We Salute Jenna Walker Mill Valley

Name:Jenna Walker

School:Mill Valley High School

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

A: Currently, I am continuing to train with my usual schedule that I had been using during the track season. However, I do not get to run with my teammates as I usually do, which has probably been the hardest part of this situation. Fortunately, I am able to run with my sister every morning to start my day!

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

A: I am enjoying the nice weather outside, staying active, hanging out with my sisters, and finding new hobbies! I am using this time to grow closer to God and looking to Him to find joy instead of the current circumstances.

Q: What was your most memorable race/moment?

A: My favorite running memory was winning the state cross country title as a team for the second time my senior year. It was amazing to see all of the team's hard work pay off. It was especially rewarding to get to experience this with my best friends and biggest supporters!

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

A: Last cross country season we had a dog run with us for 5 miles before we finally found his owner. The whole run my teammates and I were laughing about how he never left our side. We have a lot of other funny moments on runs where we couldn't breathe from laughing so hard and trying to run at the same time.

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

A: I can't think of a specific person or school that has been the biggest competition throughout high school. I consider myself and my teammates competition. I strive to improve myself and be better than I was before. My teammates also push me to work harder and get better each practice.

Q: What was your greatest accomplishment?

A: My greatest accomplishment was with my teammates, when we were able to win back to back 6a state championships in cross country. It was very rewarding to see all of our hard work pay off. We worked together and achieved our goals that we had set early in the season.

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 cherished and enjoyed it a lot more in my early years. As a senior, I enjoyed the sport a lot more because I realized how much I will miss it when it's over. I wish I would have had a more positive attitude about running and not just gone through the motions as a freshman and sophomore.

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

A: It has been very tough throughout the years having to battle some of the injuries or aches and pains that set me back in my training. I have had to give up running for long periods of time, have patience, and wait for the healing. It is not easy being told you have to adjust training or cut back mileage because your body can't handle something that you want within you. On a positive note, I came back from these obstacles with a more passionate attitude towards running.

Q: What will you miss the most?

A: I will definitely miss the people the most, and all of the friends that I have made through track and cross country. My high school experience would be completely different if I had never met my teammates. Each one of them has shaped me into who I am today. I will also miss being able to compete, push myself to the limit, and achieve the goals I set for myself early on in the season.

Q: What advice would you give to younger athletes?

A: Don't take anything for granted, and enjoy each moment you have with your teammates and coaches. You never know when your season can come to an end due to an injury or something unexpected such as the coronavirus. Work hard everyday and don't give up. You will be rewarded for your hard work if you keep grinding and believe in yourself.

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

A: Coach McAfee has been such an amazing coach since the day I joined the team. He has always believed in me and taught me so many important life lessons as well as how to be the best athlete I can be. He sees everyone's potential and knows exactly how to push them to achieve their goals. He takes so much time out of his day to focus on individuals and teaches them how to run fast with a desire to win.

Q: What are your college plans?

A: I plan to attend Kansas State University in the fall with major in nursing. I am not competing in college, however I will definitely continue to run for fun and to get exercise! I am thinking about joining a running club at K-State. 

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

A: I want to thank my family for being the best supporters and always cheering me on. They helped me to be successful and got me where I am today. I love them so much and I am grateful for their endless support throughout my running career. I also want to thank my coaches for always believing in me and pushing me to my max potential. I will never forget the impact they have had on me throughout my time at Mill Valley. To my teammates, thank you for being there for me when I need it most, and for being friends that will last a lifetime. None of this would be possible without God, so I want to thank Him for giving me the ability to run.

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

A: Beet juice makes you faster!!

Q: Favorite Meal?

A: My mom's chicken tacos with chips and salsa

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

A: I would be my dog Frankie because I would enjoy getting lots of attention and going on walks with my family.

Q: Your favorite superhero?

A: I don't have one.