Five questions with Eszter Bajnok

Editor’s note: Every Wednesday throughout the fall, we’ll catch up with track and field student-athletes and coaches for five questions.

Q: What was it like transitioning from Hungary to the United States last year?

BAJNOK: “Well, you know, moving can be very difficult with leaving family and friends to go to the other side of the world. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. When I first got here, everything was strange, new and it was hard to fit in at the beginning. But for me, the hardest part was the language barrier and the things that came with it. Fortunately for me, my teammates and friends helped me and I’ve had the most amazing time here now.”

Q: Now with having a year under your belt, how will that help you this season?

BAJNOK: “Everything will just be easier. So, when I traveled across the ocean to come back to Blacksburg, it felt like I came home. I just started my sophomore year just like every other student and being here before helps me a lot because I don’t have to try to fit in again and start from the beginning. So, I have my life here now and I’m just trying to get better.”

Q: You had a tremendous freshman year, placing at the ACCs in both indoor and outdoor. How did you do so well as a freshman?

BAJNOK: “After high school, I had a gap year. So, I spent that time just practicing and I learned a lot about track and field and what my body and mind needs to do to be successful. The Unites States’ training methods are a lot different, for example, weightlifting. But at the beginning it didn’t work out that well, but thanks to the mutual trust with Coach Z [Paul Zalewski], we made changes to the workouts so it is more efficient for my body – and that helped reach my goals. I was really glad that I could score at both of the indoor and outdoor ACC Championships. Also, winning the outdoor championship as a team made it more sweet.”

Q: You were a bright spot in the jumps this past winter and spring. Now, there are even higher expectations for you going into this season. How do you live up to that?

BAJNOK: “We have already talked about the goals with Coach Z, and it will be higher than last year. But to be honest, I wasn’t totally satisfied with my scores and marks. So, I’m back with the biggest motivation I’ve ever had. I believe if I work hard and have high self-confidence, I think I should be able to do it. So, if I work on my mistakes, I hope I can reach my goals and have a more successful year.”

Q: You are currently taking German as one of your languages. What's it like studying another language (besides already speaking Hungarian and English)?

BAJNOK: “I’m an international studies major, so it is a requirement for my major to take another language. I already took German classes in high school, so it definitely hasn’t been new to me and it’s made my life easier choosing that one. I really enjoy taking this class because of the family environment. I think it is really useful and important to learn more languages, especially with it being in the 21st century – and it’s just fun.”

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