by Adriana Bush

Women’s Basketball

Almost a month after the retirement of San Diego State’s women’s basketball coach Beth Burns, SDSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jim Sterk hired Louisiana State assistant women’s basketball coach and El Capitan High School alumna Stacie Terry to the job.

For the past two months, Terry has not only had to focus on trying to replace four key senior starters, but she’s also had to focus on filling her staff vacancies. The first of her hires was Jesse Clark as an assistant coach. Clark was previously the assistant coach at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga and has more than 15 years of women’s basketball coaching experience. With Clark as assistant coach, the Gaels made four consecutive appearances to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament, one of which included a quaterfinal   appearance.

In late June, Terry added Aisha Veasley as the second assistant coach. Veasely had a successful playing career at the University of California, Los Angeles before becoming an assistant coach at the University of Tulsa and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Just last Thursday, Terry finally filled her last staff vacancy with the hiring of a third assistant coach Ciara Carl. As a former star point guard for Point Loma Nazarene, Carl holds the school record in assists and ranks second in steals. Afterward, she became an assistant women’s basketball coach for Metro State in Denver and Cal Poly Pomona.

Last season, the Aztecs had one of their most successful seasons in program history, winning 27 games for a school record.

Track and Field

SDSU triple jumper Shanieka Thomas has been jumping her way into record books throughout the year and during the summer hasn’t slowed down one bit.

In June, Thomas competed in the Jamaican National Championships and just two weeks ago Thomas represented her home country of Jamaica in the World University Games in Kazan, Russia where she went on to finish sixth with a jump 44 feet, 4 3/4 inches out of 12 entrants.

Winning the event was Ekaterina Koneva from Russia with a jump of 48-7 1/2 inches and second place was earned by Anna Jagaciak from Poland with a mark of 46-7 1/2 inches and coming in third was Carmen Cristina Toma from Romania with a jump of 46-4 3/4 inches.

Men’s Basketball

Last month, it was announced that the SDSU men’s basketball team would be competing in the new multiteam tournament called the Wooden Legacy instead of the Anaheim Classic during the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend. Just last Wednesday the Aztecs found out what team they would play against for the opening game of the tournament: the College of Charleston on Thursday, Nov. 28.

The Cougars finished their past season with a 24-11 record and return four of its five starters while the Aztecs finished with a 23-11 record and return two of their starters, junior forward JJ O’Brien and senior guard Xavier Thames.

However, Charleston shouldn’t take the Aztecs lightly. Two years ago head coach Steve Fisher had only one returning starter and SDSU managed to come away with a share of the Mountain West Conference regular-season title and earned an at large berth in the NCAA tournament.

Also, this past season was SDSU’s school record fourth-straight appearance in the NCAA tournament and in the past three seasons the Aztecs have managed to make it past the second round twice.

If SDSU beats Charleston, it will face off against the winner of the Creighton University and Arizona State matchup.

Some of the other schools that will participate in the tournament include Marquette University and the University of Miami, which were NCAA Championship participants.