Excuse Alex Collatz-Sellens for taking a much-needed break.

The 2010 CIF state track and field champion in the discus at Stockdale, who later became a multi-time All-American at USC, needed a breather.

Since her standout collegiate days ended in 2015 for the Trojans, Collatz-Sellens has taken on roles of wife, educator and professional athlete. That all came to a huge conclusion last month with a seventh-place finish at the USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa on June 21.

There was plenty of lead-up to that moment.

Once Collatz-Sellens graduated from USC with a degree in cognitive science, she started working towards her teaching credentials right away and began working as a fifth-grade teacher at Suburu Elementary in southwest Bakersfield. She came to the realization that life in Southern California didn’t compare to being back home.

“It was easy for me to come back home,” Collatz-Sellens said. “L.A. is tough. I don’t like traffic and I love being here in Bakersfield.”

Add in workouts with her dad, Alan Collatz, and her days were jam-packed.

Then Collatz-Sellens added on wedding planning to that in late 2016 to her college sweetheart, David Sellens. The two were married on Oct. 7 last year.

With all of that, time to be a competitive thrower was limited, but prosperous.

Collatz-Sellens was able to compete at the U.S. Olympic Trials 2016.

“I was just happy to be there,” she said of the experience to compete as a professional during an Olympic year.

After the wedding in October to David, who was also a thrower at USC after passing up on football because of a shoulder injury, Alex was able to finish up her teaching credentials at Cal State Bakersfield and life took on a less stressful form.

“Now I have no more school. I’m just teaching and training,” she said. “I have a lot more time and my technique has really come along. I’ve gotten a lot stronger.”

And it’s shown.

Collatz’s personal-best came June 2 at the Pomona USTAF SoCal Jim Bush Championships.

Her throw of 201-8 that day is the 17th-best throw in the world in 2018 and the third-best by a U.S. thrower this season.

That mark is beyond the 2017 world qualifying mark of 200-7 and gives Collatz-Sellens something to strive for once she gets back into action at the start of 2019.

“That’s the mark I want to go for again,” Collatz-Sellens said.

But it’s not the reason she still competes 14 years after taking up the sport as an 11-year-old.

“I do this because I love it,” Collatz-Sellens said. “I love throwing and training.”

And it doesn’t hurt to have a dad that is a longtime coach and a husband that just finished up his college competing days as a hammer thrower as a graduate transfer at CSUB this spring.

“My dad has always kept me with a humble perspective,” Collatz-Sellens said. “I can’t remember what my dreams were at 11, I was just throwing and having fun. I don’t know. As long as I am healthy and don’t have kids yet, I am going to keep going.”

Trevor Horn can be reached at (661) 395-7374. Follow him on Twitter: @trevhorn.

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