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Track & Field Announces 2013 Recruiting Class

Shelia Burrell announced the 2013-14 recruiting class today.
Shelia Burrell announced the 2013-14 recruiting class today.

Sep 5, 2013

SAN DIEGO - The San Diego State track and field team released its 2013 recruiting class, head coach Shelia Burrell announced today.

Including Kortney Ross, an Oregon transfer who can compete in both the pole vault and sprints, the 10-member class features five distance/mid-distance runners, three pole vaulters, two sprinters and a thrower. Four of the 10 incoming athletes have collegiate experience, which should add depth to a program that has back-to-back top-25 finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

"This class helps to balance out our program as we increase the level of the talent in the distance events," Burrell said. "We are solid in several event areas and most of the athletes represented here will help build upon the program's national presence and success."

Jessica Cygan (Bethlehem, Pa./William & Mary) comes to The Mesa after helping William & Mary qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2012. Cygan has three years of track and field eligibility left and two years of cross country remaining when she joins SDSU in the fall. In her lone year of track and field in 2011, Cygan was an all-Colonial Athletic Association performer in the outdoor 5,000 meters with a time of 17 minutes, 26.14 seconds, good enough for third place. She finished with season-best times of 4:36.02 in the 1,500 (outdoor), 9:54.24 in the 3K (indoor) and 17:10.67 in the 5K (outdoor). Cygan also was named the CAA Rookie of the Year and earned all-league honors after taking fourth at the 2011 CAA Cross Country Championships in 22:21 (6K).

Dynasty Gammage (Long Beach, Calif./California) also brings collegiate experience to San Diego State after competing at California for two seasons. Over her two years with the Bears, Gammage mainly ran the 800, including a collegiate-best time of 2:12.39 at the 2012 Brutus Hamilton Invitational. In 2013, Gammage ran a best of 2:14.20 in the 800, 4:42.16 in the 1,500 and 11:01.44 in the only 3K of her collegiate career. At high school power Long Beach Poly, Gammage ranked 12th in the U.S. in the 800 with a time of 2:08.72 and took sixth at the state meet in 2:09.70.

Janice George (Bowie, Md.) will compete in the sprints for the Aztecs, lettering four times for Bowie High School in Bowie, Md. George ran outdoor personal-best times of 24.76 in the 200 (2012) and 55.91 in the 400 (2013) and an indoor best of 40.24 in the 300 (2013). George, who also ran for the Bowie Tracksters club team, helped Bowie High to three straight Maryland State 4A titles and two appearances in the Penn Relays on the 4x100-meter relay team. George broke four individual records at Bowie and was a member of another four relay teams that set school records.

Cali King (La Crescenta, Calif.) will add depth to the SDSU distance events after graduating from Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta, Calif. King ran four years for the Falcons, twice leading CVHS to a Pacific League cross country championship and a ninth-place finish at the 2011 state meet. Individually, King qualified for the CIF prelims three times in the 800, 1,600 and 4x400, and once in the CIF finals (1,600). On the track, King owns personal bests of 2:21.4 in the 800 (2010), 5:08.32 in the 1,600 (2010) and 12:05 in the 3,200 (2010). In cross country, King ran bests of 17:43.41 in the 3-mile (2011) and 19:13 in the 5K (2011).

Mimi Lian (Poway, Calif.), a local product out of Rancho Bernardo High School, will look to continue San Diego State's domination in the pole vault. The Aztecs have won 17 titles at the Mountain West Championships out 28 possible tries (indoor and outdoor). Lian competed in the state championship twice, taking fourth in 2012 with a mark of 13 feet, ¼ inches and 10th in 2010 at 11-09.00. Additionally, Lian came in 17th at the state prelims in 11-03.00. Lian owns a personal best of 13-01.00, which she set at a dual meet with Torrey Pines in 2012.

Freja Lijedahl (Gavle, Sweden) is the lone thrower in the 2013 class and the only athlete from outside of the United States in Gavle, Sweden. She has competed 10 years for the prestigious Gefle IF track club, which has produced two Olympic champions and 16 world records. Lijedahl also owns international experience as she represented Sweden at the 2012 International Juniors Meet in Mannheim, Germany. Lijedahl has captured gold medals in the hammer throw at the 2009 Swedish Youth National Championships, 2011 Swedish Junior Championships and three at the Swedish School Championships (2009-10, 2012), while earning a silver medal at the 2010 Swedish Youth National Championships. Her personal record is 178-05, which would already rank fourth all-time at SDSU.

Katherine Magill (Grass Valley, Calif.) will compete in the pole vault for San Diego State, coming from a gymnastics background. As a gymnast she was a USAG state qualifier for 10 straight years, a USAG regional qualifier for four consecutive years, a USAIGS state all-around champion in 2011 and a three-time USAIGS national qualifier. Last year at the USAIGS national competition, Magill took second on the balance beam and the uneven bars, and third in the all-around.

Elaine Ribeiro (La Mesa, Calif.), another local recruit out of Helix High School in La Mesa, Calif., will run distance events with the Aztecs. Ribeiro lettered four years at Helix, twice being named to the all-Grossmont Hills League cross country team (2009, 2011) and once to the all-CIF cross country team (2011). Ribeiro owns track PR's of 2:21.53 in the 800 (2013), 4:50.67 in the 1,500 (2013), 5:03.12 in the 1,600 (2012) and 11:36.80 in the 3,200 (2013). Ribeiro, who ran at the CIF cross country state championships in 2009 and 2011, ran a personal-best time of 19:40 in the 5K at the 2011 championships.

Kortney Ross (San Diego, Calif./Oregon) joins SDSU and will have two seasons of outdoor track and field eligibility left and one year of indoor remaining after competing at national power Oregon from 2011-13. With the Ducks, Ross twice qualified for the NCAA West Region Prelims (2011-12) in the pole vault with a best finish of 13th at the 2011 meet. Ross also shined at the Pac-12 Outdoor Championships, taking third in 2011 and fourth in 2012. While at Oregon, Ross had an outdoor best mark of 13-04.50 in 2011 and 2012 and an indoor best of 12-05.50 this past indoor season (2013). In high school at Westview in San Diego, Ross had personal-best marks of 13-06.00 in the outdoor pole vault in 2010, 11.89 in the 100 (2010), 15.18 in the 100 hurdles (2009) and 17-03.00 in the long jump (2010).

Katie Thralls (Livermore, Calif./Seattle Pacific) is the final member of the impressive 2013 class and joins San Diego State after spending three years on the basketball team at Seattle Pacific, two years on the track and field team and one year on the cross country squad. Thralls helped the Falcon cross country team qualify for the 2012 NCAA Division II Championships after taking 11th at the NCAA West Regionals. Thralls, who also was the GNAC Newcomer of the Year, had the most points on the cross country team in 2012 and was a GNAC all-academic team member. She also was a member of the track and field team that captured the 2012 GNAC outdoor title. Thralls finished her SPU track and field career with personal bests of 4:54.03 in the 1,500 (2012), 10:07 in the 3K (indoor 2013), 17:50 in the 5K (2013) and 37:08 in the 10K (2013), and 21:28.2 in cross country at the 2012 national meet over the 6K course.

Additional recruits could be announced at a later date.