Tampa, Florida-- Next weekend in Albuquerque, some of the biggest names in collegiate top track and field will compete on the national stage for theNCAA Indoor Championships.
USF senior triple jumper Shane Lewis is one of them.
"It was a good thing to find out," he said Friday morning, excited about facing the best in the nation. "I try not to pay too much attention to what everybody is jumping."
For inspiration, and maybe advice, he only has to look across the track. Bulls sophomore triple jumper Matthew O'Neal was in Lewis' shoes last year when he competed at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
"My experience was definitely a blessing," he said. "It's eye-opening to see the number of athletes who competed and did their best to make it that far."
O'Neal was a second team All American in 2013 and the two teammates went back and forth in the school record books as well. Lewis set the school mark for longest triple jump in the Big East conference meet last season. Later in the same meet, O'Neal broke his buddy's mark.
"I beat him by one centimeter," O'Neal said with a smile.
The duo has both set personal bests after teaming up. Before O'Neal arrived, Lewis didn't have another guy on the USF roster to push him in the triple jump. Now, both athletes are succeeding because of their record-setting partnership.