By Jim Fenton, The Enterprise (Brockton)
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- After suffering a season-ending injury last winter, Jayci Andrews is picking up where she left off for the Bridgewater State University women’s track & field team.
The junior from Plymouth has broken her own school record in the 60-meter hurdles three times this season and ranked among the national Division 3 leaders.
Andrews has bounced back after fracturing her foot in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships last Feb. 11, which cost her the remainder of the indoor season plus the entire outdoor season.
The Plymouth South High graduate entered the season owning the BSU record in the hurdles (9.08 seconds) and has lowered it three times.
She ran 9.06 at the UMass-Boston Indoor Open on Dec. 2, 9.03 at the Tufts Invitational on Jan. 13 and 9.01 (among the top times in the nation) last Saturday at the Lyons Invitational.
Andrews, who qualified for the NCAA Division 3 Championships in the 400-meter race in the winter and spring of her freshman year in 2016, is on course for a return trip.
“I was at first (concerned about how Andrews would be after the injury) until her first workout on the track in the fall,″ said Bears coach Amy Delgado. “Then I was like, ‘Nope, she’s still the same Jayci. We’ve got her.’ She’s been awesome.″
Andrews was having a successful sophomore season last winter when she arrived at the MASCAC Championships and turned in a dominant performance there.
She won the 55-meter hurdles in a school-record time and was first in the 200 and the long jump in addition to helping two BSU relay teams win.
But during the course of that meet, Andrews fractured her foot, and it wasn’t until June when she was able to start running again.
“She was running really well last year,″ said Delgado. “Based off her freshman year times, she would have qualified for the nationals in the indoor and outdoor.
“She was super frustrated at getting hurt. A lot of athletes let that take over, but she really battled back and has come back in better shape than ever this fall. It’s been awesome to watch her compete again and show everyone she belongs there.″
Andrews was named the MASCAC track athlete of the week after her record-breaking performance at the Lyons Invitational where she also won the 400-meter race and was on two winning relay teams.
“Being out the whole spring, it’s been quite a battle to get her back to where she was before she got injured,″ said Delgado. “But she’s clearly in great shape. Now we’re just trying to get her healthy again so she can run a good 400.
“It was almost like she was a whole year behind everybody else. But she’s been working so hard to get back to where she is and she’s proven she can do it.″