Texas State women’s track and field has claimed the university’s first WAC Championship.
The women took home the indoor track and field championship this past weekend in Albuquerque, N.M., bringing home individual golds and new school records.
“It’s definitely special and I definitely can appreciate this event,” said Coach Dana Boone. “It’s really big to our staff. It wouldn’t have mattered what conference we’re in, just our first championship as a staff makes it special.”
Senior thrower Kelsey Titzman, junior jumper Danielle Candelaria and freshman pole-vaulter Hannah McWilliams took home gold medals over the weekend, helping the women to a first place finish. Titzman’s 15.60-meter throw was her personal best. Titzman was named women’s field athlete of the year.
“(It’s) really super exciting (to win),” Titzman said. “I actually didn’t even know that award existed because it didn’t exist in the Southland Conference. I was really surprised. My mom was crying and just really happy and proud of me. My dad was there too but he’s less emotional.”
McWilliams, in her first year of collegiate competition, cleared 3.92 meters. Overall, the Bobcats placed three of the top four pole-vaulters on the women’s side.
“It’s real exciting to do this well as a freshman,” McWilliams said. “Getting a ring in my first season is awesome, especially being a part of getting my seniors a ring.”
McWilliams was one of only four freshmen who won individual awards in the championships, on the men’s and women’s sides combined.
“To handle that pressure and come up with a championship as a freshman is a true testament to what kind of competitor she is,” Boone said. “A lot of our freshmen stepped up. A job well done to the staff in recruiting.”
Boone earned coach of the year honors, her first award as a head coach.
“It’s a wonderful feeling and a nice honor, but I truly believe that it’s a group honor,” Boone said. “I’m only as good as my staff, and they have my back.” All the medalists looked to improve almost immediately after winning. Candelaria wanted to “jump a little higher,” McWilliams “wanted to jump 13-feet” and Titzman “really wanted 16 meters.”
“I’ve had a lot of injuries, and it’s been a tough season, but this is a perfect way to end it,” Candelaria said. “Hopefully, the momentum will keep going on and everyone will give their best efforts.”
On the men’s side, Texas State finished fourth. Sophomore thrower Darian Brown, senior pole-vaulter Logan Cunningham, freshman pole-vaulter Seth Arnold and senior hurdler Timothy Young brought home gold medals. Brown set a Texas State record with a 19.47-meter throw, Cunningham set a new WAC record, clearing 5.53 meters and Young’s 7.82 time in the 60-meter hurdles broke another school record. Overall, the teams took home 20 medals from the tournament.
“Logan hasn’t been having the season that he’s wanted all year,” Boone said. “But to come to the conference meet and show up and improve his season best by a foot (proves) he’s always a ‘gamer,’ and now he’s going to nationals.”
Texas State will begin the outdoor season at the Texas State Track and Field Complex when the Bobcats host the Texas State Elite on March 23. The WAC outdoor championships will be held in Arlington and hosted by the University of Texas-Arlington from May 8-11.