By MEGYN FITZGERALD
The Pima Community College men’s and women’s track and field teams continued to produce national qualifying marks and break school records Feb. 17 and 18 at the Central Arizona Relays in Coolidge.
“If things come together like I hope they will, we’ll do great at nationals,” head coach Greg Wenneborg said. “We already have multiple qualifiers.”
Sophomore Jodine Steemers set a new school record in the 3000-meter race when she finished with a time of 11 minutes, 14.42 seconds.
Freshman Kelsey Montano also set a new school record in the 1000-meter run with a time of 3:12.87, earning her a national championship qualifying mark.
Sophomore Anaiz Zamorano took second place in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:06.39, a personal best.
Sophomore Christopher Howard secured his top-10 spot in the shot put national rankings with a throw of 49-5 3/4.
In the 3000-meter race, freshman Lucas Ruiz and sophomore Mario Portillo both produced national qualifying marks for their finishing times of 8:49.57 seconds and 8:51.13, respectively.
The teams set three new school records at the Glendale CC Indoor Invitational on Feb. 11.
Ruiz won the 800 and 1500-meter races, setting a new Pima record with his time of 4:02.1 in the 1,500.
Sophomore Alice Odu was undefeated in the long jump until Feb. 18. Although she came in second, she set a new season-best with a distance of 17-7. Freshman Aly Haskell finished second in the 200-meter race, breaking a Pima record set in 2001 by Yulianna Perez.
“I’m always nervous to race,” Haskell said. “It can be scary.”
With his triple jump of 49-8, freshman Antonio Jeeter set a Pima record for second farthest jump.
Both men’s and women’s 4×800 relay squads qualified for nationals.
The men’s team consisted of Ruiz, freshmen Lindon Claridge, Adam Clawson and sophomore Humberto Bravo, while freshmen Kelsey Montano, Shelby Slocum, Mary Cozby and sophomore Heidi Lopez competed for the women.
“I just hope we’re not peaking too early,” Clawson said with a nervous laugh.