Bulldog Breakdown: Track & Field stops by after hosting MW Championship

Fresno State hosting the Mountain West track & field championships and a hometown hero won the hammer throw for the Bulldogs.

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Monday, May 15, 2023
Bulldog Breakdown: Track & Field chats after hosting MW Championship
A trio of bulldogs joined Sports Director Stephen Hicks in the studio to talk about the program's best finish in years.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A trio of bulldogs joined Sports Director Stephen Hicks in the studio to talk about the program's best finish in years.

Interview Transcription:

All right, welcome back to Bulldog Breakdown. We're joined now with three guests from the Fresno State track and field team - head coach Jason Drake, fourth-year coach in the program Garrett Ostrinski -- We'll talk about all that you do and Jocelyn Budwig a thrower thanks for joining us guys on Mother's Day.

We'll get to the athletes in a minute. But Coach Drake, I want to start with you your program. The women's team finished in fourth place best finish since 2016. And the men's seventh-place best finish since 2013. Can you just reflect on the whole week?

Jason Drake -- Yeah, it was you know, we keep thinking every year the goals would be better than we were the year before. And we did that again this time. So that was nice. Every track and it's up and down. I mean, you can ask her about her group, but it was a wild weekend. So you know, we would have some bad moments and other people would step up and that's kind of what it's about is how people can step up.

Stephen Hicks -- and Jocelynn we see you wearing the gold medal around your neck. You're the first-place medalist for the hammer throw. Did that surprise you at all? I kind of saw your emotion after the fact.

Jocelyn Budwig -- 100% It surprised me I was ranked third going in. So to come out as the champion, having taken as much time off as I did during the transfer process. It was definitely shocking to win it but I was excited. And for those who don't know your story, you're from Fowler. We kind of profile you when you were a red cat back in the day but you go spend three years at Auburn.

Stephen Hicks -- Can you reflect on what this moment means to you of all weekends on Mother's Day weekend when your mom's a former Bulldog as well.

Jocelyn Budwig -- It means the world to me to be able to come back and represent the value either for Fresno State fans we went to sporting events and so to be able to represent the valley and do what I do and also both my parent's alma mater and my one of my older sisters, they all three of them are on the track team and so to wear the same uniform that they did and represent the same name that means a world to me.

Stephen Hicks -- and Garrett I don't know if we'll have time to talk about every event that you do, but you ran the decathlon, the high jump and the 4x100 relay. Just walk us through your performances.

Garrett Ostrinski -- I would say a slightly disappointing I've got a lot of high hopes coming into just hoping to kind of go and get a good amount of extra strength pretty high coming into it but you know, injuries happen a lot. I've been dealing with quite a few this year. So it's been a battle but I mean being able to go and do the decathlon and coming in fourth and then coming out an hour later and high jumping and getting some points for the team coming in. ranked ninth for that event. So it's pretty crazy and then yesterday coming out and running the four by four we tried to get some more points in the Boise, which was the goal. so It was crazy. There's a lot going on.

Stephen Hicks -- you helped the men's team do its best finish in almost a decade. Can you speak about your journey here to Fresno State and coach Drake, you can chime in if you want and how you got him here.

Garrett Ostrinski -- I wasn't really anything crazy back in high school. I was reaching out to a lot of schools because I knew that I did a lot of events in high school. And so the decathlon was kind of my thing. So I kind of shot myself around and I hit a JD and Audra and said, hey, I'll come and do the decathlon for you to where you guys already got accepted to your school so might as well. So it was a big, big thing getting accepted to the prevention program. And then coming in and meeting the coaching staff it just felt like a really close-knit group and the team was just really a big family. So I felt like at home when I first showed up so

Stephen Hicks -- and Coach can you speak on maybe other athletes like him on your team where you guys don't have the scholarships? Maybe other programs have.

Jason Drake -- So that is a challenge is we have to look at athletes developing into something. So sometimes they get a little too good and also have kind of UCLA come in or something. And so the hope is to get those athletes that we can then develop and and you know like we call them lost dogs come home. You know she graduated from Auburn but still came back to the valley. So I always start locally, but a lot of kids want to go away to college and so for him, I think Fresno State was a great option a few hours from home. In Division One Mountain West is an attractive conference. You know once you get rid of the big bad, ugly PAC 12 in our state. We're one of the biggest athletic machines that there is and so that attracts a lot of athletes.

Stephen Hicks -- And how rewarding is it for you to see that development and as we talked about off the top of this segment to have the best finish that you guys have had years?

Jason Drake -- Yeah, I think we have a lot more in common so we're excited to keep going and see if we can get more guarantees.

Stephen Hicks -- Jocelynn for you. I remember after you won gold at Fowler High. We were out there at your high school. I think it was the next day. Yeah, and you're out there practicing. I don't know what for because you just won the gold medal. How soon do you get ready for potentially an NCAA regional run?

Jocelyn Budwig -- tomorrow? Back to work tomorrow. We only have this next week and then the following week. I think we'll leave on Tuesday to go to Sacramento. So this is our first full week of training or this not our first full week training me I have a lot of full weeks of training throughout the season, which is nice. It's a nice change of pace for me actually. But with this full week of training we have to get back to work tomorrow and just grind it out so we can do the best we can at regionals, we only get three throws at regionals.

Stephen Hicks -- Does this give you a family bragging rights of thanksgiving? Have you thought about what you're gonna say to them?

Jocelyn Budwig -- honestly not really my siblings are very good at keeping me humble. we've all done a lot. accomplished a lot in different areas of our lives. And so I don't think one accomplishment really trumps the other within my family and we're all super supportive of each other. So, I mean, my dad says I've have a big head again. But I mean, just roll with it for a few days and then and then we'll get past it.

Stephen Hicks -- Garrett what about you? Can you speak to maybe what's next and I understand you maybe missed out on the regional run that does this kind of fuel you for the offseason and next year?

Garrett Ostrinski -- Yeah, so actually how to get surgery this summer. So I'll be out for a year but I mean, it'll give me time to kind of just hone in on my running ability instead of throwing in pole vaulting and such but yeah, I mean, it's gonna be it's gonna be a long road so I have a lot of time to do it.

Stephen Hicks -- and Coach closing thoughts from you. Can you just maybe speak to the whole program as a whole where we sit in 2023 versus when you took over a couple years ago and maybe what your your vision will be?

Jason Drake -- Yeah, I mean, we, our hope is keep building on every year. We've we lose very, very few points on the women's side of the team that we had to earn yesterday. Like we only lose about three points going out so and we have a lot more coming in.You know, then we're trying to score points in areas that we'd be that athletes that can score at the conference and saying what the man would pretty much everyone and a lot a big recruiting class coming in. I think it might be 25 New athletes, both men and women coming in.

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