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Freshman Kristyn Archuleta shattering records with North Texas track

Freshman Kristyn Archuleta shattering records with North Texas track

Krystyn Archuleta throws a javelin during a meet. Courtesy | Rick Yeatts

Freshman Kristyn Archuleta shattering records with North Texas track
April 26
14:06 2017

As she starts to warm up, the nerves kick in. Moments before her name is called, she starts stress eating animal crackers, popping a few in her mouth to ease her mind.

A few minutes later, she breaks a school record.

In only her third meet, freshman Kristyn Archuleta put on an astonishing performance at the Texas Relays in Austin by placing first in the women’s javelin throw with a school-record throw of 46.10 meters. The record, previously held by Nikki Hyles, had stood since 1994 — and Hyles herself was in attendance to see her record go down.

Archuleta was overjoyed when she heard the news.

“I was pretty excited because I remember having a really good throw,” Archuleta said. “I was just standing by the announcer waiting for him to read off my call. I was so anxious and really wanted to beat [the record] my freshman year.”

Coming out of Alamogordo High School in New Mexico, Archuleta was a three-sport star lettering in track, basketball and volleyball. Track, however, was one of the last sports Archuleta got involved with.

“I didn’t start track until my junior year of high school,” Archuleta said. “All of our coaches would talk about these great athletes and I’m like, ‘I don’t know who they are’ and didn’t really pay attention.”

After believing she would only play basketball at the Division II level, Archuleta eventually saw more opportunities in track and focused on that during her senior year of high school. This decision came after winning the state title in javelin with a throw of 131 feet in her junior year.

She followed that up with another state title her senior year.

Once she graduated, Archuleta drew interest from the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Nevada and North Texas. After careful consideration, she settled on the Mean Green.

And while coaches at North Texas were excited to land a two-time state champion, they knew Archuleta had plenty to learn.

“As a thrower she was raw,” assistant coach Brendon Kelso said. “[She could] throw far but she had to learn what it took to be a true javelin thrower.”

One of the first things Archuleta worked on when she got to North Texas was running while slowly refining her skills and technique on her throws. Archuleta spends about 18 hours per week practicing, devoting most of her time to javelin.

“We do a lot of sprinting and jumping with some ball work,” Archuleta said. “We don’t throw too much because that’s really hard on your arms.”

In Archuleta’s debut at the TCU Invitational, she came in third place with a throw of 45.43 meters, good for second best in school history.

“It took her a little while to adjust to college,” Kelso said. “It’s been cool to see the work that she [did] in training show up in competition.”

After not placing the next week in the Bobby Lane Invitational at the University of Texas at Arlington, Archuleta was determined to make the most of her next opportunity.

That’s when she shattered the record.

And no one was happier to see her make history than her coaches.

“It’s a very old record, so it was good that she was able to take a record that long down,” head coach Carl Sheffield said. “It shows a lot of promise as a freshman for her to figure out the things she’s doing to throw far.”

While Kelso, her throwing coach, was not in attendance when she broke the record, he was not the least bit surprised when he got a phone call saying Archuleta rewrote the record books.

“I knew she had it in her,” Kelso said. and “I was just trying to get her to believe, and hopefully she believes it now.”

But Archuleta wanted to prove that she was only getting started.

Immediately after breaking the school record, Archuleta again took home the gold at the Baylor Invitational on April 8, finishing with a throw of 48.77 meters. In one throw, Archuleta had shattered her own record she set just one week prior.

“I threw and it felt like an okay throw,” Archuleta said. “It didn’t feel great so I was waiting for them to read it and once they read out the number I was like ‘wow, that was really good,’ which is what javelin is. The less you try, the farther it goes for some reason.”

Among her teammates, Archuleta is known as a fierce competitor who continues to set goals for herself. Always striving to improve, her display of strong work ethic has inspired teammates in her lone season at North Texas.

“She’s always trying to improve and gives 100 percent each practice,” men’s sophomore thrower Javier Lopez-Ibarra said. “That’s why she has those results. It pushes me to do more every day so I can improve mine as well.”

Many of her coaches hope Archuleta can ride this surge all the way into Conference USA championships so she can step on the podium and get a medal. The ultimate goal is competing on the national stage at the NCAA championships, but for now, Archuleta is focusing on the basics.

Despite all the attention she’s receiving, Archuleta doesn’t want the records to define her. She has something else in mind.

“Hopefully grades and the way that I’m a team player,” Archuleta said. “I cheer on my friends and teammates and I want them to know it’s more than about breaking records. It’s about how you are as a person.”

Featured Image: Krystyn Archuleta throws a javelin during a meet. Courtesy | Rick Yeatts

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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