Kaitlyn Jensen isn’t the only athlete to play multiple sports. In fact, she isn’t the only athlete to play more than one sport in the same season.
It would be difficult, however, to find more than a few others who have been as dominant as the Viera High junior has been in two spring sports this year.
On the softball field, Jensen has homered 15 times, driven in more than 40 runs and batted .588. In track and field, she has the best marks for a Brevard County high school girl in two events: the discus (113 feet, 8 inches) and the shot put (38-2).
When possible, she has competed in both on the same day. On March 31, she competed in the Cape Coast Conference track and field championship meet at Astronaut High and left in time to make Viera’s softball game against Space Coast that night. Her shot put of 38-2 won the CCC title, and she placed second in the discus (106-4).
“It’s no problem at all,” Hawks softball coach Dale Pierce said Tuesday. “I’ve got a great working relationship with (track and field coach) Dave Costello. It’s got to bother her some, but she seems to adjust to it.”
She had the chance to do both again on Wednesday, when Sebastian River hosted the District 13-3A meet and the Hawks softball team played its District 6-7A semifinal game at night. Jensen won the girls shot put with a season best 39-7 1/2 and the discus with a 109-7.
After a drive back to Viera to play Heritage, she hit her 14th and 15th home runs in an 11-0 win over the Panthers. The Hawks will play Harmony at Viera Regional Park Thursday at 7 p.m. for the district crown.
Jensen has credited her daily practice, a shortening of her swing and the lineup around her for her 13 homers.
“Having somebody before me and after me at the plate makes me more confident I can do the job,” she said.
Pierce added his own take.
“She’s gotten a lot stronger physically,” he said. “She’s confident, and the maturity level is a huge part of it.”
Jensen has set a pattern for the Hawks softball team, who have hit 25 homers as a group this year. She hit four in a tournament at Spruce Creek against a loaded field. That included two in the championship game against Winter Springs, won 7-2 by Viera.
The week before that, she was the Community Credit Union/FLORIDA TODAY Athlete of the Week for her two-sport success: three home runs in two softball games and two events won at the Phillip Dummer Elite Classic track and field meet hosted by Holy Trinity. She took the discus there by more than 10 foot (112-5) and won the shot put (35-5) as well.
All the while, she’s adjusted to a position shift, moving from shortstop to third base.
“All my life I’ve played shortstop, so it’s a big change,” she said. “My UCF coach, because I’m committed there, wants me to move to third. I’ve been practicing a lot.”
Contact McCallum at 321-242-3698 or email@example.com. Follow him @Brian_McCallum and at facebook.com/FLtoday.brianmccallum.