Former Beaver takes leap forward

Steven Paxiao and Steven Paxaio

Becoming a nationally ranked triple jumper is not an easy task to accomplish.  Traelynn Lewis has found that success, and risen to the challenge with focus and determination.

Lewis is a former track and field athlete for American River College, who battled a knee injury throughout her beaver career.  This injury played a big role in her being overlooked by big name schools.

Lewis found a home at the University of Wisconsin-Superior with the help of a former Yellow Jacket coach who now coaches here at ARC.

“A former coach from our school is now coaching out there, and called me up and said Glen you have to see some of these kids we got here, you could probably use them on your team. Traelynn was one of the ones I contacted,” said UW-Superior track and field coach Glen Drexler.

UW-Superior is located in the northwest part of Wisconsin in the city of Superior, minutes away from Lake Superior. Lewis has put up some astonishing marks since transferring from ARC, with a jump of 11.27 meters (36 feet, 11.75 inches) at the Lake Superior Challenge in early February, and a jump of 11.60 meters (38 feet, 0.75) at the WIAC (schools conference) championship late last month.

It’s certain that Lewis plans on finishing out here NCAA career with the Yellow Jackets, and is excited to continue the success she has had so far and see where her accomplishments take her.

“I started my journey here at Superior, and I plan on ending it here,” said Lewis. “I’m just going to do my best and see what happens in the future, as far as after my eligibility here at UW-Superior is up.”

Not only is she satisfied with her decision to further her athletic career in Wisconsin, the Yellow Jacket coaches are just as excited to have her there.

“We were very excited when she decided to come out here, because I know the talent level that they have at ARC is very good, and I would like to look into that in the future too,” said Drexler. “I know if the rest of the people are like her at ARC, then you guys have a great place to go to school out there.”

Lewis recently competed at the NCAA DIII National Championships in Iowa, after winning her conference championship.  Although she didn’t place near the top at the national event, she moved up the national triple jump rankings from thirteenth to ninth, and now knows the level of competition needed heading into next season. She also set a new personal record with a jump of 11.67 meter (38 feet, 3.5 inches), which was three centimeters away from All-American status.

“The experience was awesome,” said Lewis. “It was one that I hope to have many more of, and one that I will always remember.

Although she has showed that she has the talent to compete at a very high level, there are still some minor parts of her game that need to be addressed.  Speed seems to be the key aspect she will be working on during the off-season.

“Speed on the runway is one of my main issues, I need to get faster,” said Lewis. “It’s a new level these girls are at, and I really saw that today (at the national championships).”

It’s obvious that Lewis has worked hard to be where she is, and has the drive to keep excelling in the sport she loves without being ungrateful for the opportunity she has been given.

“I feel truly blessed for everything that has happened, and I just really hope that I can continue to succeed in the sport that I love.”

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