Thursday's Conversation With New Mexico's Django Lovett

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Welcome to Thursday’s Conversation. Each week, one Mountain West student-athlete will be featured by answering a series of questions.

Joining the conversation this week is New Mexico’s Django Lovett. The senior from Surrey, British Columbia, competes in the High Jump for the Lobos’ track and field team. Last week at the New Mexico-hosted Don Kirby Elite Invitational, Lovett set a personal and MW all-time record and equaled the New Mexico mark in the High Jump with a clearance of 7’-3.00’’.

Lovett, a three-time Conference champion in the High Jump (2014 Indoor, 2011 and 2013 Outdoor), will look to defend his indoor title next week as the Lobos host the 2015 MW Indoor Track & Field Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center from Feb. 26-28.

Question: It was a big weekend for you with a record-breaking performance in the High Jump. Did you know you had set the MW record and equaled the UNM record at the time of the jump?

Answer: I really didn’t know about the record until after the competition was over. Certainly, it was a great accomplishment and I’m proud to hold that mark.

Q: How does a jump like that help your confidence as you prepare for the final few weeks of the indoor season?

A: That’s the kind of jump I’m going to need to compete at nationals. When I broke the (MW) record I sprained my hamstring slightly, so I’m trying to heal that up and regain my focus. The High Jump at NCAA’s is always highly competitive and it comes down to the slightest of margins, so there’s no room for error. I know what needs to be done and I just want to jump cleanly so that I can put myself in contention.

Q: The High Jump looks and sounds easy in theory, but in practice is a complex event that can be broken down step-by-step. Is it hard to tune out all the mental preparation when competing?

A: It can be, because as you said, the event is so technical that you can over-think things and not perform the jump you want. For me, I try to keep things as simple as possible and trust in the work I’ve done and keep my mind clear.

Q: New Mexico is hosting next week’s 2015 Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships. How is the team feeling heading into the meet?

A: Everyone is really excited about the Conference meet. We’ve been competing well and have been smashing school records in our last few events. I am really looking forward to having one last opportunity to go out with a bang in front of our home crowd and I know the team is as well.

Q: What was it about the High Jump that made it so appealing to you that you chose to specialize in it?

A: It started when I was maybe 10 years-old. I was playing soccer at the time and the coach, in a nice way, said I was too slow. So, my mom put in track to try and make me quicker, but I saw the high jumpers and they looked like they were having a blast and I thought I’d give it a try. By my junior year in high school I really took the High Jump seriously and things started to blossom for me.

Q: Have you thought about what’s next for you?

A: What’s next is always in the back of your mind. This journey at New Mexico has been an amazing experience and I’ll always look back on it with great appreciation and it’s been a great blessing; I’ll never forget it. Moving on from here is another step in my journey and my immediate goals are to keep training and see how far I can take track and field.

Q: Are you looking at trying to qualify for the Olympics?

A: Yes, that is one of the goals along with competing professionally.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: Well, I really don’t get a lot of it, so I like to take full advantage when I can. I’ll take naps, rest, watch something on Netflix and recover my body as much as possible.

Do you have a student-athlete you’d like to see featured in an upcoming Thursday's Conversation? Contact Dan Johnson at djohnson@TheMW.com