You would be hard-pressed to find someone who has made more memories at Veterans Memorial Sports Complex than Bria Halama.
"It just makes me think of state track," she said.
The 2011 Independence grad was a two-time state champion in the 400 and a four-time state champ in the triple jump. As one of the best in our area, she signed with the University of Minnesota.
"I wanted to see what my potential was, how good I could get. If I had the chance to go D-I, I wanted to try it out. I wanted to see what that was like."
But Bria only competed with the Golden Gophers for two seasons.
"I didn't feel like it was me. I didn't have any problems with anybody on the team, but it never quite felt like home."
So Bria decided to return home, or at least as close to home as she could get: UW-La Crosse.
"I've always liked the city of La Crosse. They have such a successful track program."
The former Division One recruit had success in Division Three right away. This winter, in UW-L's indoor season, she won a national title in triple jump.
"I kind of thought it would take a while to get adjusted to the coaches and the different ways of training.
"It all kind of came together and it worked out really well."
Her next step would be doing well in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which are Thursday-Saturday in Ohio. Bria has battled a hamstring injury as of late, but said she will be able to compete.