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Aztec Track & Field Adds Another State Champion

Head coach Shelia Burrell signed another state champion in Renetia James.
Head coach Shelia Burrell signed another state champion in Renetia James.

Aug. 1, 2012

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State track & field team has signed Renetia James to a National Letter of Intent, head coach Shelia Burrell announced today.

James is coming off an outstanding outdoor season where she captured the California state title in the 400-meter dash and anchored the 4x100-meter relay to another tittle, helping Junipero Serra High School to its first-ever state championship. Her time of 53.98 seconds in the 400 was the fastest by a high school athlete in California and the 19th-fastest in the country. Additionally, it would rank 10th on the Aztecs' all-time list.

James also owns a personal-best time of 2:11.97 in the 800, which would have been the second-fastest mark by an SDSU athlete last season. James finished her final season at Serra with 10 wins (prelims and finals), including 400-meter titles at the Pasadena Games (57.09), Del Rey League Finals (57.60), CIF-SS Division IV Finals (54.77), CIF-SS Masters Meet (54.41) and the CIF State Finals (53.98).

James competed at Serra under former Aztec Lori Smith Thompson. Smith Thompson (then Smith) still appears in the San Diego State record book five times in individual events from 1982-83, including fifth in the 200 (23.40), sixth in the heptathlon (5,435 points), tied for eighth in the high jump (5 feet, 8 inches), ninth in the 100 hurdles (13.44) and 10th in the 100 (11.72).

James is the third high school signee in SDSU's recruiting class to capture a state title. LaQuisha Jackson won nine championships (individual and team) at Howard School of Academics and Technology (Tenn.), while Ariel Oliver won the discus the past two years at the Oregon state meet, competing for McMinnville High School.

Last season, San Diego State tied for ninth at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, tying its best finish in program history.