The Texas State men’s and women’s track team sent three members to participate in last weekend’s NCAA Championship held in Eugene, Oregon.
Danessa Lyssy, Texas State senior, competed in the women’s heptathlon in Eugene finishing 22nd out 24 competitors. Lyssy was one of two Bobcats who qualified for nationals, along with senior Kelsey Titzman.
Lyssy’s most impressive performance in the heptathlon came during the shot put event, throwing 13.05 meters, .40 meters short of the leader, coming in 4th place. During the javelin throw, Lyssy placed 15th tossing for 36.82 meters.
Lyssy failed to place within the top 10 of any event other than shot put during her performance in the heptathlon. Lyssy finished with a total of 5,294 points.
“I knew we had to have a pretty good day in order to move up,” said Coach Keith Herston. Coach “I really thought we could finish in the top 16 for sure, but it just wasn’t our day. In conference, we had a PR (personal record) in the long jump, and I knew we needed that again to have a good day too, so that was the key. Long jump has been one of the training focuses of the year.”
Herston said future recruitment of multi-event athletes to the school is more likely with the amount of national attention Texas State gained from Lyssy’s appearance at the NCAA Championships.
“When anyone does well at any school that’s always a selling point for the school,” Herston said. “Hopefully (future athlete prospects) will take notice and attract some future recruits and do some of the things (Lyssy) did.”
Lyssy’s previous successes include placing 5th in the heptathlon at the WAC Indoor Championships in February with a total score with 3,576 points and receiving the gold in the heptathlon at the WAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
“We never had a heptathlete compete at nationals from Texas State,” Herston said. “(Lyssy) has been so successful for our school. She’s been conference champ now, set the school record three or four different times now. It means a lot for the program here to see (Lyssy) compete on the big stage.”
Senior Timothy Young, competed in the 110 meter hurdles, failing to qualify for Saturday’s finals. Young needed to finish within the top 12 to qualify and placed 14th with a time of 13.87 in the event.
“After my senior year, I still want to come out and show my support for the team,” Lyssy said. “Tina (Velenzuela) is going to be a senior next year, and I definitely want to see her compete in the multis. To end my senior year here at the nationals is a really big deal and means a lot to me.”