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After injury, Dean makes return at national meet

After injury, Dean makes return at national meet

Photo courtesy of Cal State Stanislaus athletics Cal State Stanislaus sophomore triple jumper Rashee Dean is making his return from injury at this week’s NCAA Division II Track and Field Champions...

POSTED May 24, 2011 11:19 p.m.

For much of this track and field season, Cal State Stanislaus sophomore triple jumper Rashee Dean has been involved in little physical activity. For a few weeks, he was limited to a stationary bike and a great amount of stretching.

His athleticism was put on hold because of a left leg quad strain he suffered on April 9 at a meet in Chico. He spent his time going through physical therapy.

But guess what? There’s no need for sympathy here, as Dean is scheduled to make his return at this week’s NCAA Division II Track & Field Championships at Al Brenda Track at Warrior Stadium on the Stanislaus campus — a three-day event that starts Thursday with the first event at 10:30 a.m.

Before his injury, Dean landed a personal-best mark of 49 feet, 2 1/2 inches, enough to place him 11th on the competitor list for the national meet. He will compete with the country’s best triple jumpers Saturday at 6 p.m.

Is Dean at a disadvantage due to his lack of physical activity since his April 9 injury?

“I wouldn’t call it a disadvantage or an advantage,” he said. “Most athletes have their weaknesses, their discomforts. My discomfort right now is my leg. Others might be at a bigger meet. It could be nerves or not being used to a weather condition. I don’t think it’s a disadvantage or advantage. It’s one more thing I have to overcome.”

For Stanislaus coach Geoff Bradshaw, he believes Dean’s injury can be a motivational tool to finish in the top eight and earn All-American status.

“I’m not concerned with him being rusty,” Bradshaw said about Dean, who’s one of just two Stanislaus athletes who qualified for the national meet, with the other being pole vaulter Alycia Wagner. “I think he’ll be fresh. He looks really good this week. I’m kind of excited to see what he can do.”

After graduating from nearby Delhi High, Dean arrived at Stanislaus with hopes of making the national meet and becoming an All-American. He was a couple inches from reaching a qualifying mark during his first year, though he did achieve a provisional distance that ended up not being enough.

Then, he found out that Stanislaus would host this year’s national meet.

Well, it’s almost here. He doesn’t want to look at his recent injury as an excuse. The pain, he said, is not going away. His first practice jump back last week resulted in tremendous pain, he said. He’s learning to tolerate it, though.

“I’m getting used to it,” said Dean, who is about 85-90 percent back to full strength.

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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