All Access with Jenna UheTuesday, April 22 2008 - Jenna Uhe
By: Mike Mears/Staff reporter
Eastern juniorJenna Uhe
covers quite a bit of the "field" part of track and field. Not only is she a standout jumper, but she also began throwing the javelin her freshman year. Doing both the long jump and triple jump isn't as rare, but her success in both hasn't been matched recently in the Ohio Valley Conference. Uhe is the defending outdoor conference champion in the long jump and added an indoor title at the 2008 OVC Championships in the triple jump. She recently talked with Staff Reporter Mike Mears about which event she prefers, her plans on attending nursing school and her "Singstar" playlist on her iPod.
Has the cold spring affected you?
For the past few weeks we've been training pretty hard, so our muscles are pretty tight. On top of the cold weather we've been training pretty hard instead of tapering. We're starting to taper now, so it'll be a little bit better.
Do you prefer the indoor or outdoor season?
Indoor is nice because it's always going to be the same temperature and same weather no matter what. But outdoors is also nice because sometimes you can get that nice little tailwind (on your jumps).
Do you like the long jump or triple jump more?
I enjoy the triple jump more. I don't know, maybe because there's a little more to it.
Does doing the long jump help you with the triple jump, or vice versa?
They're very, very different. The run and everything's very different. But training for triple jump makes me stronger for long jump.
Which event do you want to win the most?
Maybe first-team in the triple jump (at the OVC Outdoor Championships), since I haven't done that yet in the outdoor season. Hopefully, I'll win both. Definitely going for both.
How did you start throwing the javelin?
My freshman year I was having a conversation with Coach (Mary) Wallace. Something got brought up about me being a softball player through high school. I think we needed some javelin throwers so they started trying me out in it, and I'm still doing it now. It's fun. It's something different to take my mind off from jumping.
Is it important to you to finish high in the record books?
My goal is definitely to break the records, or at least move up. Every year you want to get a personal best. Me and Coach(JaRod) Tobler
are really trying hard for that this year.
Were breaking records a goal from day one for you?
When I came in my freshman year, I looked at both numbers (the long jump and triple jump records) and said there's no way I'll ever get close to that. Now in my junior year I feel like I've improved a lot. It has a lot to do with Coach Tolber and his training.
Is Eastern going to repeat in the OVC Outdoor Championship?
It's going to be rough. Now that there's nicer weather, I think we're going to start seeing some better performances. In the past we've been much stronger in the outdoor season than in the indoor, so I think there's a chance, definitely.
Tell me about your preparation the day of a meet.
I'll wake up, and I'm supposed to try to eat breakfast, which is unusual for me because I never eat breakfast. I'll get to the track about two hours before whatever event I have first. I start warming up, stretching. Then I'll do run-throughs. Then I jump. Between events, I try to eat a snack. Nothing too abnormal.
Is it tough to prepare for jumps and the javelin?
Sometimes, because I bring different clothes for jumping than I would for throwing. Jumping in sand, you kind of want clothes that are easy to get the sand off.
What made you decide on the pre-nursing program?
My freshman year, I was a psychology major. I was watching something on TV, and they were talking about how there's such a shortage of nurses. I had decided I didn't really like psychology, so I decided maybe nursing would be good for me. So I did some research on it. Now I'm a health studies major, pre-nursing. I enjoy it a lot. I'm really excited to start nursing school.
Where are you going for nursing school?
I'm really wanting to go to Barnes-Jewish College of Nursing if I get in. If not, I'm going to (another) nursing school somewhere in St. Louis.
Who are your closest friends on the team?
Any friendly rivalry with Vicki in practice?
Not really. We just joke around, have fun. Sometimes practice can get a little strenuous, so we make each other laugh.
What's on your iPod right now?
I leave it on shuffle. We play Singstar, so I have a playlist of Singstar songs. I've been listening to that. 90's songs, 80's. MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice.
What are your favorite TV shows?
We all like to watch "One Tree Hill" together. We definitely watch that. We're bringing back the Dawson's Creek episodes. I have all the seasons, so we started watching that every night. Deal or No Deal, too. I'm more of a movie person.
What are your favorite movies?
I don't actually have a favorite, but I like thriller or horror movies.
What do you consider your career highlights?
In high school I placed third in the state in the long and triple jump my junior year. In college, I would definitely have to say this past indoor championship and I got second in the long jump and set a personal record by over a foot in both.
What are your goals for the rest of your track career?
Definitely keep setting (personal records). Right now my problem, I think, is with my diet. My coach and I have had long conversations about that. So I'm working on changing my diet right now to help me perform better.
Mike Mears can be reached be reached at 581-7944 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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