Viera’s Jensen makes it look easy on all fields
Viera High junior Kaitlyn Jensen is breaking records on the softball field and on the track for the Hawks this spring. Photos by Carl Kotala
It was a busy day for Viera High’s Kaitlyn Jensen.
Taking part in the Phillip Dummer Elite Classic track meet at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, the junior threw the shot put, raced over to throw the discus and, after making just one toss, she was off again.
After all, she had a softball game to get to.
All she did there was hit two home runs in the same inning as the Hawks defeated Harmony 11-1.
Later that night, she called Viera High track coach Dave Costello, who told her she won the shot and the discus at an event that featured 27 teams.
It was a busy day, all right. And a memorable one.
No wonder both Costello and Viera softball coach Dale Pierce say Jensen is easily one of the best athletes they’ve ever coached.
Playing multiple sports throughout a school year is hardly uncommon. But playing two sports at the same time and being an All-Star in both of them is a remarkable feat.
Jensen was voted Female Athlete of the Meet at a track and field competition earlier this year. She already has broken her own school record in the shot put with a throw of 38 feet, 8 inches and, after finishing third at the state meet last year, she has her eyes on winning the title.
In softball, Jensen was hitting a Brevard County best .659 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI. Four of those home runs came in the Battle at the Beach Tournament at Spruce Creek High, where she was named MVP.
Prior to this year, the Viera record for home runs in a season was six. The career record was 12.
“She’s matured into an absolutely fabulous ballplayer this year,” Pierce said.
Softball is the main sport for Jensen, who has verbally committed to play at UCF. She usually goes to track practice on Wednesdays and works more on her technique at home. Oh, she’s also a straight-A student.
Does it ever get to be too much?
“No, I love it,” Jensen said. “I love it that I always have something to do. Even on off days or weekends, I go to the fields with my dad and my sister.”
Costello believes if Jensen were committed to track full time, she could be throwing more than 40 feet in the shot and 140 in the discus (her best is 120). But neither Costello nor new throwing coach Kevin Maloney are complaining. They have both been impressed with Jensen’s competitive drive.
“She’s a great athlete to begin with, and she’s very coachable,” Maloney said. “She wants to do it, whether it’s softball or track. The fact that she tries to do two is amazing. She’s an All-Star in both.”
That’s why, in part, it could be quite a year for the Hawks.
In addition to her success on the track, the softball team is 19-1 and could be on the brink of a trip to the final four after reaching the regional final last year.
“We’re doing awesome,” Jensen said. “I really think we have a chance to go to states. We’ve just really come together as a team. We work so hard. We got a new (assistant) coach, Casey Vassallo, and physically and mentally she’s helped us grow so much. I feel so much more confident at the plate. And the team chemistry has been awesome.”
If it sounds like there is nothing Jensen can’t do if she puts her mind to it, well, you’re probably right. In addition to softball and track, she’s also an excellent volleyball player.
“She is definitely one of the most athletic girls I’ve ever coached in my life,” Pierce said. “The scary thing is, she’s only a junior. What’s she going to be like next year?”