Janay DeLoach was recruited by a number of schools to play basketball. Lucky for CSU, she stuck with track.
DeLoach, a senior for the Rams, capped off an impressive indoor career this season by earning All-American honors with a fifth-place finish in the long jump at the NCAA Track and Field Championships in March. DeLoach is the first ever All-American from CSU in any jump event.
“She was being recruited regularly in basketball, but she decided to stick with track and field,” said Tim Cawley, DeLoach’s jumps and sprints coach. “I’m not sure why, but I’m very glad she did.”
DeLoach’s impressive career includes not only this year’s All-America honors, but also back-to-back Mountain West Conference indoor long jump titles, three consecutive MWC second-place finishes in the 60 meters and the school record for the long jump (20-9.25), just to name a few.
But DeLoach, who has one more year of eligibility, said all of her accomplishments were expected.
“I was going for (All-America) this year; it was what I wanted,” DeLoach said. “All I had to do was go out and do it. I knew I could.
Head Track and Field Coach Brian Bedard said DeLoach is a rare athlete who combines a handful of strengths.
“She’s one of only a few athletes I’ve seen that has the talent, the work ethic and the competitive spirit,” he said. “Usually you’ll get someone who has one or two of those, but she’s got all of it.”
After the current outdoor season, in which she hopes to achieve All-America honors in jumps and sprints, DeLoach said she is planning on competing at the Olympic Trials next year.
“I’m going to keep working up to the Olympic Trials and see what happens,” she said. “If I could make it to the Olympics, that would be amazing. I don’t care if I get last, it would just be amazing.”
Knowing DeLoach, those aspirations are not at all far-fetched. As Cawley said, DeLoach is a special kind of athlete, one the Rams will miss dearly when she’s gone.
“She’s kind of irreplaceable,” Cawley said.