Meet the Bulldog: Vanja Spaic

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The career of Vanja Spaic at Fresno State has been an impressive one, and she's looking to add to her lengthy resume this week.

"Vanja is an incredible athlete that we are very fortunate to have here at Fresno State," said Joe Riccio, the throws coach for Fresno State Track and Field. "She is a three-time Mountain West Conference champion, and she's a three-time NCAA qualifier."

She also holds the record for the javelin throw at Fresno State with a distance of 52.93 meters, and that's a mark she'll be looking to break when she heads to Eugene, Oregon for her third appearance at the NCAA 2021 D1 Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

"Yeah, it's like an addiction, you enjoy when you improve your personal best, and you just have this satisfying feeling of reaching your limits and breaking them so it's very special," Spaic said. The native of Bosnia always intended to come to the United States to compete and study, and she says Fresno's warm months and relatively mild winters work out well for practicing her craft all year long.

The COVID-19 pandemic shut down her chance at nationals last season, so she's preparing to make her return this week, with a chance to take in an audience for the first time in a while.

"That's what I'm excited about, besides competing, to be around big crowds," she said.

The national competition runs from June 9-June 12.

"She has all the capabilities, she's fully prepared. Very little adjustments are going to be made towards technique and strength. Now it's time to just, you know, go for everything we have and try to win a national title," Riccio said.

"I want to be relaxed and have fun, and make sure I give it my best," Spaic added. "We'll see what that will be."
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