We Salute Jenna Ramsey, Hutch High School

Name: Jenna Ramsey

School: Hutchinson High School

Q: What does your training look like right now given the current situation?

A: I have transitioned over into longer runs and a lot of biking. I luckily have some weight equipment at my house which I use for strength training.

Q: What are you doing to stay busy other than run right now?

A: I have been taking a lot of time for self-care. I was really busy before the quarantine, so it is nice to take a break. I still have online classes and workouts to build a routine around. I am spending a lot more time playing with my dogs and watching movies with my family. 

Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?

A: I think the defining moment of my running career came during Track State my freshman year. I had medaled the previous day in the 3200, so I was really excited for the 1600 and I had high expectations. I was so focused on the race that I did not even check to see if my spikes were tied. On the first step of the race, my spike had come off my foot. The first lap had my adrenaline levels so high that I did not really notice, but I went out too hard. I remember the officials asking if I wanted my shoe back each lap, but I declined each time because I did not want to waste that much time. I also recall considering stepping off the track multiple times during the race, but I kept going. My foot was bleeding and on fire from the hot track by the end of the race, but I finished. 

Q: What was the funniest thing that happened during your running career?

A: At the Shocker Pre-State meet, I false started the 3200 meters. It was really windy and I guess I thought the wind shaking a metal pole was the gun. Luckily, I was not disqualified and I ended up winning my division. 

Q: Who would you consider your biggest competition over your four years?

A: Although it is cliche, I was my biggest competition. I tried not to focus on others because I could not control them. I had set some high expectations my freshman year and I feel like I've competed with myself since to surpass those standards. 

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?

A: My freshman year regional meet was absolutely incredible. I knew I would not be able to run at state because my family was going on vacation, but I knew if I ran well I could get my team to state. The course was very  tough, but I managed to PR. I finished in a lot of pain, but I preserved and ended in 5th place. I was really proud and this race reminds me of what it feels like to push yourself and succeed.

Q: If you could do it all over again what would you change about your running career in high school?

A: I wish I would have finished cross country my sophomore and actually ran junior year. 

Q: What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

A: This year was definitely the hardest year I had emotionally. I entered cross country season with some issues that stopped me from putting in all of my effort. When I finally started to get out of my head, my best friend committed suicide the week of state cross country. I could barely go to practice that week and I was considering dropping out, but I was eventually convinced to run. The race was so emotionally challenging, I collapsed afterwards. I did not place nor PR, but it was an amazing accomplishment to dedicate to my friend. 

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: I have gotten really close to two other girls on the team and we were all looking forward to racing together. I will miss having them to pace me, laugh with me, and keep me on my toes. 

Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?

A: The off season is just as important as the actual season. Stay focused and continue working! It pays off. Also, learn to tie your shoes!

Q: What kind of an impact has your coach had on you and your team?

A: I have had so many different coaches over my years and every single one had a different style. I am glad I got to know them and they got to know me. They have taught me and my teammates about character, determination, and to not ask how many repetitions or else more would be added. The lessons learned on being flexible and coachable are probably the most impactful to me. 

Q: What are your college plans?

A: I plan to run at Emporia State University. 

Q: Who would you like to say 'thank you' to?

A: To the head track coach at my old school, thank you for teaching me about character. He had a great saying that talent can only get you so far if you don't have character. He only had one rule: wear white socks. If you could obey that one rule, it meant you were coachable. I still wear white socks to this day. 

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to add?

A: I have another funny running memory and it's not when I false-started the two mile in track. I lost my shoe again my senior year during cross country. Before the race, I joked about how crazy people who finish a cross country race without a shoe are. I triple knotted my shoe in order to avoid the jinx, but at the 2km mark, it was off. I finished the race with a smile still on my face, but no one let me live it down that it had been four years and I still did not know how to tie my shoes. 

Q: Favorite Meal?

A: I like to fry some tofu in siracha and mix it in with a lot of pasta. 

Q: If you could be any animal what would you choose? and why?

A: My track coach during my freshman and sophomore year had an obsession with lions. He had lion tattoos, rings, and even put them on our team shirts. He had a motto of "let the lion out." I had a conversation over the summer with my friend after he got a tattoo of an octopus. I said if I ever get a tattoo, it would be a lion. Now that my friend is no longer here, I want to honor that promise. So, I would want to be a lion because then I could embody my coach and remember my friend.

Q: Your favorite superhero?

A: I'm a big fan of a superhero called Nightwing. He used to be one of Batman's robins, before he broke out on his own.