A Q&A with Escondido track and field standout Emily Aragon

By TOM SHERIDAN - Staff Writer | Monday, April 27, 2009 5:09 PM PDT ∞

I decided to do shot put for fun, and I ended up really good at it, said the Escondido High weight thrower.

This season Aragon, also a starter on the Cougars basketball team, will be going for a three-peat as the Avocado League shot put champion. She holds the best mark in the North County this season at 40 feet, 1 inch, which is just off her personal best of 40-3 1/2. Aragon is undefeated in dual meets this year and is attracting recruiting interest, most notably from Northern Arizona.

The 6-foot-3 senior is a free spirit who speaks with candor about her academic struggles, the joys of the 10-minute mile and the secret to putting the shot.

Q: So, what came first, basketball or track and field?

A: Track and field. Basketball, I couldn't play freshman year because I didn't qualify, my gpa. I was a slacker.

Q: Are you beyond that now?

A: Yes, I am. I have a 3.5, thank you very much. Last semester was the first time I didn't have a C on my report card.

Q: How did you get your academics together?

A: I just realized I've got to keep my grades up if I'm going to go anywhere with track. So I had to stop being a slacker and start doing work.

Q: Do you have a favorite class?

A: Last year I took athletic training and that was the most fun I've ever had in a class. And then lunch, of course, that's always a good class (she laughs).

Q: Who do you sit with at lunch?

A: My best friend. She's like my little sister. Yeah, we hang out and do stupid things.

Q: What do you talk about?

A: It's more like, what don't we talk about?

Q: How did you get into basketball?

A: I wanted to play and came out for tryouts my freshman year. I walked into the gym and the coach said, 'Is that a college player?' He wanted me to play varsity as a freshman, and I told him I didn't even qualify. He said, 'What? What!' Then I told myself, 'I have to get my grades up so I can play basketball.'

Q: So sophomore year was your first season. Did you play varsity that year?

A: Yeah.

Q: Did you start?

A: Sometimes. I was injured. I was kind of like learning the ropes because varsity basketball is really fast-paced and you have to be in shape. And I was not in shape my sophomore year. He would put me in for five minutes and when I came out, I was dying. That was not cool.

Q: How did you get in shape?

A: Track. We run a mile every day. I ran a 10-minute mile yesterday. It was awesome. The first two weeks of practice it's two laps. Then the next week it's three laps. And from then to the end of the season it's four laps.

Q: Is it fair that weight throwers have to run a mile every day?

A: It really is, because I think we look good when we're in shape.

Q: Do you have a favorite athlete?

A: I know most people would be, 'Michael Jordan.' I just admire athletes because we work harder than most people.

Q: You get a lot of those types in track.

A: If you're not too great in basketball, you're too small for football, you're not coordinated enough to do tennis, then come do track and field. If you run fast, or you can run for a long time, or you jump high, you jump far, throw far, whatever, there's something for you.

Q: Tell me something about the shot put that people might not know?

A: It's a lot of legs. Most people think it's all arms. Like my dad will be like, 'Go to the gym and work on your arms.' And I said, 'Dad, it's all legs.' All you have to do (with your arms) is hold up the shot put. You get a lot of power from your back leg. Just push through it. Yeah, I think that's our hidden secret.

Emily Aragon

School: Escondido

Year: Senior

Height: 6-foot-3

Birthday: Oct. 8, 1991

Birthplace: Escondido

Accomplishments: She is the top shot putter in the North County this season with a mark of 40 feet, 1 inch. She is a two-time Avocado League champion in the shot put and the defending league champ in the discus. A year ago, she qualified for her first state meet in the discus.

Quick hits

Favorite movie: 300

Favorite line from that movie: This is Sparta!

Five favorite foods: Chinese, Mexican, Italian, hamburgers, hot dogs

Beef or chicken? Chicken

Romance or comedy? Comedy

Favorite comedian: Any of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour guys

Least favorite comedian: Dane Cook

What's on your iPod? All sorts of music, except country. And weird stuff like polkas. Mostly rap and R&B. But I have some death metal for shot putting.

Favorite song to warm up to: Through Struggle by As I Lay Dying

Favorite throwing circles: Escondido and Mt. Carmel Next Previous