Lyon College freshman Wesley Suen believes the best way to address the rigors of college athletics and academics is to “always push yourself to be better.”
His perseverance is already paying off. Suen won first place in the long jump at his first collegiate track meet on Jan. 25 in Jacksonville, Ill. He jumped a distance of 6.49 meters (21.3 feet) and also took fifth place in both the 60-meter and 200-meter dashes.
“I didn’t expect to get first at all,” he said.
The leadup to his first meet was very nerve-wracking.
“I didn’t know what to expect. I just relied on my coaching and all the work I put in on the off-season, and it paid off.”
As a student-athlete, Suen maintains a vigorous schedule to succeed both in the classroom and on the track.
“You’re already at a disadvantage because you miss class sometimes for practices and meets. If you waste time, you fall far behind.”
He learned that the hard way his first semester.
“My grades were good, so I got comfortable,” Suen said. “Getting complacent, I got kind of lazy on a few assignments and didn’t finish with the grade I wanted.”
He chose to build off his failures rather than let them stop him.
“Even though my grades weren’t bad, they weren’t as good as I wanted them to be. I’m working on keeping busy this semester and keeping myself dedicated to the things I have to do.”
Suen has goals in mind for every part of the week.
“I tell myself ‘Okay. I have to have this assignment done by this time today for me to stay on schedule.’ ”
He said track helps him stay on top of his coursework because he knows how important it is to meet his goals and build off of that success.
“I’ve got to give my best at practice or else I’m going to look foolish at the meet. Instead of looking foolish on my report card, I have to give my best in the classroom, too.”
Suen continued, “Always put your best foot forward. Otherwise, you’re wasting your own time.”
He is currently a millisecond off from qualifying for nationals for the 60-meter dash. He is working with Men’s Track and Field Head Coach Milton Williams to close that gap by eating right, hydrating regularly and staying in the best shape he can.
“If I qualify, I will get to compete on the national stage with the best of the best.”
Suen did not expect to do so well in his freshman season.
“I expected to be much further behind than what I was. It just shows if you work hard toward something you’re going to succeed.”
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