San Diego, California - The San Diego State track and field team released its 2014 recruiting class, head coach Shelia Burrell announced today. The 14-member class will feature athletes across seven disciplines, including six sprinters, three distance runners, two pole vaulters, two jumpers, a hurdler, a jumper and a mid-distance runner.
Two athletes - Micha Auzenne and Bonnie Draxler - are expected to participate in multiple disciplines with Auzenne, Victoria Dickerson, Tyra Lea and Kira Moreland bringing collegiate experience to The Mesa. Additionally, Draxler, Simone Glenn, Ellison Grove, Ashley Henderson, Jelena McNown - have competed at either the USA Junior Championships, USATF National Junior Olympics or USATF Youth Championships in the past, including Draxler, who is coming off an 11th-place finish in the pole vault at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships.
“We are a program that has to develop talent and get results,” Burrell said. “What I like about this class is that all of them are excited about San Diego State and the opportunity to get better and be counted among the best. I have an improved coaching staff and going into next year that I think will maximize the talent we have coming in.
“Bonnie Draxler is a great addition to our program. She is one of the top high school pole vaulters in the country and she will be someone who can pole vault and add depth in the sprints for us during the season. I’m excited about our sprint class this year because each of them are talented young women who can come together for a couple great relays."
Micha Auzenne (East Palo Alto, Calif./Arizona State) comes to SDSU after spending her freshman year at Arizona State in 2014. With the Sun Devils, Auzenne competed in the sprints and the hurdles, culminating in a 35th-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles in the NCAA West Prelims into a 1.7 mph headwind. She finished seventh at the Pac-12 Championships with a personal-best time of 13.64, and also logged outdoor bests of 11.91 in the 100 meters and 24.65 in the 200. During the indoor campaign, Auzenne cracked ASU’s all-time top 10 in both the 60 (7.50) and 60 hurdles (8.36), which round rank sixth and fifth, respectively, on San Diego State’s list. At St. Francis High School in East Palo Alto, Calif., Auzenne was a four-time WCAL champion (two-time 100 champ, two-time long jump champ), a Central Coast Section champion in the 100, 100 hurdles and long jump, and a state finalist in the 100 hurdles as a junior.
Jazmen Bunch (Fresno, Calif./Edison HS) joins the Aztecs after starring at Edison High School (2013-14) and Central High School (2011-12), as well as the track clubs of Bakersfield Greyhounds and Central Valley Jaguars. Last season, Bunch logged personal-best times of 7.08 seconds in the indoor 55 meters (which would rank third in school history), and outdoor bests of 11.61 in the 100 (would be 10th in school history) and 23.82 in the 200. A two-time qualifier at both the indoor and outdoor California state championships, Bunch took fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 100 over the past two 100 state championships, and sixth in the 200 at the 2014 meet. Bunch, who was a two-time CIF Central Section champion in the 100 (2013-14) and the 200 champ in 2014, also ran a leg of the runner-up 4x100-meter relay at the 2013 state meet and a leg in the third-place relay at the 2014 meet.
Victoria Dickerson (Vacaville, Calif./Modesto Junior College) joins the Aztecs after competing two years at Modesto Junior College. A thrower, Dickerson owns outdoor personal-best marks of 179-09 (54.80m) in the hammer throw, 142-05 (43.42m) in the discus throw and 39-07.25 (12.07m) in the shot put. Dickerson posted three top-10 finishes - second in hammer, sixth in discus and 10th in shot put - at the 2014 California Community College Championships after taking sixth (hammer), second (discus) and 12th (shot put) the previous year. Dickerson, who was named the 2014 Modesto Junior College Female Athlete of the Year, also helped the Pirates capture a 2013 Big 8 Conference title, taking second in the discus, third in the hammer and third in the shot put. At the 2014 meet, where Modesto was third, she won the discus, was second in the hammer and third in the shot put. Dickerson prepped at Vacaville High School and won the discus at both the California Sac-Joaquin Section Division I Championships and the Monticello Empire League in 2012.
Bonnie Draxler (Wrightstown, Wis./Wrightstown HS) joins SDSU’s rich tradition in the pole vault after dominating the prep ranks at Wrightsville High School in Wrightsville, Wis. Draxler, who was named an All-America selection by Track & Field News and was picked as the No. 1 pole vaulter in the nation in 2013, recently finished 11th at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships with a mark of 13 feet, 5 ¼ inches (4.10 meters) after taking second at the USATF Junior Championships in 13-11.25 (4.25m). The 13-11.25 would rank as the fourth-best mark in school history. Draxler, who also was second in the 2013 USATF Junior Championships and has a seventh-place finish at the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships to her credit, finished her high school career with 13 Wisconsin state titles, including six in the pole vault (2011-14 outdoor, 2011 & 2014 indoor), four in the outdoor 400 (2011-14), where she owns a PR of 56.16, two in the 100 (2013-14) and one in the indoor 55 (2014). Draxler also helped the Tigers capture the 2011 state championship.
Simone Glenn (Atlanta, Ga./Bullis HS (Md.)) will run the sprints at San Diego State after competing at Bullis High School in Potomac, Md., in 2014 and Brookville High School in Snellville, Ga., from 2011-13, as well as the Glenarden Track Club in Lanham, Md. Glenn has indoor PR’s of 7.08 in the 55 (would rank third at SDSU), 7.89 in the 60, 24.46 in the 200 and 38.82 in the 300, and outdoor bests of 11.91 in the 100, 23.75 in the 200 (would be 10th at SDSU) and 56.79 in the 400. Glenn has competed multiple times at the Georgia state championships, most recently taking third in the 100 and fourth in the 200 in 2013. While with the Glenarden Track Club, Glenn ran the anchor leg on the winning 4x100 relay at the 2013 USATF National Junior Olympics and a leg of the runner-up 4x400.
Ellison Grove (Catharpin, Va./Battlefield HS) is expected to run the mid-distance events with the Aztecs after prepping at Battlefield High School in Haymarket, Va. Grove, who boasts indoor PR’s of 41.10 in the 300, 56.91 in the 400, 1:14.07 in the 500 (fastest time in the country in 2014), 2:13.42 in the 800 and 2:53.53 in the 1,000 and outdoor bests of 56.83 in the 400 and 2:10.74 in the 800, was the 2013 Virginia Group 6A outdoor state champion in the 800 and a third-place finisher in 2014. Grove also competed at the 2013 USA Junior Outdoor Championships in the 800, was a two-time USATF National Junior Olympics qualifier (2012-13), a four-time New Balance Indoor Nationals competitor (2011-14) and a three-time New Balance Outdoor Nationals participant (2011-13). Additionally, Grove competed in multiple Virginia state championships (indoor and outdoor), and also ran for the Five State Track Club, where she helped the 4x400 team take third at the 2013 USATF Junior Championships. She finished her career with eight school records at Battlefield HS.
Ashley Henderson (St. Louis, Mo./Hazelwood HS) will compete in the sprinting events for San Diego State after competing for Hazelwood High School and the St. Louis Strom Track Club in Florissant, Mo. Henderson has outdoor PR’s of 11.85 in the 100 (11.84 NWI), 24.12 in the 200 (23.89 NWI) and 58.74 in the 400. She finished her career with six Missouri Class 3 & 4 state titles under her belt, including two apiece in the 100 (2013-14), 200 (2013-14) and 4x200 (2013-14). Henderson, who competed all four years at the Missouri state meet (2011-14), also won both the 100 and 200 at the 2013 USATF Youth Outdoor Championships. Individually, Henderson finished no worse than fourth at the Missouri state meet over her four-year career.
Courtney Jackson (Ramona, Calif./Ramona HS) is the other pole vaulter in this year’s class and is a local product out of Ramona High School in Ramona, Calif. Jackson’s best indoor mark is 10-03.00 (3.12m), while her outdoor best is 11-07.00 (3.53m). Jackson, who competed at each of the past two California state championships, won the CIF San Diego Division II pole vault in 2014 after taking second in the DI meet in 2013. Additionally, she’s a two-time Valley League pole vault champion. An all-league selection in the pole vault, Jackson also was a magna cum laude graduate.
Tyra Lea (Raleigh, N.C./North Carolina State) comes to The Mesa after spending her freshman indoor season in 2014 at North Carolina State. Lea, who competes in the sprinting events, will have four years of outdoor eligibility left at SDSU and three years of indoor eligibility remaining. Lea ran in four indoor meets for the Wolfpack last year, including four races in the 200, one in the 60 and another in the 300. She finished with collegiate bests of 7.92 in the 60, 24.48 in the 200 and 39.46 in the 300 before ultimately redshirting the outdoor campaign. At Wakefield High School in Raleigh, N.C., Lea was the 2013 North Carolina 4A state champion in the outdoor 200 and the runner-up in the 100, while winning the 300, triple jump and 4x400 at the indoor championships. She finished her career with North Carolina all-time high school records in the 200 and 300, and owns PR’s of 11.94 in the 100, 23.95 in the 200, 38.76 in the 300 and 37-07.00 in the triple jump.
Jelena McNown (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley HS) is the lone jumper in this year’s class, competing in the long jump and triple jump at Murrieta Valley High School in Murrieta, Calif. McNown owns outdoor bests of 18-07.50 (5.68m) in the long jump and 35-09.50 (10.91m) in the triple jump (also 37-02.25 (11.33m) in NWI event). She also competed at the 2014 USATF Junior Olympics, coming in second in the Young Women’s outdoor triple jump and fourth in the Young Women’s long jump, and third in both events at the indoor meet. McNown was also a CIF Southern Division 2 finals competitor in 2013 and competes for the SprintWest Track Club.
Kira Moreland (Fontana, Calif./Arizona State) comes to SDSU after competing one season at Arizona State, mainly in the jumping events. With the Sun Devils, Moreland posted indoor bests of 19-06.25 (5.95m) in the long jump, and outdoor bests of 19-02.00 (5.84m) in the long jump and 36-10.50 (11.24m) in the triple jump. For her career, Moreland owns outdoor personal-best marks of 20-07.00 (6.27m) in the long jump, 36-10.50 (11.24m) in the triple jump and 12.10 in the 100. At Los Osos High School, Moreland was second in the long jump at the 2013 California state meet. She also ran a leg of the 4x100 of the fifth-place relay at the 2011 state meet and fourth-place team at the 2013 meet. Moreland, who also competed at the 2011 California indoor state meet and was a two-time qualifier and the CIF Southern Section Masters meet (2011 and 2013), was a two-time Baseline League long jump champion (2011 and 2013), the long jump champion at the 2011 CIF Southern Section Division 1 meet and the runner-up in 2012.
Dominique Regalado (Mission Viejo, Calif./Trabuco Hills HS) specializes in the distance events and should provide an immediate impact to an improving Aztec distance squad. Regalado, who ran at Trabuco Hills High School in Mission Viejo, Calif.), has outdoor personal-best times of 2:20.84 in the 800, 5:04.93 in the 1,600, 5:08.32 in the mile and 11:08.38 in the 3,200, along with cross country bests of 17:16 in the 3-mile and 18:10 in the 5K. A two-time California state championships competitor in cross country (2010 and 2013), Regalado earned all-Orange County accolades three times in cross country (2011-13) and once in track and field (2013). She also helped the Mustangs to a third-place finish at the 2013 California state cross country championships, and a pair of South Coast League titles in cross country (2011 and 2013) and track & field (2010 and 2013).
Lily Seynaeve (Corona, Calif./Santiago HS) will add depth to the distance group at San Diego State after starring for Santiago High School in Corona, Calif. Seynaeve boasts personal-best times of 5:06.82 in the 1,600 and 11:12.07 in the 3,200 in outdoor competition, and 17:29 in the 3-mile and 20:46.14 in the 5K in cross country. She competed at the CIF Southern Section Division I track and field prelims each of the past two seasons (2013-14), and was an alternate to the finals in 2014. Seynaeve, who earned the CIF Southern Section Scholar-Athlete of the Year Scholarship Award in 2014, won the 3,200 at the Big VIII League Championships in 2014, and finished her prep career as a two-time first-team all-league selection (2013-14) in track and field, and a three-time all-league pick (2010-12) in cross country. Seynaeve also led the Sharks to a Big VIII League cross country championship in 2011 for the first time in school history.
Cassidy Towner (Placentia, Calif./El Dorado HS) will join the SDSU distance crew after running for El Dorado High School in Placentia, Calif. While at El Dorado HS, Towner posted outdoor PR’s of 2:18.96 in the 800, 5:04.10 in the 1,600 and 10:43.96 in the 3,200, cross country bests of 17:00.7 in the 3-mile and 18:30 in the 5K, and an indoor best of 5:26.97 in the mile. Towner, who competed in the mile at the 2014 California state indoor championships, won the 3,200 at the outdoor 2014 Century League championship meet, and finished her prep career as a two-time CIF Southern Section finals qualifier in both outdoor track and field (2013 and 2014) and cross country (2012 and 2013). She also broke a 33-year old school record in the 3,200, and, in 2013, became the first CIF finalist in cross country at El Dorado HS in 30 years. Towner was named first-team all-league all four years in both cross country and track & field, as well as both the Century League Distance Runner of the Year and Orange County Register all-county cross country team as a senior, and a three-time all-county cross country honoree.
The Aztecs are coming of their third consecutive top-25 team finish at the NCAA Championships after tying for 12th at the 2014 meet with 18 points. SDSU is one of just 14 schools in the country with three straight top-25 finishes and one of only two (Dartmouth) from a non-BCS school.