By WILL WILLCOXSON
The Aztec track and field team returned from the March 27-28 Puma Outdoor Invitational with five more national qualifiers added for the outdoor championships in May.
Among the qualifiers was freshman Blair Benefield, who also broke the pole vault school record with a height of 11 feet and six inches.
Though Benefield placed second, she also placed 7th in the country.
At the Puma outdoor Invitational Sophomore Kaysee Pilgrim placed first in the high jump and qualified for the national championship with a jump of five feet and 9 ¼ inches.
Pilgrim improved on her 4th place score of five feet and seven inches at the Willie Williams Invitational.
Pilgrim followed up that performance by nearly breaking the national record and by setting the Pima school record in the high jump with six feet and 1 1/4 inches at the ACCAC outdoor meet on April 4.
Among the record breaking performance was a first place performance by Freshman Juliette Cossey in the triple jump with a jump of 11.38 meters.
Cossey previously placed first at the Puma Outdoor Invitational but with a lower score of 10.98 meters.
Anfernee Alexander, sophomore, set two national qualifiers in his second place discuss throw of 161-7 and with a 4th place finish in the hammer throw with a score of 162-7.
Sophomore David Stiles placed first in the javelin throw with a score of 151-3 improving on his 3rd place finish at the Puma Outdoor Inviatational.
Cristian Gutierrez, sophomore, improved on his hammer throw national qualifying score with a throw of 167-2.
As of April 4 the Aztecs have 13 national qualifiers for the NJCAA outdoor national championships on May 14-16.
In 2014, PCC sent more than 20 track and field athletes to the national championship. It resulted in two All-American honors, for Pilgrim in the high jump and alumna Brianna Rodriguez in long jump.
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