A long (jumping) career ahead


//PICTURED ABOVE: Sena Asom points to her fourth place statistic at the 2019 junior Olympics, where she jumped 14’10.”

Early in January, seventh grader Sena Asom woke up as if it were any regular day. But it was not. To her surprise, her dad told her she was ranked number 7 in the country for long jumping in the 11-12 age group according to the National Youth Track and Field Database. Sena decided to check for herself, and she was astounded with what she found.

As a seventh grader, Sena has competed at two Junior Olympics for three different events (100 m, 200 m and long jump). If she continues to increase her distance by a foot every year, she hopes to run in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

Sena’s personal record for the long jump is 4.52 meters (roughly 14.8 feet). Even though she practices every day, Sena still experiences nerves and excitement about track competition and her progress.

“For running, you get butterflies, but then when you actually start running, you feel better and you feel good about yourself,” Sena said. “But at the beginning you have butterflies in your stomach.”

Sena comes from a family of athletes. Her oldest sister, Anase ‘13 walked onto the soccer team at the University of Chicago. Her brother, Yima attended Dartmouth for soccer, and her older sister Mimi ’15 played soccer at Princeton and is signed to play for the Benfica club in Portugal. All of her siblings also participated in track but ended up choosing soccer. However, Sena’s heart is set on track.

“She didn’t [choose soccer] the way the rest of us did. All of this means she really marches to the beat of her own drum,” Mimi said. “So when I see her working hard on the track it makes me really proud. She chose her own path and she sticks to it.”

Dr. Moses Asom, Sena’s father, said sports not only expands one’s ability to stay healthy but also teaches valuable lessons.

“Sports teach you teamwork and how to deal with failure and success at an early age,” Moses said. “For young adults, it helps you stay out of trouble and be very disciplined.”

Moses credits his children’s success to the rigors of Hockaday.

“The kids embraced the four cornerstones of Hockaday religiously. Hockaday has very good teachers, a very good support system and classes full of very smart kids,” Moses said. “That was very helpful and allowed them to learn how to work with different people. The kind of kids Hockaday has helped us raise is our biggest accomplishment.”

Coordinator of Athletic Facilities and head varsity soccer coach, Rodney Skaife coached Anase, Mimi and now has the opportunity to watch Sena grow into an accomplished athlete. He said Sena’s empathetic personality and competitive spirit will take her far in sports.

“Sena loves to win,” Skaife said. “She’s very self motivated on her own.”

Sena continues to practice at Hockaday and runs for the Proskills Track Club in McKinney. As she continues to excel in long jumping, all of her siblings and peers recognize her incredible abilities and talent.

“I know Sena and I have the same genes, but wow! She’s naturally just a crazy athlete. She’s tall, she’s strong and I swear had a six pack as a toddler. I’m not kidding,” Mimi said.

Story by Ava Berger and Eliana Goodman

Photo provided by Moses Asom