woman practicing track and field

Our Track and Field team has started this semester full steam ahead. With their outdoor season starting they have been having great performances and will continue to perform to the best of their ability. One athlete on the team has had an amazing start to the season. Fane Sauvakacolo, a foreign exchange student from Suva, Fiji Islands, broke the triple jump record set in 2010. She is a junior here at DSU, but this is her first year attending the school.

Although she is a long way from home, “[her] experience here at DSU has been great. People are so friendly, and they help people when needed, similarly to my hometown,” she said. Having a good group of friends and a great team to practice with helps her feel more at home. Sauvakacolo is a multi-event athlete. This means that she competes in the pentathlon, heptathlon and the decathlon for men. The pentathlon is made of five events. For women they are: 60-meter hurdles, long jump, high jump, and shotput, and the 800-meter dash.

For men, instead of running 800 meters, they would run 1500 meters!  Pentathlon is most done during the indoor season. The heptathlon, however, consists of seven events, including the five events in the pentathlon. The only difference is in the heptathlon the women run 100-meter hurdles, the 200-meter dash, and throw javelin. The men will run the 200-meter dash and throw javelin as well, they will also compete in pole vault. Being a multi-event athlete requires a lot of training and a lot of determination. Training for multi-event athletes is practicing every weekday.

Sauvakacolo loves training for the multis, but she has a few personal records that she favors. “My favorite personal records are both triple jump and hurdles. [These] are my favorite because [when] I was introduced to this event, many people [said] it seemed hard [and] to just try it out. But I’m glad I got to make it happen and improved on it.” Sauvakacolo jumped 35 feet 6.5 inches at the second SDSU D2 Invitational help at their indoor facility in Brookings. The record was previously held by Amber Krogstad who jumped 35 feet 5.5 inches.

We asked Sauvakacolo how she felt after she found out she broke the record. She said, “honestly, it was an overwhelming experience since I had been sick for over two weeks, and I didn’t train much but I’m glad I did what I could.” She also said she even jumped off the wrong foot! It will be interesting to see how she will perform when she has had more practice and time to hone her skills. This is exactly what she is excited to see as well.

Conference championships are coming up in two weeks and that leaves more than enough time for not only Sauvakacolo to improve, but the entire team as well. “[My goals for the indoor and outdoor seasons are] simply to improve on all my personal records because there’s no better competition than myself.”

Continue to cheer on our Trojan track and field team as they head into the conference championship and nationals. If you are unable to travel to a meet, there are live links on the athletic website. A few of the athletes who have currently qualified to compete at nationals are Joe Lynch, Kevin Jenkins, Cody Farland and SenQuavius Johnson.