Senior heptathlon athlete Jenn Su.
On Thursday, April 12 the men’s and women’s decathlon and heptathlon athletes entered their first day of competition at the Mount Multis in Emmitsburg, Md. Throughout the two-day event, the Hopkins women excelled. Junior Maya Hammonds and senior Jenn Su fought for the top spot.
Hammonds won the 100-meter hurdles, high jump and 200-meter dash, setting a new personal best in the 200-meter with a time of 25.66 seconds. Then, to open day two of the heptathlon, Hammonds set a new school record in the long jump with a first-place mark of 5.52 meters. She also took fourth in the shot put, javelin and 800-meter run.
But despite Hammonds snatching two school records in just two days, it was Su who took first in the heptathlon because of her consistently high-scoring performances in each of the seven events throughout the two-day competition.
For her impressive first-place finish in the heptathlon, Su has been named this week’s Athlete of the Week.
Previously, during the 2018 indoor season, Su received the Centennial Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, was named First Team All-Centennial and was named Mideast All-Region for the pentathlon and qualified for the NCAA Championship in the pentathlon.
Su sat down with The News-Letter to speak more about competing in her first heptathlon of this outdoor season and her mentality moving forward.
The News-Letter: What was your plan entering your first heptathlon of the season?
Jenn Su: I was really excited going into this heptathlon. My plan was to trust my training and take it one event at a time. In a multi, it’s really easy to lose focus when you get tired or when an event goes poorly. When that happens, it is important to remember your goals and focus on the bigger picture.
Before our indoor conference championships, one of my teammates said to me, “Today you won’t be striving for greater, you will be striving for greatness.” That’s something that I think about a lot, and it really helped me stay focused and keep a positive mindset throughout the meet.
N-L: How did your mentality change when competing against your own teammate for the top spot?
JS: I never see track meets as competing against my teammates. Honestly, I don’t think any of us ever do. We see it as competing against the events themselves and against our doubts, injuries and fears. We compete with each other, not against each other. That’s the best part about the culture of our training group. We each have our own individual goals, and we do everything we can to support each other along the way. Because of this mentality, we all walked out of this meet with our own accomplishments (Annie and Cat finished their first heptathlon, and Maya broke two school records).
My goal for this meet was to have fun and finish every event without getting injured. I could not have done that without the help of my teammates (shout out to Maya for helping me wrap my quad between events).
N-L: How does the start of your outdoor season compare to your performances this past indoor season?
JS: Throughout my indoor season, I was battling injuries and trying to manage them while training and competing at a high level. Due to these injuries, I was not able to compete in the first two meets of the outdoor season. With that being said, I am extremely happy (and somewhat surprised) with how well my first heptathlon went this season. I am hoping that the second half of this season goes more smoothly and that I can get a lot more practice in before the Conference Championships. There is definitely a lot of room for improvement, and I am excited to see what I can do this season.
N-L: How is your role on the team different now that you are a senior? What legacy do you want to leave behind?
JS: I do my best to lead by example. I work hard, and I set my goals high in the hopes that it will encourage the underclassmen to do the same. I think the senior class as a whole has been making more of an effort to reach out to the freshmen and provide the underclassmen mentorship. We hope to leave the legacy of a more unified team culture.
N-L: As the season winds down, what are your personal goals and the team’s overall goals for the remainder of the year?
JS: I was an All-American in the heptathlon my sophomore year. After being injured for most of my junior year, my personal goal is to get back on the podium at the national championships. This past indoor season, our team qualified a record number of individual athletes for the NCAA Championships. Our goal as a team is to continue that trend and have as many athletes qualify for nationals as possible. The team has been working really hard this year, and I think we have a good shot at placing as a team at the national championships.
Catch Su and the rest of the Blue Jays compete in the Larry Ellis Invitational on Friday, April 20.