Athlete of the Week Archive

May 9, 2008

Jennifer Collen

What is your best memory from your four years of Wyoming T&F?
"My best memory was last year during the outdoor season at Colorado when I jumped 19'4" in the long jump and was so close to qualifying for regionals. It was a big PR for me and it made me realize that qualifying for regionals was actually possible. Although I never ended up qualifying I know I can jump 20 feet and that is my goal for the conference meet next weekend."

What are your expectations at the upcoming MWC Championships?
"My two goals are to jump 20 feet in the long jump and for our 4x100 relay to place in the top-four. This is only my second time running the 4x1 so I hope it goes well and we have good handoffs. I have this fear of dropping the baton or tripping and losing it for my team, but I know that is very unlikely and if I just stay focused I'll run well. (I'm a huge head-case)"

What is your favorite sport other than T&F?
"I love to play and watch volleyball. Other than track that was my best sport in high school and I would love to get back into playing it. Hopefully next year that's what I'll be doing to stay in shape."

How much of an impact has the addition of an outdoor T&F complex had on the UW program?
"It has made a HUGE impact! I hated running or jumping on the track at the high school because it was so hard and really hurt my shins. We have a lot of people with shin problems and having a hard uneven surface to run on did not help at all. It's nice to have our own complex with our own stuff and we can practice whenever we want without worrying about other people being there."

Other than the jumps, what is your favorite T&F event to watch?
"I love to watch the 100 and 200 meter dash because it is such a fast race and interesting to see the final times."

How important is it to be aerodynamic while jumping? What do you do to try and get that advantage?
"Jumping is really technical, and it's hard to think about what you're doing while you are jumping so all I really do is try and work on my approach and technique during practice and hope it falls into place during a meet. The faster you are down the runway the farther you are going to jump, but your technique at takeoff, in the air, and during landing are very important."

How do you think you can apply your jumping skills after you are done at UW? Is there a way?
"Ummm, maybe someday when I'm trying to run away from somebody or something and I have to jump over a barrier it will come in very handy, but other than that I don't know why I would ever need to jump far. It's definitely not a skill that comes in handy very often."

What is the most embarrassing thing that could happen to you on a jump? IE: Miss the pit or fall face first? Has it ever happened to you?
"I think running down the runway and tripping over my own feet and falling face first on the track would be the most embarrassing thing that could happen to me because there was nothing there to trip over. I've never had anything like this happen, but I would probably start crying and run-away if it ever did. When I competed in the triple jump I saw a lot of people who couldn't make it to the pit and they would land butt-first on the edge of the runway. I always thought that would have been really embarrassing if it were me."

Have you ever challenged anyone or been challenged to a jumping contest? IE: "I bet you can't jump over (fill in the blank)."
"Ha, yes actually the other day my boyfriend and I were out walking his dog and there was a big ditch that they jumped across from a run. I was being conceited and said "I bet I can stride over that ditch" so I tried and ended up falling right in the ditch. It was because I forgot I had tight pants on therefore my legs wouldn't spread very far. It was really embarrassing and he made fun of me forever. So next time I challenge somebody to jumping I will make sure I have the proper clothing on."

What will you miss the most about being a member of the Cowgirl T&F team?
"I will really miss traveling with the team and getting to go places I've never been. This was the most fun part about track. I will also miss competing in sports, because I've never not been involved in a sport and it's going to be really weird not going to practice or meets on the weekends."

What will you miss the least about being a member of the Cowgirl T&F team?
"I really don't think I will miss being at practice every day. Right now I am really looking forward to having my afternoons off so I can work and make some more money, but who knows next year I might end up missing going to practice. However, I will definitely not miss practicing in the horrible weather that we have almost every day! I hate running or jumping in the wind. It makes me really upset."

How much schooling do you have remaining and what are your future plans?
"I will graduate next December and I am going to apply to graduate school in Occupational Therapy. I don't know exactly where I'm going to apply yet, but I hopefully will be going somewhere warm. OT school is about 2.5 years long, so I have a lot of schooling left, which is good because I'm not ready to get a real job yet."

What do you get on your Subway sandwich?
"I usually get the pizza sub with lots and lots of vegetables. I am a huge vegetable fan and hate sandwiches with a chunk of meat on them. I'm not a vegetarian though, I love steak and hamburgers, but I absolutely hate sausage on anything."

What is the last concert you attended?
"I have actually only been to one concert in my life, and that's because it was free and I was in the area. It was a Big and Rich concert in Deadwood, S.D. I'm not a big fan of standing really close to sweaty people who are acting like idiots, so that's why I never go to concerts."