Fresno City College two-sport athlete Melody Harris made an impact for the school’s women’s soccer team, helping the Rams to the state final four last season.
She’s doing the same for Fresno City’s track and field team.
The sophomore out of Hanford High is rated No. 1 in the state and No. 2 nationally in the javelin.
She also is doing well in the heptathlon. In her first season in the event, she qualified for the state championships, finishing second at the NorCal finals with 4,555 points behind teammate Moesha Davidson (4,774) in Hayward on April 13. On May 14, Harris finished first in the javelin with a throw of 154 feet, 3 inches.
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This weekend, Harris will compete for a state title in the heptathlon and javelin at San Diego Mesa College.
Harris said she will continue her track and field career because “I want to maximize my potential in track and field” and lists San Diego State, Nebraska and New Mexico as her top three schools.
Q: Big weekend for you coming up – a chance to become a state champion. Before the season started, what kind of expectations did you set for yourself?
A: At the beginning of the season I set goals for myself. One of those goals was to get first in the state in javelin. That’s my ultimate goal. I had lower expectations for myself in the heptathlon because it’s my first year ever doing it. All the events except for javelin were new to me. I haven’t done heptathlon since elementary school, and in elementary school you don’t get taught at a high level, obviously. I was going into it completely green. My goal was to score in the 4,000s and I achieved that goal, and I would like to go higher at the state meet. So far, this season has been great. Battled some minor injuries – strained hamstring, just been nursing that for a couple weeks. Minor setback for a major comeback. I’m working through the adversity just like I had a year before with my knee injury.
Q: You talked about adversity and having a knee injury. What caused that injury and how did you overcome that injury to get better for this season?
A: I tore my meniscus during the spring soccer scrimmage at UC Merced and that set me back for 1 1/2 months in track and field. I was just a thrower and I was learning everything, and I had set a goal to be second in the state for javelin last year. I really worked through the adversity and got better. I told myself that I can do it, and with the help of coach Jesus Reyes, I go throw 3 1/2 weeks after surgery at the CVC championships and win that and go to NorCal finals and throw there 4 1/2 weeks after surgery and win that. And then went to the state championships. I got second in state and accomplished my goal. I was still going through physical therapy.
Q: You and Moesha have done well all season. How much do you two push each other to do your best?
A: When I see her make a big jump, I want to make a big jump. Usually when I’m jumping with her, I jump farther or higher, and that’s how she pushes me. But for the most part, we push each other like a sibling rivalry. She doesn’t want me to be better than her or I don’t want her to be better than me. I got her in the throws and she got me in the sprints. We support each other and we also feed each other. When she’s having a good day, I’m having a good day, or when I’m having a good day, she’s having a good day. That’s how it kind of goes.