EPISD Student Spotlight: Leslie Jaquez, Jefferson High
(JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL -- Aug. 24, 2021) — Jefferson High 12th-grader Leslie Jaquez looks forward to a senior year filled with in-person activities – particularly a competitive track and field season. The top 10 percent senior, who has earned national accolades in shot put and discus, gives us her take on her senior year in this week’s segment of the EPISD Student Spotlight.
EPISD: How does it feel to back to school live and in-person?
Leslie Jaquez: Transitioning back to in person school has been a readjustment but I'm glad to be back on campus making the best out of my last year!
EPISD: What do you look forward to this year as a senior?
LJ: I look forward to our school dances and pep rallies since I get to partake in the organization of these activities and overall, just being involved in all these amazing school activities.
EPISD: Tell us about studying sports medicine and sparked your interest?
LJ: Studying Sports medicine is very fun. I get to learn though hands on activities and it is getting me ready for my future. What sparked my interest in joining this program was the fact that it ties in with athletics, which I love and medicine which is the career path I have always wanted to do. This program will help me get a job a lot easier for my future which I am grateful for.
EPISD: Tell us about your passion for with track and field?
LJ: Track and Field was introduced to me in middle school, and I didn't think much of it until I started getting my results. I was fortunate enough to get District Champion in both shot put and discus my seventh and eighth grade year. That's when I knew track was something I wanted to take very seriously. Through all of four years of high school, I was fortunate enough to be on the varsity team. With my hard training and commitment, I placed third in discus and fifth in shot put my freshman year.
EPISD: What are some of your other achievements in track and field?
LJ: I qualified for the USA Track & Field Junior Olympic nationals in Sacramento for discus and shot put. Sadly, my sophomore year was put on pause due to COVID-19, but my junior year, I came back stronger than ever. I placed 2nd in discus and 1st in shot put in 5-A. I then received 1st place championship for discus and 3rd in shot put in the 5-A area competition. I then moved on to regionals in Lubbock and placed 7th place in discus. During the summer, I qualified again for the USATF nationals in Jacksonville, Florida for discus, shot put and javelin. I hope my senior year can go even better.
EPISD: What's your training regime like that has helped you achieve being a two-time national qualifier in shot put?
LJ: I work hard during practice and never missing a day. I focused on my goals, and I didn't let any little step backs backtrack me from those goals. I also made sure to rest before the actual competition that way my body and mind felt ready for what was coming towards me. Most of all, I always remembered to have fun and enjoy the sports and the connections with athletes I met from around the nation.
EPISD: How do you balance athletics with academics?
LJ: I stay focused in class and get my work done. I also make sure to communicate with my teachers that way I have an idea or agenda of assignments I need to get done in case I have to miss out due to a track meet because in the end student comes before athlete always.
EPISD: What advice would you give an incoming freshman?
LJ: The advice I would give to incoming freshman would be to have fun and enjoy your high school years. Join as many extra activities as possible because it is so much fun and helps you build new connections and friendships. If you have any questions, always ask. Teachers will always be willing to help or will send you with someone who can.
EPISD: Where do you plan to go to college and what do you plan to major in?
LJ: So far, I don't have a set school due to the multiple offers I have for track and field, but I know I want a good school that could provide me a good education and athletic career. I would like to major in kinesiology and learn more about sports science and exercise.
EPISD: What other activities are you involved in/why is it important for you to be active and involved in your campus?
LJ: I am the chief executive and treasurer of Student Council. I also am in athletic training, and in HOSA. It is important for me to be active and involved in my campus because I can build new friendships and connect with my teachers. It's always good to be able to represent your school with some type of organization.
EPISD: Anything else you want to add?
LJ: The pandemic has hit hard so many students, but now is our time to come back stronger than ever as a community.