Tanya Vassar is not good at any one event. She thrives in multiple events.
The Northern State senior track and field athlete has competed in the pole vault, hurdles, high jump and long jump during collegiate meets. The Cheyenne, Wyo., native broke the school record in the indoor and outdoor pole vault during her sophomore season, her first-ever season competing in the event.
Not bad for an athlete that was initially recruited to run cross country at NSU.
I knew when I was in high school that I wasn't good enough to be a one-event athlete, she said. Instead of being really good at one thing, I was pretty good at everything. Then I knew that my best option would to be as a heptathlete.
That is exactly what Vassar did. She recently completed in her last Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference pentathlon in St. Cloud, Minn., at the conference multi-events. She placed second in the women's pentathlon with a career best 3,208 points, which also earned her all-conference status.
I'm very happy for Tanya, Northern State track and field coach Jim Fuller said. People don't realize how hard she works. For the last two months she has been coming in twice a week in the morning on her own and doing running.
Vassar joins three other former NSU athletes that made their mark in the multi-events. Lynne Nacke, April Hericks and Katie Anderson were also solid female multi-events athletes for the Wolves.
That is pretty good company to be in, Fuller said. We try to build tradition. To have one back up there with those girls was pretty good.
She is an NCAA Division II Academic All-American and was named the outstanding female freshman during the 2007-08 season. Vassar liked competing in the multi-events immediately her first season at NSU.
I actually really enjoyed it because I did not have to focus on one thing, Vassar said. If I wasn't doing well at something I could always train for something else. If I wasn't doing well with the high jump I could always go hurdle. It would actually get my mind off of the things I wasn't doing well with.
And not surprisingly, Vassar does not have a favorite event when it comes to the multi-events.
My favorite event during the multi is the one that I'm doing the best at, she said. I don't actually have a favorite because the second I say I have a favorite is the time I'm not doing well at it and then I don't like it anymore. I just try and go with whatever I'm doing well with.
Vassar, who started competing in track when she was in the fifth grade, will now finish out the indoor season and then compete in her last outdoor track and field season during the spring. However, she will continue to be around the sport. She plans on being a track coach and next year will be a graduate assistant at Division II track powerhouse Adams State College in Colorado.
The only thing from here is to be the coach instead of the athlete, she said.