs for fun. She really wasn't much different and as I continue on in that it's never brought me doubt to know how incredible she was to do the same.

"I hope this footage brings you comfort. She really had to be begged to do this on our end. It was quite difficult for me to pull up again. But, to see her laughing and stumble through her goofy mannerisms made me smile. You deserve to see this in all it's awkward sweetness."


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