Athlete of the Month: Ryan Swafford

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This past Sunday marked the end of the season for UCR sports. Some notable athletes in the month of May included baseball’s Vince Gonzalez, who had an amazing 19-game hitting streak. Track and field had Travis Smith, Caleb Stuart and Ryan Swafford dominate the Big West competition and all advance past the NCAA West Regional Preliminary to the NCAA National Championship round. These great performances made it a tough list to choose from, but Junior Ryan Swafford gets the nod for the Highlander Athlete of the Month. Swafford dominated throughout the whole season, and he kept that consistency in the month of May as the regular track season came to a close.

The triple jumper from Murrieta, California won the individual triple jump championship at the Big West Conference Championships with a jump of 15.71m. Swafford easily defeated second place finisher CSU Long Beach’s Michael Vaughan, who had a mark of 14.81m. Swafford had a breakthrough season in 2012 as he posted top marks in the triple jump on a consist basis and remained healthy, unlike last season when he had to call it quits at the 2011 Big West Championships due to injury.

Swafford continued to add to his list of accomplishments this season with a jump of 15.80m at the NCAA West Regional Preliminary round. The mark was good for Swafford to qualify for NCAA Championships where he will compete with the best collegiate athletes in the nation.

Swafford also continues the Highlander tradition of having success in the triple jump. Allison Wilder, who graduated last year, was also very successful in the triple jump in her time here at UCR, having been named a two-time All-American.

Swafford’s ultimate goal is to compete in the Olympics. That goal is now within reach thanks to his performance this season. Swafford will have his senior year to further master his craft and prepare for a future Olympic bid.

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