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Athlete of The Week Interview: Claire Jones

Claire Jones has been having a stellar season for the Big red. That’s why she’s our Athlete of The Week. BRSN is grateful that she and Helen Kim got to sit down and learn more about one of Cornell Field Hockey’s finest.

BRSN: What was your mindset going into the weekend game against? Dartmouth

CJ: Going into the game this weekend we prepared no differently than we would for any other game. We knew that this game wasn’t going to be easy because Dartmouth was known to be a team that would never give up. They had not won any Ivy League game this year, which was the position we were in as a team last year and they had a point to prove, which would make this game one of our hardest. Our head coach told us that if we played with the high intensity that we had been practicing with all week and play the high level of hockey that we knew how to play then we would win.

BRSN: How did you first get started with field hockey, and what kept you in the sport?

CJ: I started playing field hockey when I was 6 years old. My family and I had moved from NorthCarolina to Pennsylvania when I was in first grade. My parents thought the local field hockeyclub would be a good way to make new friends and get involved with athletics in thecommunity. I loved the sport instantly. I eventually ended up at a club about an hour and a halffrom home in order to train, improve my game and have opportunities to play at a high level. Iwas fortunate to have great club coaches throughout elementary, middle and high school thatbelieved in me and encouraged me. I absolutely love competing.

BRSN: Why did you choose Cornell?

CJ: I visited many programs at different universities starting at a young age through camps andclinics. I knew I wanted to be part of a larger university that was known for its high levelacademics. I also knew that I wanted to play competitive Division 1 field hockey. I just feltcomfortable at Cornell the first time I set foot on campus. I felt as if I belonged here and couldachieve my academic goals as well as my athletic goals.

BRSN: What is your greatest field hockey memory?

CJ: One of my greatest memories was being selected to play for a team from my club tocompete in the U18 Chinese National Championships in China in 2017. The competition wasamazing and the experience was truly incredible.

BRSN: How do you like to prepare for games?

CJ: On every game day I prepare the same. I have usually a bigger breakfast so that I have a decent amount of energy. I only focus on the game and put everything else out of my mind. I am in the training room for a while receiving treatment and while I am doing that I put my headphones in a listen to my music to separate myself from the people around me so that I can put myself in “game day” mode. A few weird things that I have to do is that I always have to tie my shoes the same way and I always wear the same headband for games and have my hair put up in a ponytail in a specific way. I am weirdly superstitious about certain things on days that we have games.

BRSN: What are your expectations for next season?

CJ: Our team has been through a lot together since the beginning of last season. Andy, our newhead coach, as well as our assistant coaches, have been instrumental in developing each andevery one of us as players and as a team. We are dedicated and determined to win the IvyLeague title and to represent Cornell in the NCAA championships. I am so excited for next yearand can’t wait to get started.

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