Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record
The last time she jumped at the University of New Mexico’s Track and Field Complex, Roswell High graduate Anastasia Daliege broke the girls’ high school long jump state record with a long leap of 18 feet, 5 inches.
The next time she competes at UNM, it will be as a Lobo.
One of Roswell High’s most decorated athletes in recent memory, Daliege signed a national letter of intent Friday to become a member of the UNM Track and Field team.
“It feels great,” said Daliege. “I’m excited to go to UNM and experience more and better competition. I’m not sure how many jumpers they have, but I don’t expect to be the best right away. I just want to improve throughout the season, especially in the fall, during our indoor season.”
Daliege has earned a total of 11 state track meet medals throughout her high school career, including three gold medals — a triple jump and long jump gold in 2016 and of course, the record-breaking 2017 long jump gold. At the last state track meet in May, Daliege also took second in the high jump, and fourth in both the triple jump and as part of the four-person 1600-meter sprint medley relay.
When you count all the regular-season meets, her career medal count is harder to track.
“I have so many, probably at least a hundred,” she said.
Daliege plans to study occupational therapy and thinks her experiences of juggling multiple sports and a part-time job while keeping up with her high school studies has prepared her for the hectic life of a collegiate student-athlete.
“I actually think it won’t be as difficult as it was in high school,” she said. “I’ll be able to focus on one sport throughout the year. I’m pretty excited and I think I’m ready for it.”
A work-out warrior, Daliege said lifting weights and doing box jumps are two of the most beneficial activities, but she’s excited to get more coaching in college.
“My vertical is over 27 inches,” she said. “Long jump is my favorite event, but I know I can be a better high jumper. I just need more training.”
Daliege credited her family for giving her the support, and the occasional nudge in the right direction, that helps athletes thrive
“My grandma, my mom, my dad, my uncle — they have all done a lot to help me get to where I am today,” she said. “They made me work hard in school, play sports, do this and go here and do that (laughs) … so it kinda helps.”
Daliege is part of a 2017 senior class at Roswell High that is sending three female athletes to the state’s flagship school.
“Roswell High has great athletic programs,” she said. “The coaches are amazing here. We have a lot of good teams throughout Roswell. Goddard is great too, I’m not gonna lie.”
Roswell track coach Tim Fuller said Daliege is the type of athlete that turns it up to another level on meet days.
“She’s a gamer,” he said. “Once she gets to state, she just excels. It’s always fun to watch her pick her game up in the big moment. She had kind of plateaued during the year, and then she goes to state and just blows it out of the water. Kids like that make us coaches look good.”
Lady Coyotes volleyball coach Heather Baca said Daliege’s above-average athleticism allowed her to be a major contributor, despite her height.
“She’s not a huge kid, but she was playing outside hitter at 5-foot-5, which is pretty amazing,” said Baca. “She has tremendous work ethic in the weight room, leaving some big shoes to fill there. And it will be hard to replace a natural jumper like that on the court.”
With her ability to step up when the spotlight is brightest and her desire to constantly improve, don’t be surprised if Daliege leaps into the collegiate record books over the next four years. Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s record long jump of 22 feet, 11 1/2 inches could fall next.