When I sat down to interview UB's junior track and field veteran, Jenelle Callender, it was evident that she is extremely competitive and flat out fast. She talks fast, she moves fast, she eats fast- in fact, Callender does just about everything fast. After confiding that I am her favorite Spectrum reporter (without prodding), Callender began to talk about her past performances and the outdoor track season, which begins today.
"I have been training very hard during this past winter for outdoor track," Callender said. "I view the indoor track season as a warm up of some sorts for the outdoor track season."
Callender holds or shares 10 UB records in sprints and relays in her career. However most of these records were broken when the international studies major first arrived at UB.
"Track and academic life here at UB has become a lot more demanding," said Callender. "When I came to UB my goal was not to break a school record. It was simply to run hard and excel in the classroom."
Coming out of Brooklyn Tech High School, Callender had a lot of different options for college. But, there was something about UB that she just couldn't run from.
"The fact that the track program was an up-and-coming program intrigued me. I was up for the challenge of coming to this program and along with my teammates making our team a very dangerous opponent to face."
Callender is a quintessential team player, although many people view track as an individual sport.
"Many people think that track is not a team sport but it is. When I go to a meet my main focus is placing in the event that I am doing so my team can get the points and that way my team can be that much closer to winning the meet. The records and individual accomplishments are nice but my main focus is for the team to win the meet."
Going into this outdoor track season, Callender has several goals she would like to achieve, besides passing Political Science 408.
"This year I would like to make our team's presence more known around the MAC. I think every college athlete's dream is to go to their respective championship, so before I graduate I definitely would like to get to either the indoor or outdoor NCAA championships. Scoring in an individual and relay event in the MAC championships is what I am shooting for in the beginning of May."
While much of UB's population is either at home watching TV or on some sandy beach this spring break, Callender and the rest of the track and field team will be trying to make their presence known in Winston Salem, N.C. at the Wake Forest relays. Competition runs today through Sunday.