As much as he wanted to succeed, Cal State Stanislaus sophomore triple jumper Rashee Dean just had too many obstacles in front of him. He was in pain. He was competing in rain. And his return to competition was on his college level's biggest, most nerve-wracking stage.
As soon as she threw her pole into the pole-vaulting pit, Cal State Stanislaus senior Alycia Wagner turned to a crowd of mostly familiar faces and waved. This was her farewell.
It's safe to say Cal State Stanislaus senior pole vaulter Alycia Wagner's confidence level is high-flying right now.
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.
In the high jump, it's not just about athleticism and the natural ability to leap into the air - though those are definitely good qualities to have. It's also about an athlete's mental preparation and his or her knack of being able to overcome a lifeless, horizontal bar that sits a few feet above the ground.
Cal State Stanislaus senior Brittni Showers looked at the numbers on the white piece of paper as if she was trying to decipher a code. The heptathlon athlete had just wrapped up the last of her seven events at this week's California Collegiate Athletic Association Championships at Warrior Stadium on the Stanislaus campus.
With the discus throw, it's not just about strength.
Luther Bell has always been known as a leaper. This skill helped during his basketball days at Granite Hills High in Apple Valley, and caught the attention of the school's track coach, who approached him with a unique proposition.
The triple jump is an unorthodox track and field event. The concept isn't very fluid. Almost everything an athlete does before he or she jumps into a sandpit looks strange, almost as if out of sync.
The task is simple: Whoever can throw the farthest, wins.
It's tempting for a runner to go as hard as they can, as fast as they can in the 1,500-meter run.
Don't be fooled. The 800-meter run is considered a middle-distance event in track, but that doesn't mean runners have opportunities to jog. For many, it's practically an all-out sprint to the finish.
There are several obvious differences between the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash.
What does Cal State Stanislaus sprinter Lauren Young think about in a 100-meter dash when her arms are driving back and forth, her legs are rapidly moving along and her heart sounds like a million rhinoceros stomping?
In order for Alycia Wagner to describe the initial feeling she had during her first time pole vaulting, the Cal State Stanislaus senior traveled back to her childhood, when life seemed to be a little bit more carefree.
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