April 9, 2010

Denes Veres is a junior thrower on the Fighting Irish track and field team who specializes in shot put. A finance major from Ellwood City, Pa., Veres earned all-conference honors when he finished second this year in the BIG EAST Indoor Championship. Veres sat down with UND.com to tell us a little more about himself.

1. Why did you decide to attend Notre Dame?
For the athletics and academics, but most importantly the feeling you get when you walk around campus. That’s what really drew me in when I visited here.

2. How did you become interested in throwing?
I grew up playing football, and it was something football players would do during the offseason. A few of my friends decided to go out for track, and I decided to do it, too.

3. Who did you look to for inspiration growing up?
For inspiration, I would look to my parents. They always wanted me to do my best and have fun. They motivated me to do well.

4. What professional sports teams do you root for?
I am a Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins fan. I live about 40 miles north of the city.

5. If you could eat dinner with any three people, alive or dead, who would you choose?
I would choose my mom, my dad, and my sister to have a nice family meal.

6. What is the most difficult part of being a Division I athlete?
Being able to balance athletics, the academics, and also the social aspect. It’s the combination of these and making sure no one part gets too much attention.

7. What are your personal goals for the upcoming season?
Basically I want to have fun, throw well and be competitive in every event.

8. What are your expectations for the team in the next season?
I expect the team to team to do very well. We already won the BIG EAST indoor title, and we’re looking forward to the championship season in outdoor. We have a strong group of throwers, and also strong runners, jumpers, and sprinters. The BIG EAST Championship is our main goal.

9. What are your favorite television shows?
Well my roommates always make fun of me for watching The Weather Channel. I don’t watch much TV, but I like “Criminal Minds” and “NCIS”, but if I’m watching TV by far it’s the local (weather).

10. What is your favorite meal?
Anything my mom makes, but if I was to go home I would ask her for breaded pork chops with bacon cabbage and noodles on the side.

11. What do you most miss from home when you are here at school?
My mom’s home cooking.

12. What is your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas is definitely my favorite holiday, because it gets the whole family together. It’s great to see all the aunts and uncles and cousins.

13. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Just sit around, relax, hopefully be outside and not really worry about doing homework or thinking about tests. Any free time I get I like to spend unwinding.

14. What sports did you play growing up?
I played football since third grade and competed in track since eighth.

15. At what age did you begin to take throwing seriously?
I started doing well in high school, and after my junior year is when it really started. I remember my track coach said, “You came in here a football player who did track, but now you’re a track athlete who plays football.”

16. What do you hope to do after graduation?
I would just like to be employed, start a family, and enjoy life.

17. Which dining hall do you prefer and why?
North Dining Hall, it’s organized, clean, has better food and friendly staff.

18. How do you try to be a leader on the track and field team?
What I’ve experienced as a thrower; I see (younger athletes) running into the same problems. I see the problems they’re facing and let them know I’ve been in their shoes and it’s nothing we can’t get through. I try to lead by example.

19. What do you like to do to get yourself ready for a meet?
The nice thing about home meets is that I like to walk to the meets. I get ready in the room and then walk outside, see the Golden Dome, the Basilica, walk past Touchdown Jesus, and it reminds you you’re at Notre Dame, which is awesome.

20. When looking back on your Notre Dame career 10 years from now, what do you want to remember?
My teammates, my roommates, and something I learned in class. Fortunately we’ve won the BIG EAST Championship the past three years, so it’s not really how well I’ve performed but how we’ve performed as a team and what we’ve done.

— ND —