The men and women of the CSUN track and field team have posted many fine performances this season and lead the Big West in several events. This outdoor season has also produced two new school records by the women’s team, one on the track by senior Deanna Goodwin in the 400-meter dash and the other in the pole vault by junior Krystal Quinn.
Goodwin set a new school record in the 400 meters with a time of 52.92 seconds during the UCLA Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational April 12-14 at Drake Stadium. The previous record was 52.97 seconds, set by Annetta Wells in 2002.
Goodwin was running the 400 for only the second time in her career, having run it for the first time last year. She said that although she runs on the 4×400 relay team, she has never liked the open 400. However, she said assistant coach Avery Anderson told her that she should run it, so she did.
“He put me in it that day,” said Goodwin, who is genuinely confused by her strong performance in the race.
“I have no idea how I ran that time,” Goodwin said. “I don’t understand it. It makes me humble because I’m not used to being on top like that.”
Goodwin’s performance did not surprise Anderson at all, however.
“I told her last year when I started working with her that she’s really a 400 runner,” Anderson said. “She ran it once last year and she ran it pretty good but I could see that was where her race was.”
Anderson believes Goodwin can run a faster 400-meter race if the competition pushes her.
“She definitely can run a lot faster,” Anderson said. “Her better races are in front of her. By regionals and nationals she’ll be ready to step into that race and excel.”
Goodwin also leads the conference in the 100 meters with a time of 11.77 and in the 200 meters with a time of 23.68. Both times were posted at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif. on April 15. She is also a member of the conference-lading 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams with times of 45.26 and 3:38.29, respectively.
Goodwin’s record-producing performance in the 400 at UCLA and her performance at Mt. Sac led to her receiving the Big West Female Track Athlete of the Week for the second time in just four weeks on April 18. She had received the award the first time this season on March 21 after winning the 100 and 200 meters at the Northridge Invitational at the Matador Track.
Goodwin said her main goal is to make it to the NCAA Championships in all five of her events.
“It’s going to be difficult, but that’s my main goal,” Goodwin said. “I haven’t been there yet and I’m hoping to go this year.”
Junior Krystal Quinn broke the 6-year-old school record in the pole vault on April 21 with her first place vault of 3.69 meters (12-01.23) at Cal State Los Angeles’ Tommie “Tiny” Lister Classic. Quinn’s performance is a conference qualifier and is just inches short of a regional qualifier. The previous record was held by Jennifer Capeheart and Lisa Rugenstein 2001.
Quinn said she wasn’t really planning to break the record.
“Actually, I didn’t really think that was going to be a good meet for me,” Quinn said. “And I ended up being the only one who cleared 11-6, so I was by myself and my coach told me to put it up to 12-1.75, just so I could break the school record.”
Assistant coach Bridget Pearson said she is happy with Quinn’s progress and believes Quinn can clear 13 feet.
“It’s sometimes more a mental game than it is a physical game,” Pearson said. “Because physically she’s ready to go 13 feet.”
Pearson said that there are many aspects to the pole vault and that good timing, good placement and good winds are all important.
“She’s got all the pieces, she’s just got to put them together,” Pearson said.
Quinn also competes in the 400 and is a member of the conference-leading 4×400 meter relay team. She said she would like to improve her performance in the 400 meters where her season best is 56.15 seconds.
“Last year I was the state champion at the junior college level. I thought I was going to be running faster right now. I’m just not where I thought I would be,” Quinn said. ” I think slowly, but surely I’ll get what I want, but its just frustrating to want something and not get it.”
Quinn said she wants to post an NCAA regional qualifier in the pole vault.
“We just want to get on our long runs, our big poles and jump high,” Quinn said. “That’s the goal.”
Senior Sean Jones leads the conference in the pole vault in the men’s side of the competition. Jone’s performance early in the season still holds as the conference best with a height of 16-6.75 from the Northridge Spring Break Open on March 14. The mark is also an NCAA regional qualifier.
“Sean was first on the team to get a regional qualifier,” Pearson said.
Junior Thomas Ross has the fastest time in the Big West in the 110-meter hurdles at 13.86. Ross ran the NCAA regional qualifying time on April 15 at the Mt. Sac Relays where he won the event.
Junior Dashalle Andrews leads the Big West in the long jump with his distance of 24-9.75 (7.56) on April 15 at the Mt. Sac Relays. Junior Rolando Felizola leads the conference in the triple jump with his leap of 51-1.75 from his March 31 performance at the Cal-Nevada Championships.
For the women, Candace Babb leads the conference in the long jump with her distance of 19-9.00 from her March 24 fifth place finish at the USC Invitational at Loker Stadium.
In addition to Goodwin, members of the women’s conference-leading 4×100 relay team include senior Shaunna Hackett, sophomore Dominique Calvin and junior Julie Eze. Members of the conference-leading 4X400 meter relay team are freshman Shelese Ruffin and Eze, in addition to Goodwin and Quinn.
“We’ve gotten through that middle of the year stage where we traditionally don’t run well because we come off of a very hard indoor campaign,” said head coach Don Strametz. “We’re just now starting to run some people.”
With two weeks left before the conference championships for the multi-events and three weeks for the rest of the events, Strametz likes the way his team looks and that the team still has a ways to go.
“Avery has great ability to peak these kids properly. He’s done it for the last couple of years and he’s right on pace to do it again this year,” Strametz said. “We haven’t reached our peak. We haven’t reached our true potential. So, there’s a big difference between where we are and where we see some of the other teams in the Big West right now.”