Runner Aspires to Help Animals With Cancer

POUGHKEEPSIE – Saniya Jenkins dreams of attending Cornell University and one day operating an animal hospital. The Poughkeepsie High School senior ranks second in her class and is waiting hopefully for an acceptance letter from Cornell.

“I plan on being a veterinarian oncologist,” said the district’s athlete of the month for September. “I love animals. I like them all.”

Jenkins runs cross country, indoor track and outdoor track for Poughkeepsie.

“It’s definitely a pleasure due to the fact it’s not so much watching her ability get better in terms of her running, it’s watching her mindset become stronger and to know where she can achieve more,” said varsity cross country and track coach Jason Conrad.

“Watching her academically, she’s always been strong, but she’s become a much more rounded student-athlete with the programs she’s in and keeping her academics up, and participating in track and field and cross country.”

Jenkins just completed her senior cross-country season with two wins and a second-place finish in dual meets.

At invitational, Jenkins has dropped six minutes from her time at the start of the season. At the Section I League 1A mega duals on Sept. 12, she was 31th and clocked a time of 33 minutes, 32.20 seconds on Bowdoin Park’s challenging course. On Oct. 3, she placed 19th at the Section I League 1A championships with a time of 27:19.8 at Bowdoin Park.

“When I’m running, it feels like I’m flying. I like the feeling. When I run, I feel at peace with myself,” she said.

Jenkins said her best track events are the middle-distance runs, 600 and 1,000 for indoor and 800 for outdoor.

“I’m trying to make it to the state meet before I graduate,” she said. “That’s my biggest goal right now when it comes to running.”

Jenkins is the daughter of Travis and Adrienne Jenkins and has three siblings, Aubrey, Skyler and Travis. When she’s not running, she enjoys reading, studying and participating in JROTC.

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