San Diego State University will send 11 members of the Aztec track and field team to the NCAA West Preliminary Championships, the NCAA has announced.
The top 48 athletes in each individual event and the top 24 relay teams will be part of the preliminary rounds. The prelims begin Thursday in Sacramento, for the West region, and Jacksonville, Fla. for the east.
This is the fifth straight year the Aztecs have had at least 10 athletes qualify for regionals. In addition, for the fourth time in program history the Aztecs will send four pole vaulters to the West prelims – the last time was 2015.
Bonnie Draxler, the 2019 NCAA Indoor runner-up, leads the SDSU vaulters. She is coming off her sixth overall Mountain West pole vault championship and currently has the second-best mark in the nation at 14-09.50.
She will be joined by Kaitlin Heri, Marissa Berry and freshman Alysia Allen, who just won a silver medal at the Mountain West Outdoor Championships.
Freshman Nyjari McNeil and sophomore Callista Fletcher will each compete in two events.
McNeil will run the 800M, where she just posted the second-best time in school history (2:05.27), and the 4x400m relay. She ran the anchor leg and helped SDSU win their third consecutive outdoor title last weekend.
Fletcher will compete in the 100m (11.40w) and 200m (23.32). She finished second in the 200m and fourth in the 100m at last week’s championships.
Sophomore Maya Brosch will compete in the 400m hurdles. The sophomore won a silver medal at the championships while running a personal best 1:00.24.
Freshman Erica Grotegeer qualified in the discus throw. Joining McNeil in the 4x400m relay will be sophomores Sakura Roberson and Jalyn Harris and senior Lisa-Anne Barrow. Last year, Harris and Barrow helped the Aztecs’ 4×400 relay team finish ninth at the prelims to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
The women’s track team has a promising future. Of the 11 Aztecs selected for the NCAA prelims, eight are freshmen or sophomores.
The top 12 in each event will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Austin, Texas.
– Staff reports