Former Clovis standout Amanda Swann was a three-time junior college All-American. Courtesy photo.
By Dave Wagner
Now that she’s healthy, Clovis High grad Amanda Swann hopes to wrap up her collegiate track career with a flourish.
The University of New Mexico senior, bothered in her two years with the Lobos by foot problems, ran a season-best 4:42.55 to place fourth in the 1,500 meters Saturday in the Triton Invitational at La Jolla, Calif.
Swann has two meets left to qualify for NCAA regional competition. She still needs to cut more than 10 seconds off her time to qualify.
“I’ve always wanted to run a 4:30,” Swann said. “Pretty much from here on, I just want to PR (set a personal record) big-time.”
A three-time NJCAA indoor track All-American in two years at Butler County (Kan.) Community College, Swann ran cross country and track for the Lobos during the 2002-03 school year before undergoing operations on both feet late last summer to alleviate plantar fasciaitis pain. The surgery caused her to miss the cross country season.
“She’s been hurt the whole time she’s been here,” UNM track and cross country coach Matt Henry said. “But she just manages to bite her lip and run in pain.
“She’s doing better, not running in as much pain.”
Swann said it’s just a matter of learning to deal with it.
“It’s just getting more comfortable with it, adapting to the race more and adjusting to what my body can do,” she said.
Swann had a good cross country season in 2002 before encountering her foot problems, Henry said.
“She basically ran from No. 3 to No. 7 (on the team) that year,” he said. “She was pretty solid for us.”
On Saturday, Swann runs the 1,500 in the Don Kirby Memorial Invitational, the Lobos’ only home meet this spring.
“My fiancé (former UNM baseball player Matt Bullen) and my whole family will be coming to see me run this week,” she said. “I’m excited about that.”
Then she’ll compete in the Mountain West Conference meet May 13-15 in Las Vegas, hosted by UNLV. Because of the event, she’ll miss her graduation ceremony.
If she can get down to the qualifying mark of 4:29, Swann would advance to NCAA regional competition the final weekend of May at Texas A&M in College Station.
Bullen, who graduated in December, and Swann plan to be married on June 11. Bullen is currently living in Clovis and serving as a youth minister at Faith Christian Family Church.
Note — Another CHS alum, junior Hank Baskett, made his 2004 high jump debut in the Triton Invitational after completing spring football drills for the Lobos.
Baskett, a two-time All-MWC high jumper, cleared 6-8 in the event to lead all collegiate competitors and finish third overall behind two unattached jumpers. Henry said Baskett competed in the meet without having a single high jump practice this spring.