Track team shatters records in sunshine

Spencer Chase


California treated the Jackrabbit track and field teams well, prompting the team to bring back numerous school records from various meets in the Golden State.

The Jacks competed in the Brian Clay Invitational at Azuza Pacific University in Azuza, Calif., and the Long Beach State Invitational in Long Beach, Calif. At those two meets, Calvin Cammack topped the SDSU record in the pole vault, Tera Potts hit the school’s top mark in the steeplechase and Amy Paulzine broke the school record in the javelin throw.

“To see [Paulzine] come out and perform well and break the record was really impressive,” said head coach Rod DeHaven. “She broke that record in what was pretty calm wind conditions.”

Paulzine and Cammack’s efforts were also good enough to take the top spots in their respective events. Jared Vlastuin took first place in the long jump. DeHaven said that the Jacks fared well in the warm California sun.

“Track in the upper-Midwest and South Dakota in particular can be a challenge because you never really know what you’re going to get weather-wise. It was exceptionally warm out there, but everyone did just fine,” he said.

Aside from the athletic efforts that found their way to the top of the SDSU record book, several Jackrabbits posted personal bests or season highs on their way to moving into the top-10 all time in SDSU history.

With several jumpers recovering from injuries, DeHaven said the women stepped up and posted their best marks of the season at the Brian Clay Invitational. Ashley Odegaard jumped a season-best distance and placed fifth in the long jump. Mary Wirth also jumped a season-best in the high jump, taking second place.

The women’s 400-meter relay team of Odegaard, Gina Fritz, Jessica McDonald and Megan Bren finished sixth in a hotly-contested race that saw a mere 1.44 second difference between first and eighth place.

With only three meets to go before they will head to the Summit League Championships in Fargo, the Jacks will now focus their energy on preparing to compete for a conference crown.

“We had several (personal records) this weekend, so it’s good to see the team start to get where they need to be towards the end of the season,” DeHaven said.