San Diego State track and field junior Micha Auzenne and sophomore Bonnie Draxler took different paths to San Diego State, but now they are looking to be key parts to the success of the team.
For Auzenne, from East Palo Alto, her first step in becoming an Aztec started in Tempe, Arizona.
In her lone season at Arizona State, Auzenne competed in the 100-meter hurdles, where she finished 35th at the NCAA West Preliminaries with a time of 14.07 seconds. She also competed in the 200-meter hurdles, where she recorded a time of 24.65 seconds at the ASU Invitational.
After her freshman season as a Sun Devil, Auzenee decided a change of scenery was necessary and transferred to SDSU.
“Once I got to Arizona State, I would see San Diego State at a few meets and see the type of talent that they had,” Auzenne said. “When I left (ASU) I wanted to go closer to home, so I looked into (SDSU) and immediately fell in love with the program and the coaches.”
In her first season at SDSU last year, Auzenne started the outdoor season with a first-place finish in the 100-meter race at the San Diego Collegiate Challenge with a time of 11.79 seconds.
She followed that up with a fourth-place finish in the 200-meter race at the Collegiate Challenge with a time of 24.38 seconds, a personal record.
In anticipation for this season, Auzenne points to the team’s overall mindset and teamwork as differences compared to last season’s squad.
“The vibe of the team is so much different,” Auzenne said. “We’re a lot more team-orientated this year, which I think is very helpful to the success that we’re planning on having.”
Coaching has also played a large role in the development of the team.
“From the beginning of the season the coaches made it clear (that it’s going to be) team before self and we have to stop being selfish and put the team before ourselves and I think that is in our heads now a lot more than it was last year,” Auzenne said.
Auzenne added that she wants to be a model for how her teammates should act on and off the track.
“Although I’ve only been (at SDSU) for two years, sometimes I feel like I have to set an example on and off the track for what’s expected,” she said.
For Draxler, a native of Wrightstown, Wisconsin, the path to SDSU didn’t include a transfer, but rather multiple offers out of high school.
“I chose San Diego State because I really liked the coaches and the weather here is awesome,” Draxler said.
“I was tired of training indoors in Wisconsin.”
In her freshman year, Draxler made her debut at the Northern Arizona University Friday Night Duals, where she won the pole vault with a 13 feet, 8 1/4-inch mark.
Draxler also cleared her best mark of her freshman season at the Mt. SAC Relays, where she cleared a height of 13 feet, 9 1/4 inches.
Pertaining to this season, Draxler hopes to contribute points and take a leadership role in the absence of key senior leadership.
“Last year it was different as a freshman and I had three older seniors above me and now they’re gone,” Draxler said.
Draxler alluded to the presence of younger players as an advantage for the team this season, because they can bring a newfound energy.
“We have gotten a lot of new girls here,” Draxler said. “I think that’s really helping out everybody else.”
Draxler said that if everybody does they’re job as they should, then this team has a good shot at taking home the conference crown.