Courtesy of Gabriel Acosta
Courtesy of Gabriel Acosta

Jazmine Lewis stated in her UCR biography that her goal as a UC Riverside athlete was to set the record in the heptathlon. And on Saturday, May 4 she achieved her goal as the senior shattered the university’s heptathlon record and finished in second place at the Big West Track & Field Multi-Events Championship. As the lone competitor for the Highlanders at the seven-event championship, Lewis scored 4,974 points, which eclipsed Denise Woodard’s point total of 4,890 set in 1984.

Competing against fifteen other athletes, Lewis started the weekend event with a sixth-place finish in the 100-meter hurdles. The senior finished her next three events (high jump, shot put and the 200 meters) sandwiched in the middle of the pack, but still managed to complete the day second only to Hawai’i’s Samantha Balentine.

Trailing Balentine by 225 points, Lewis needed a strong showing on the last day of the tournament to snag the top spot. The Stockton, Calif. native did exactly that as she set a new career best in the long jump (5.50m) to inch herself 86 points closer to Balentine. Lewis next finished first in the javelin with a top mark of 36.12m (118’ 6”), which was almost four meters ahead of second-place Long Beach State’s Taylor Jackson, who threw 32.86m.

The final event was the 800 meters, where Lewis finished in fourth place with a time of 2:31.77, a mere four seconds behind Balentine. Although she couldn’t nab the top spot, the senior came away with the Highlanders’ highest-ever finish in the Big West Conference Heptathlon. Lewis has improved every year in the event since her freshman year, where she placed 14th, all leading up to the best win of her collegiate career on Saturday.

The rest of the Big West Track & Field Championship starts on Friday, May 10 at Cal State Northridge.