NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt track and field team has a plethora of freshmen that are making an immediate impact on the squad this season. This series will take you inside the program to meet some of them one-on-one.
Our second freshman is Mobile, Alabama, native Grace Jensen. Jensen competes for both track and field and cross country. The freshman is a part of Vanderbilt’s nationally ranked 800-meter stable, recently collecting a personal best of 2:10.90.
Jensen has also competed in the mile for the Commodores and her 1,500-meter time of 4:26.30 ranks first for Vanderbilt this season … maybe it’s the avocado socks.
Q: How has your transition been from high school to college?
GJ: It’s definitely been really interesting, just because high school is so different from college. It’s been really helpful having my team by my side. It’s been a really positive experience overall and I’ve loved every second of it.
Q: What was your journey to Vanderbilt?
GJ: I committed pretty early in the early signing period. I went on all my official visits and Vanderbilt just really stuck out to me. It has a good reputation of having high-quality academics and athletics.
Q: What do you love most about your Vanderbilt teammates?
GJ: We’re just really close. I can genuinely say all of them are my best friends. It’s been really fun.
Q: When did you begin running track?
GJ: I started running for my high school in seventh grade.
Q: What do you love most about the sport?
GJ: It’s just the most rewarding sport there is, I think. It can be grueling at times but there’s no better feeling than having a good race, or setting a PR or even watching your teammates get a PR and seeing the smile on their face after.
Q: What is your favorite event to run?
GJ: Probably the 1,500. It’s the perfect distance for me.
Q: How are you balancing academics and track?
GJ: Being here, my time management skills have had to improve a lot. Just like any high schooler, I really did have a procrastination problem. But at Vanderbilt there are so many resources and it’s been a huge help.
Q: Have you chosen a major yet?
GJ: I don’t exactly know. At this point its economics, but I’m thinking about human organizational development, but I don’t know.
Q: What is your next goal on the track?
GJ: After this track season I am going to focus on our cross country season. I’d like to make a bigger impact on our team and get us back to nationals.
Q: What is your next goal off the track?
GJ: Finish the school year, finish exams and get good grades.
Q: Do you have any superstitions when you compete?
GJ: I actually wear the same pair of socks. They’re avocado socks that have faces on them. They’re stupid but I always get compliments on them so I have to bring them out.
Q: Your Vanderbilt career is still young, but has being a college athlete been everything you expected thus far?
GJ: It’s been better than what I thought. I genuinely enjoy racing and training a lot more than I did because I have a great group of women around me. Academically, it’s more challenging, but that just makes it more rewarding and I feel like I’m really getting something out of it.
Q: Do you have any siblings?
GJ: I have two older siblings, but they didn’t run track. My dad swam at Alabama, however.
Q: What is one thing most Vandy fans wouldn’t know about you?
GJ: I started an Instagram page for people with clammy hands. I know, it’s weird. I’ve always had them. Check it out at @clammyhandclub.
Q: When you have time away from school and workouts, what do you do for fun?
GJ:I really love exploring Nashville. There’s always something to do and there are so many good restaurants. There are always $15 concerts.