By Trevor Wenners
Athletic Communications Assistant
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Consistency, mental toughness and determination are important characteristics of highly-skilled athletes.
All of those qualities reside inside junior Jenny Aguiar of the Wesleyan University women's track & field team, as the standout athlete has been a focal point in the Cardinals' lineup from the time she stepped into the Bacon Field House in Middletown, Conn., as a rookie.
|Jenny Aguiar has compiled 39 top-five finishes during her three-year career at Wesleyan.|
The numbers speak for themselves, with Aguiar compiling 21 first-place finishes, 33 top-three performances and 39 top-five nods. At four different meets during her brilliant collegiate run, she has recorded multiple first-place finishes. The sprinter has excelled in the 60m, 200m, 400m, 500m, 600m, 800m, 400m hurdles, the 4x100m relay, the 4x400m relay and the 4x800m relay.
Aguiar, who hails from Port Washington, N.Y., pinpointed her goals for the remainder of the 2018 campaign.
"My main goal for the 2018 season is to hopefully qualify for the NCAA Division III Championship," she said. "Last year in the 400m, I fell short by only a few places, and I want to do everything as best as I can to possibly finish within the top-17 in the country. However, despite rankings, overall my main goal is to be faster than I was last year – I would love to run 55 seconds in the 400m."
Aguiar was tremendous in the Indoor Little Three Championship on Saturday, Jan. 13, at Wesleyan, grabbing first-place honors in the 600m and working with her relay team for a second-place nod in the 4x400m.
During the 2017 campaign, the hard-working student-athlete placed third overall in the 400m at the New England Outdoor Division III Championship with a personal-best time of 56.93, while recording a pair of fourth-place nods at the NESCAC Championship in the 400m and the 4x400m relay.
Even as a first-year competitor in 2016, Aguiar was competing against the best within the NESCAC, grabbing a trio of top-five finishes at the conference championship, en route to finishing ninth and 17th overall, respectively, in the 400m and 200m at the New England Outdoor Division III Championship. She concluded her phenomenal rookie season with a seventh-place outing in the 400m at the ECAC Division III Championship.
Aguiar, who will be in action again on Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Smith Invite, took some time to reflect on her track & field career, while talking about some personality traits of her teammates.
Q: What have you learned from 17th-year head coach Walter Curry?
A: Coach Curry has taught me so much in track and field and outside athletics. He has taught me about trust, not only in him and the team, but trust in myself. Coach Curry made me mentally tougher, and I owe my improvement to the workouts and encouragement he constantly gives me.
Q: How do you do balance the rigors of being an athlete and a student at a highly-competitive institution like Wesleyan. Could you walk me through a typical week during the season for you?
A: Surprisingly, I find myself doing best in academics when I am in season because our track schedule and classes leaves me no option but to stay on top of things. A typical week during the season consists of classes ending around 4 p.m., practice 4:40-7 p.m., dinner with the team and occasionally night classes. Then, of course, homework at night on Monday through Friday, and Saturdays are meet days.
Q: What makes being a Wesleyan Cardinal a unique experience?
A: At Wesleyan, we are Division III athletes and competitive students. The uniqueness about Division III athletes is that we all want to be here for pure enjoyment of the sport, without being contracted in for scholarship money as a Division I athlete might be. At Wesleyan, we are fortunate enough to also have athletes, who are Division I caliber, which makes it that much more unique to see how driven people are and how much student-athletes love to be here.
Q: Who is the funniest person on the team? The most serious? The hardest worker? The smartest?
A: The Wesleyan track & field team is filled with hard workers, quirkiness and intelligence, so it is difficult to pick one person for each category. However, I would say Ananya Subrahmanian is a hilarious teammate, Caroline Diemer is the most serious, Katie Maehl works incredibly hard even through injuries, and Isabella Reilly is incredibly smart and modest about it too.
Q: Who are your heroes in life and why?
A: My high school coach, Jeremiah Pope, Curry, and my mom are my heroes. Jeremiah Pope disciplined me in track, consistently believed in me even as a young 13-year-old girl, who had no idea what I was doing, and I would not be running in college if it was not for his support. Curry is my hero because he has taught me how athletics is more than just a sport – it is sort of a way of life. He has taught me to never settle in a race, and made me strive for goals I never even thought were attainable. My mom is my hero because she always pushes me to be the best version of myself. Those three people make me who I am today.
Q: What has been your favorite moment on the track & field team so far?
A: My favorite moment was at the Indoor Little Three Championship this year, when the entire track & field team was cheering for the 4x400m squad. Hearing the enthusiasm and passion, with our teammates so fired up, made me realize how lucky I am to be involved with such a wonderful community.