By MICHELLE TRUJILLO
On Jan. 20, Pima Community College kicked off the 2017-2018 track and field indoor season by hosting the Aztec Indoor Invitational at West Campus.
Despite the 50-degree weather, several Pima athletes won their events. Two athletes even set two indoor national championship qualifiers.
“We have a great team this year with a couple of national contenders,” said coach Greg Wenneborg.
Freshman Cameron Crandall of Canyon del Oro High School had a great first meet, winning the high jump. Crandall finished with a mark of 6 feet, 10.5 inches.
Wenneborg said Crandall “has a great shot at placing in the top 5 at the national meet.”
Seth Jarus, a sophomore from Wickenburg High School, took first place in the long jump. He is currently ranked No.1 in the nation with a mark of 23 feet, 10.75 inches. Jarus is the returning outdoor track and field long jump champion.
“He is ready for another great season,” Wenneborg said.
In the first meet, sophomore Collin Dylla won the 1,000-meter race with a time of 2 minutes, 36.24 seconds. Dylla was a podium winner in the 800-meter race last year and currently is ranked No. 8 in the nation in the 1,000-meter.
The accomplishments of the Aztecs don’t end there, however.
Tony Chavez, a returning athlete from Bisbee High School, set an indoor national qualifying mark in the pole vault. This meet he placed sixth with a vault of 14 feet, 7 inches. Last year, he placed eighth at the outdoor championship.
Sophomore Alyssa Watkins had a good meet as well, with a lifetime best in the indoor weight throw 45 feet, 5.25 inches.
Megan Schiffmacher is a returning champion in the high jump and will be a contender this year.
“We have a well-balanced team this year and are excited about the season,” Wenneborg said.
The team has the goal of finishing top 10 at the NJCAA indoor and outdoor national championships.
“We are working on having a fun season with many national athletic and, more importantly, academic accolades,” said assistant coach Chad Harrison.
The team also is working toward the school’s first regional championship in track and field.