San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Aztecs take first place in Mountain West Challenge

Photo by Kelly Smiley
Lakin Hatcher (far right) competes in the 400 meter dash during the Mountain West Challenge at the Aztrack Sports Deck on April 6.

San Diego State track & field took first place in the inaugural Mountain West Challenge at the Aztrack Sports Deck on April 6.

SDSU defeated UNLV, Nevada and San Jose State to win the meet with a total of 158 points. UNLV narrowly took second place with 145 points, while Nevada and San Jose State finished third and fourth with 144 and 86 points, respectively.

The Aztecs took first place in six of the events, and finished in the top-three on 17 occasions.

Head coach Shelia Burrell said that she was pleased with the Aztecs team performance.

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“This turned out to be a really great event. The team stepped up; we had some great performances and a lot of (personal records) today,” Burrell said.

Senior sprinter Ashley Henderson had a strong performance, winning the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.12, and said that she believes the conception of the Mountain West Challenge will benefit both SDSU and the Mountain West Conference.

“I think it definitely helps (SDSU) a lot, being this is the first time for the Mountain West to ever do this,” Henderson said. “It brings a lot of recognition to the program, the school, and hopefully the teams got to enjoy themselves in San Diego.”

Henderson said that she expected her teammates to be successful in the meet, as the team continues to get stronger as the outdoor season goes on.

“I knew coming into this meet that everyone had potential to do great,” Henderson said. “Being here at the meet, and seeing there are so many of my teammates who are doing great and everybody’s putting their heart out, it makes me feel good because it’s not one or two people now. It’s a collective group of people that are all doing great.”

A big part of the Aztecs success was junior hurdler/jumper Lisa-Anne Barrow, who helped the Aztecs claim first place in three different events, including the 4×100 meter relay, the 4×400 meter relay, and long jump.

Barrow jumped 6.33 meters in the long jump, which sets a personal record and places her at second in the SDSU long jump record books.

The Aztecs also received first place finishes from junior distance runner Angela Wilson, who finished in first place in the 800 meter run with a time of 2:15.48, and from senior multi-event competitor Melody Harris, who won the javelin throw with a distance of 45.33 meters.

Senior pole vaulter Bonnie Harris — who is competing unattached as she redshirts during the outdoor season — jumped 4.36 meters, which would have tied SDSU’s all-time pole vaulting record had she been representing the team.

Graduate student sprinter Tyra Lea finished second in the 400 meter dash and ran in the 4×400 meter relay, and said she believes the Aztecs have significantly improved since the beginning of the outdoor season.

“Everybody’s times have dropped tremendously. Our times are coming down, and by the time it gets to the big meets, we should be crazy good,” Lea said. “We’re gonna have a good year, definitely.”

Burrell said that the team’s performance should help increase team morale, which will aid the Aztecs as the outdoor season continues.

“For a lot of the girls, today is a confidence booster. Every meet lets you know what’s next, what you need to work on and where you can build your confidence,” Burrell said. “I think we had a significant number of girls who came in today, ran well, and it’s gonna be a big confidence booster going into the next couple meets.”

The Aztecs next meet will take place on April 13-14, when the team participates in the UCSD Triton Invitational in La Jolla.

About the Contributor
Kyle Betz
Kyle Betz, Sports Editor
Kyle Betz is a fourth-year journalism student at SDSU and 2020-21 marks his fourth year reporting for The Daily Aztec. The Lake Forest, Calif. native has covered numerous sports as a writer, editor and media contributor. An avid fan of the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Lakers, Manchester United and Anaheim Ducks, Kyle enjoys watching and attending sporting events, listening to music, going to the beach and spending time with friends and family in his free time.
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Aztecs take first place in Mountain West Challenge