by Paul Amico
It was evident early in Monique Griffiths’ CSUN athletic career that she was going to be a star on the track and field team.
Griffiths, a Florida state discus champion out of Nova High School, reached fourth in discus in the CSUN record books during her freshman year, and seventh in the hammer throw as a sophomore.
During her junior year in 2015, she upped the ante and won the Big West Conference championship in the hammer throw and discus. Fans expected a record-smashing senior year out of Griffiths, but she opted to redshirt — which meant she did not
While unconventional on paper, Griffiths’ decision made a huge impact on and off the field.
“I wanted to keep training and extend my throwing distances a lot more, so my coaches and I decided to take a year off so I could continue to build and expand,” she said. “The decision made all the difference. It gave me a lot of time to think and work, both academically and athletically.”
Griffiths came back in 2017 better than ever. She broke the school record in the hammer throw (63.11 meters), helped lead the Matador women’s track and field team to its 10th Big West Conference Championship in May, qualified for the NCAA Championships in June in Eugene, Ore. — where she placed 11th in the hammer and 16th in discus — and was named an NCAA All-American in both events.
The extra time also allowed Griffiths, who graduated with a B.S. in psychology in May, to think about her future beyond the track.
“I knew after graduation that I wanted to keep training, but I also decided I wanted to pursue my master’s degree at CSUN,” Griffiths said. “My education is extremely important, It’s one thing my mom instilled in me.”