Photo by J. Alan Paul Photography
As the fresh face of women’s multi-events, Macy Denzer plans on stoking the flame of the NDSU track and field legacy by continuously honing her skills and setting new benchmarks. In an individual sport focused on personal stats, Denzer finds inspiration in the growth of her teammates and hopes to contribute to a collaborative victory.
The track and field program achieved just that at the Summit League Indoor Track and Field Championships in Brookings, South Dakota, earlier this year, smashing the competition and ranking first overall in both men’s and women’s. Not far from her hometown, Denzer also came away with a college-best time of 8.75 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, an event she first competed in as a senior at Watertown High School.
With a roaring fan-base of friends and family, she was up against fierce competition but nothing could break her concentration, explaining, “I was so excited to be there in the first place, and I had a bunch of people cheering for me. I didn’t have a lot to lose either, which also made a big difference. I just wanted to go out and run my best race, and I did.”
Snatching talent from our neighbors to the south, NDSU’s recruiting tactics required nothing more than displaying a wholesome and welcoming culture for the four-sport high school athlete to decide the Herd was home.
“Some of the advice that I got when I started to search for colleges was that you’ll just be able to tell when it’s the right one,” said Denzer, who is studying nursing at NDSU. “From the first time I came here, I had a really good feeling about it. I love the facility and what this program is all about. Knowing how successful they’ve been, I was super excited to have the opportunity to be a part of it, so I just rode with it.”
Coming to Fargo with an impressive track and field pedigree, Denzer trained under former NDSU head coach Ryun Godfrey’s father, Vic, who has coached the sport for 52 years, including 26 as head coach for the Watertown Arrows.
“I didn’t know Ryun personally, but I’ve known his dad for many years,” said Denzer. “Every day I’d go into practice and Vic would come up to me and say ‘Did you hear about this record set by NDSU?’ So he was always keeping me informed.”
During her high school career, Denzer set a school record in the long jump with her leap of 18-05.50 to win the 2015 Howard Wood Dakota Relays—the top mark by any girl in North and South Dakota that year. The infectious Bison culture Denzer felt from Coach Godfrey was only amplified once she immersed herself in the program and made connections with each experienced athlete.
“I love the facility and what this program is all about. Knowing how successful they’ve been, I was super excited to have the opportunity to be a part of it, so I just rode with it.”
— Freshman Macy Denzer, Track & Field
“I’m pretty fortunate because they started this thing called ‘Big Track Sister’ this year and Rose (Jackson) was mine,” Denzer said. “From the very beginning I was so pumped about it, and now getting to train with her for three out of the five days of the week, I’ve gotten to know her and she’s such an inspiration.”
With a towering, All-American talent like Jackson to learn from, Denzer won’t settle for a personal best. She craves perpetual improvement.
“She’s just crazy good,” exclaimed Denzer about Jackson. “Rose is one of those people who has gotten better every year that she’s been here. Going into this, I was curious to know when I would peak, or stop getting better, but knowing this is Rose’s fourth year now and she’s still getting better every day, it’s super exciting to know that I can keep growing and learning.”
Placing first in the 60-meter hurdles at the Bison Open in early February and taking home a pair of second place titles in high jump and 800, it’s clear Denzer is about to hit a stride that will propel her to record heights.