Track and field wins Mountain West Outdoor Championships, 14 athletes earn All-Mountain West Conference Honors

by Marco Perez, Staff Writer

The San Diego State track and field team won the Mountain West Outdoor Championship held by Fresno State, winning the championship for the fifth time in eight years. The Aztecs earned a total of 161 points (the most since 2013), ahead of second-place Colorado State’s 145.5 and UNLV’s 122. 

The Scarlet and Black earned seven gold medals, three silvers and two bronzes. Performances at the MW Championships, along with performances throughout the year, helped earn 14 Aztecs All-Mountain West Conference honors. Head coach Shelia Burrell also picked up her fifth Coach of the Year honor. 

All seven of the gold medals came from track events. Freshman sprinter Jada Moore won all three events she competed in. Moore won with a photo finish in the wind-aided 100-meter dash with a time of 11.351 seconds. In the 200-meter dash, Moore ran a personal-record time of 23.11– the fourth-best time in school history. 

“The performance from Jada Moore stands out significantly,” Burrell said. “She came out and beat one of the top sprinters in the country (Cassandra Hall of UNLV).”

Moore was also a part of the winning 4×400-meter relay team that ran a season-best 44.15 seconds, the fifth-fastest time in school history. Other than Moore, the team consisted of sophomore Tai McDonald, sophomore Danae Dyer and freshman Aisha Watts.

The four by 100-meter team beat second-place UNLV by nearly two-tenths of a second and qualified for the NCAA West Preliminaries.

“Overall just so proud of them,” Dyer said of her teammates. “The whole year was really tough on us and everybody, and our bodies as well. Mentally, physically, everything was tough. Their energies were very high and we were all super excited to just run.” 

Dyer had an impressive win of her own in the 100-meter hurdles, running a wind-aided time of 12.99. However, because of a wind speed of +2.2 meters per second in Dyer’s favor, she does not qualify for the school record books. 

Dyer exploded out of the blocks and had the lead after the first hurdle. She never looked back and held on all the way to the end. 

“I knew that I was capable of running a really good time,” Dyer said. “During the entire race I really wasn’t thinking about anything, I just knew I was hungry and I wanted to win, and definitely wanted to win points for my team. I really wanted to run at least a 12. I didn’t care if it was low 12 or a high 12, I just really wanted to be in the 12’s.”

The Aztecs won both of the hurdle competitions. Senior hurdler Maya Brosch continued her impressive season with a win in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 59.54 seconds, just ahead of freshman teammate Rhea Hoyte’s time of 59.66 seconds. Both qualified for the NCAA West Preliminaries.

Brosch and Hoyte were part of the winning 4×400-meter relay team along with junior Jalyn Harris and sophomore Nyjari McNeil. The team’s time of 3:38.94 was a season-best and over four seconds better than second-place San Jose State.

In the 800 meter run, McNeil came from behind in the last 200 meters to catch UNLV junior Avi’ Tai Wilson-Perteete and win the race. McNeil’s time of 2:05.34 was a personal season-best.

“I wasn’t focusing on anyone else in the race,” McNeil said. “In the last 200 I gave it all I had. That’s what I’ve been working on in practice, so it came naturally. When I was little that’s how I ran all my races. I would always start off really far in the back and then sprint the last 200 and catch everyone.”

Freshman distance runner Jessica Kain placed third in the 1,500 meter with a time of 4:21.87, the fastest time by an Aztec since 1982.

Harris placed fourth in the 400-meter dash with a season-best time of 53.70 seconds.

The Scarlet and Black didn’t win any golds in the field events, but still earned points and helped contribute to the overall team total.

Senior pole vaulter Kaitlin Heri continued her impressive season with a second-place finish in the pole vault, clearing 4.08 meters.

In the discus, sophomore thrower Erica Grotegeer won the silver medal with a throw of 182-5 (55.61 meters), the fifth-best throw in school history. Fellow sophomore thrower Felicia Crenshaw threw a personal record 164-4 (50.10 meters) and placed in the top-10 at the championships.

Freshman Simone Johnson placed third in the triple jump after clearing 41-05.00.

In the high jump, sophomore Jade Cany placed fourth after clearing 5-09.75. Cany earned the fourth-best jump in school history and the highest since 1989. 

Up Next

The Aztecs had 14 athletes qualify for the NCAA West Preliminaries in College Station, Texas on May 26 to May 29.

San Diego State NCAA West Regional Qualifiers

Maya Brosch (400m hurdles, 4x400m Relay)

Jordyn Bryant (discus, shot put)

Jade Cany (High jump)

Danae Dyer (200m, 100m hurdles, 4x100m Relay)

Erica Grotegeer (discus)

Jalyn Harris (200m, 400m, 4x400m Relay)

Kaitlin Heri (pole vault)

Rhea Hoyte (400m hurdles, 4x400m Relay)

Jessica Kain (1,500m)

Simone Johnson (triple jump)

Tai McDonald (4x100m Relay)

Nyjari McNeil (800m, 4x400m Relay)

Jada Moore (100m, 200m, 4x100m Relay)

Aisha Watt (4x100m Relay)