By WILL WILLCOXSON
The Pima Community College men and women’s track and field teams took home three Region I Championship titles on May 5 at Mesa Community College. The men’s team scored 65 points on the day and the women’s team finished with 66.
Sophomore Kaysee Pilgrim earned her Region I Championship title with a jump of 5 feet, 9 1/4 inches in the high jump event. The win improved on her score from last year’s regionals where she placed second.
Freshman Jamie Holliday jumped into first place with a jump of 18 feet, 8 inches as she hit the qualifying mark for national in the long jump event. She came in sixth place in the high jump event.
Sophomore David Stiles grabbed a Region I Championship title in javelin throw with a toss of 160 feet. He also placed fifth in long jump with a jump of 21 feet, 3 1/4 inches.
The 4×800 women’s relay team took second place with a time of 9 minutes, 46.67 seconds. The performance earned sophomore Sarrah Boughan, freshman Shalise Fernander, freshman Desire Montenegro and sophomore Raelene Yocupicio a spot at the national competition.
The men’s 4×800 also came in second place with a time of 7 minutes 53.16 seconds. Freshman Amanuel Logo, freshman Ahmed Mohamed, freshman Hugo Nieves and sophomore Cruz Rodriguez also qualified for nationals with the performance.
The Pima Community College track team returned home from San Diego with three more national qualifiers set at the Triton Invitational, April 24-25.
Sophomore Andrew Lee set a national qualifying mark in the pole vault with a vault of 14 feet and 8 inches.
Freshman Mark Bennett set a national qualifying record with a 15th place finish in the 5000 meter race. Bennett finished with 15 minutes and 20.49 seconds.
In the 5,000-meter race both Logo and sophomore Peter Gonzales improved on their national qualifiers.
Logo placed 13th and teammate Gonzales took 19th for the day.
In the women’s completion, freshman Meghan Sweeney set a national qualifier in the women high jump with a jump of 5-4.
The Aztecs will compete on May 14-16 at the NJCAA outdoor championships in Hutchinson, Kan.
By WILL WILLCOXSON
The Aztecs competed at the Mesa Community College invitational on April 10, both meets contained fellow junior colleges, some foreign athletes from Wales and Calgary and some universities like Grand Canyon University, San Jose State and Brigham Young University.
Freshman Amanuel Logo and sophomore Peter Gonzales both set national qualifiers in the 5000 meter race.
They finished 15th and 19th respectively, Logo added to his 1000 meter dash national and 800 meter race qualifiers both set last month.
The two national qualifiers were added to the list of 11 other Aztec participants in the NJCAA outdoor championships.
Jared Roth, freshman, placed first in the high jump competition, with a height of six feet and six inches. Roth finished two inches short of the national qualifier.
Juliette Cossey, freshman, took third place in the triple jump competition with a mark of 11.28 meters.
Cossey placed first in triple jump competition at the Puma Outdoor Invitational with a distance of 10.98 meters.
Sophomore Christian Gutierrez competed in the discus throw and finished second with a throw of 139-6.
Gutierrez also finished third in the shot put competition with a mark of 44-6 and a fourth.
Kasey Pilgrim competed at the Sun Angel Track Classic in Tempe, and competed against five different universities including Washington State, Kansas State and Boise State.
Pilgrim finished fifth with a high jump of five feet and nine inches.
The Aztecs now have a total of 12 national qualifiers including 14 different qualifing performances.
Pima will compete on April 24-25 at the Triton Invitational at the University of California, San Diego.
April 24-25: @Triton Invitational, Cali, 4 p.m. and 10 a.m.
April 27-28: @Region 1 Tournament, Mesa, all day
May 5-7: Region 1 Championship, 5 p.m.
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.
By WILL WILLCOXSON
After a successful run in the Indoor NJCAA championships, the Pima Community College track and field teams competed with the big dogs at the universities.
The Aztecs competed with fellow junior colleges as well as universities like the University of Arizona and Grand Canyon University at UA in the March 19 Willie Williams Classic.
Sophomore Anfernee Alexander set a national qualifier with an eighth-place effort of 159 feet and seven inches in the discus throw.
Alexander also placed second in the hammer throw with a distance of 162 feet, just shy of UA athlete Daniel Whitham but ahead of other university teams. Freshman Tyler Johnson placed second in the men’s long jump competition.
He beat out an Arizona competitor with his 23 feet 6 and one-quarter inches, but was ousted by a Central Arizona College athlete who jumped 24 feet 5 and three-quarters inches.
Sophomore Luke Ross placed third in the men’s high jump competition with a height of 6 feet 6 and three-quarters inches, falling just six inches short of the first place height.
Former outdoor track star and current Pima Track Club member Brianna Rodriquez placed fourth in the women’s long jump with a distance of 18 feet 10 and three-qarter inches behind three university athletes and against a mild gust of wind.
Sophomore Kaysee Pilgrim and freshman Meghan Sweeney placed fourth and fifth respectively in the women’s high jump competition with heights of 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 5 inches.
Freshman Juliette Cossey placed third in the women’s triple jump, with a jump of 36 feet 7 inches, against a mild wind.
The Aztecs will take tok the track in Paradise Valley on March 26-28 for the Puma Outdoor Distance and Multi-Meet.
March 26-28: Puma Outdoor Distance and Multi-meet, Paradise Valley Community College, 6 p.m. and 10 a.m.
April: ACCAC Conference Meet #2, West Campus, 9:30 a.m.
By WILL WILLCOXSON
Former Pima Community College track star Alfonso Mejia, 21, has spent this season as a volunteer hurdle assistant for the track and field coaching staff.
“He is doing very well,” sprint and hurdle assistant coach Walter Henderson said. “With the experience that he brings, he is able to assist the other hurdlers.”
Mejia can often be spotted warming up with the athletes, and says his motivation is simple: “I want to stay in shape.”
He’s noticed changes in his transition from student to teacher. “Before I would just follow along, now I know how to build a workout,” he said.
Along with warmups, Mejia is responsible for correcting the form of the athletes as practice goes on.
“I’ve experienced what they’re experiencing,” he said.
As a sophomore last season, Mejia placed fifth in the 400 meter hurdles at nationals. The experience provided profound memories.
“It was different, a lot faster and more competitive,” he said.
He wants his athletes to enjoy the same experience. “My goal is to pretty much get some guys to nationals,” he said.
He’ll offer one tip to those who qualify for the national competition: “Relax, it can be pretty unnerving.”
Mejia is majoring in electro-mechanical computer animated drafting, and hopes to finish his degree sometime in 2015.
He said Pima’s program has progressed since his arrival in 2013, especially from the sprint standpoint, and credits Henderson for his success.
“We have always been close,” he said. “I base the hurdle workouts off of him.”
The 2015 Aztec track and field team has already produced 13 national qualifiers during the indoor season, and still has three months until nationals.
Henderson is very positive about the season, and confidant that Mejia’s hard work will pay off.
“It will really show as the season goes on, because we have different periods of progression that we want to start to see them peak at,” Henderson said.
“We’re really looking forward to the outdoor season.”
By WILL WILLCOXSON
The Pima Community College men’s and women’s track and field team competed in the NJCAA Indoor National Championship in New Mexico on Feb. 6-7.
Sophomore Kaysee Pilgrim placed first in high jump with a height of 5 feet 10 1/4 inches, marking her second indoor national championship in a row.
Her mark also set the indoor school record for Pima.
Sophomore Brianna Rodriquez placed sixth in the women’s long jump, with a distance of 18 feet 2 1/4 inches.
The Aztecs finished their indoor regular season with 17 national qualifiers, after adding two new qualifiers at Central Arizona College on Feb. 28.
Freshman Amanuel Logo set a national qualifying time in the 800-meter race with one minute and 59.58 seconds.
Sophomore Luke Ross placed first in men’s high jump, with a height of 6 feet 3/4 inches.
Sophomore Tyler Johnson was a national qualifier in men’s long jump, with his personal best of 23 feet 7 1/4 inches placing him in second.
Johnson placed first in the long jump category in the Pima Indoor Invitational.
The women distance medley team placed first with a team-best time of 13 minutes and 36 seconds.
The Aztecs will start their outdoor season March 20 at the Willie Williams Invitational at the University of Arizona.
March 20: Willie Williams Invitational @ University of Arizona, Tucson, 4 p.m.
March 21: Willie Williams Invitational @ University of Arizona, Tucson, 10 a.m.
By WILL WILLCOXSON
Already well into the season, Pima Community College Track and Field teams have competed in two competitions since the beginning of the year.
After two meets, the Aztecs have 13 national qualifiers, with 11 meets still left in the season.
The Aztecs hosted teams from Central Arizona Community College, Glendale Community College, Mesa Community College and Paradise Valley Community College during the Aztec Invitational on Feb. 6-7.
During the meet, the Aztecs fielded several national qualifiers in multiple events.
Sophomore David Stiles placed first in both men’s high jump and long jump. He achieved 1.83 meters in high jump during Friday’s pentathalon events and a distance of 13.29 meters on his last long jump attempt the following day.
Freshman Ahmed Mohamed set a national qualifying mark in the indoor 1000 meter race, with a time of 2:39.47.
Freshman Meghan Sweeney, improved on her national qualifying mark in the long jump competition with a distance of 1.66 meters.
Sophomore Andrew Lee set a national qualifying mark in indoor men’s pole vault with a height of 4.35 meters on his last attempt.
The Aztec track and fields teams competed at the Paradise Valley Community College meet that took place the previous weekend on Jan. 31.
Sophomore Kaysee Pilgrim and Sweeney highlighted the women’s high jump competition, with each of them taking first and second respectively. Pilgrim reached a height of 1.66 meters and Sweeney followed just below at 1.61 meters.
Danielle Spargur hit a high jump of height of 1.61 meters tying Sweeney and also earning an NJCAA qualification spot.
Freshman Jamie Holliday achieved her personal best in the long jump competition with a distance of 5.64 meters on her last attempt, as well as setting a national qualifier and taking first place.
Sophomore Rhiannon Reece received first place and set a national qualifying mark in the women’s pole vault competition at 3.05 meters on her final jump of the day.
Sophomore Cruz Rodriquez placed third in the 1000-meter race. A time of 2:32.77 places him in third place in the country.
After taking a week off of competition, the Aztecs will resume Feb. 21 with the Glendale indoor invitational.
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
The Pima Community College men’s and women’s track team had a strong showing at the NJCAA Championships on May 16-17 at Mesa Arizona.
Woman’s team takes 12th place
Sophomore Brianna Rodriguez won the national championship in the long jump for the Aztecs with a jump of 18. 11 3/4.
The win marked the second time that an Aztec women’s jumper won a national title this season. Freshman Kaysee Pilgrim won in the high jump at the outdoor nationals early this semester.
Pilgrim came close to hitting her personal best in the high jump at nationals with her third-place jump of of 5 feet, 7¼ inches, earning NJCAA All-American status.
“We had a great squad this season, and I’m very proud of everyone’s effort,” head coach Greg Wenneborg said. “The women were runnersup in the region for the third year in a row and I’m very proud of that accomplishment.”
The women finished in 12th out of 21 teams competing.
Sophomore Nikki Regalado finished in seventh place in the 5,000-meters with a time of 18: 25.98. She also finished eighth place in the 1500-meters, with a time of 4:56.28.
Freshman Rhiannon Reese finished in seventh place in the pole vault event with a vault of 10-6.
In other women’s events:
- Freshman Vanessa Fox was 10th in the long jump (17-10¼),
- Sophomore Ashley Dawson took 12th in the hammer throw (141-4),
- Freshman Maggie Prillaman took 16th in the long jump (17-3¼),
- Freshman Raelene Yocupicio finished 18th in the 800 meters (2:25.14),
- Yocupicio, freshman Shanice Alchesay, sophomore Tenishia Reynolds and freshman Col’Bi Nez were 10th in the 4×800 relay (10:00.03).
Men’s team finishes in 28th place
Despite finishing 28th, the Aztec men’s track team had some strong performances at the NJCAA Championships.
Sophomore Alfonso Mejia had the best performance for the Aztecs with his fifth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.50.
In other men’s events:
- Sophomore Deante Gaines took 10th in the long jump (23-6¼),
- Sophomore Eddie Wilcox tied for 11th in the high jump (6-8),
- Freshman Anfernee Alexander took 12th in the discus throw (149-10) and 16th in the shot put (46-9½),
- Freshman Kevin Snead was 14th in the 100 meter dash (10.68),
- Sophomore Khailil Hakim was 18th in the long jump (21-7¼),
- Freshman Cruz Rodriguez was 27th in the 800 meter (1:58.51),
- Freshman Anthony Spendlove finished 32nd in the 5,000 meter race (16:56.79),
- The relay team of Mejia, freshman David Stiles, Hakim and Snead took 17th in the 4×100 (41.95).
With a majority of the roster returning next season, Wenneborg feels that next year’s Aztec team can take his program to the next level.
Women’s team takes second at regionals
Compiled from PCC press releases
The Pima Community College women’s track and field team claimed second place for the second straight year at the Region I Championships at Mesa Community College on May 8.
The women’s team beat out Mesa Community College in the last event of the day, the 4×400 relay, to finish with a team score of 156.
Mesa took third place with 155. Central Arizona College captured first place with a team score of 281.
PCC’s men’s team finished in third place with a team score of 144. Central Arizona took first place and Mesa finished second.
The Aztecs claimed five individual region championships, including four on the final day.
Freshman Anfernee Alexander won in the discus with a winning throw of 148 feet, 6 inches.
Sophomore Alfonso Mejia won the 400-meter hurdles race, taking the lead after the final hurdle. He finished with an improved qualifying and personal best time of 53.16 seconds.
Sophomore Nikki Regalado won the 1,500-meter race with an improved national qualifying and a personal best time of 4 minutes, 48.02 seconds.
Freshman Raelene Yocupicio claimed the 800-meter race region championship and set a qualifying and a personal best time of 2:20.85.
On May 6, sophomore Brianna Rodriguez won the region title in the long jump.
In other events, freshman Anthony Spendlove took third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a personal best time of 10:24.80.
The 4×100 relay team of Mejia and freshmen David Stiles, Darrius Morris and Kevin Snead set a national qualifying mark with a time of 41.70.
Freshman Cruz Rodriguez set a national qualifying mark and a personal best in the 800-meter race with a time of 1:54.71.
Sophomores Marlee Sherwood and Becca Harris took second and third respectively in the triple jump.
Sophomore Deante Gaines finished second in the triple jump.
Regalado took second in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 18:55.93.
To see complete results, visit: http://wingfootfinish.com/live/index.htm.
The Aztecs will have more than 20 athletes competing at the national championships on May 15-17 at Mesa Community College. Competition begins each day at 3 p.m.
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
The Pima Community College men’s and women’s track team made big strides in the second day of the Region I track championships in Mesa on May 6.
The final day of competition took place after Aztec Press went to the printer.
Results will be posted at aztecpressonline.com as they become available.
Pima returns to Mesa May 15-17 for the NJCAA national outdoor championships.
Women take five-point lead
After two days at regionals, the women’s team had a five-point lead in the overall standings.
Sophomore Brianna Rodriguez took first place in the long jump with a jump of 18-7. Freshman Vanessa Fox took second place with a jump of 17-7.
Freshman Kaysee Pilgrim took second place in the high jump with a jump of 5-5 1/4.
The relay team of sophomore Nikki Regalado and freshmen Raelene Yocupicio, Shanice Alchesay and Col’Bi Nez set a national qualifying mark with their second-place finish in the 4×800 relay with a time of 9 minutes, 50.6 seconds.
On April 26, the Aztec women set national qualifying marks in their final meet of the regular season at the University of California Triton Invitational in San Diego.
Pima was led by Regalado and sophomore Kathy Fisher.
Regalado set a new national qualifying time and school record in the 5,000-meters with a time of 17:30.58, destroying her old record of 18:26.90.
Fisher set a new personal best in the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:03.06. She finished in third place.
Alchesay set a national qualifying time and new personal record in the 5,000 race with a time of 19:25.59.
Men sitting in second place
The men’s team was in second place with one day left in the regional championships.
They were down by three points and still had heavy hitters left to compete.
Sophomores Khalill Hakim and Eddie Wilcox tied for second place in the long jump with jumps of 6-8.
Freshman Luke Ross took fourth place in the high jump with a jump of 6-4.
At the Triton Invitational on April 26, freshman Anthony Spendlove set a national qualifying mark in the 5,000 with a time of 15:42.96.
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
Pima Community College men and women’s track team went 2-2 in their second conference meet of the season in Mesa on April 18.
Women’s team qualifying
PCC women’s team improved on some existing national qualifying mark at Mesa. Sophomore Nikki Regalado took first place in the 1500-meter with a time of 4 minutes, 49.17 seconds.
Sophomores Brianna Rodriguez, and Ashley Dawson each hit national qualifying marks in their respective events. Rodriguez took first place in the long jump with a jumps of 18-11 ¾. While Dawson hit her mark in the hammer throw with a toss of 142-11.
Freshman Vanessa Fox took second place in the long jump with a jump of 18-3 ¾. Freshman Kaysee Pilgrim took second place in the high jump with a jump of 5-3 ¾.
Sophomore Kathy Fisher also set a national qualifying time in the 400-meter. Her time was 1:03.8, which was good enough for second place.
The women’s team performance was good enough to earn a 3-1 mark versus the other school they competed against.
PCC women’s team had a strong performance in the Mesa invitational on April 11.
Rodriguez took first place in the triple jump with a jump of 18-6.
The relay team of freshman Maggie Prillaman and sophomores Tanisha Reynolds, Rodriguez and Fisher took first place in the 4X400 with a time of 4:04.59.
Men’s team hits marks
PCC men’s team set some new national qualifying marks in their second conference meet of the season at Mesa on April 18.
Sophomore Eddie Wilcox continued his undefeated streak in the high jump with his first place jump of 6-9 ¾.
Freshman Kevin Snead set a new personal best in the 100-meter with a national qualifying time of 10.55.
While sophomore Deante Gaines set a new national qualifying mark in the long jump with a jump of 23-10 ¾.
Freshman Anthony Alexander sets two national qualifying marks at the Mesa outdoor invitational on April 11.
Alexander set new marks in the discus and shot put. In the discus event he had a throw of 1152-6 and in the shot put he had a throw of 50.¾.
Sophomore Alfonso Mejia took first place in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.58 that was also good enough to set a new national qualifying time.
The men’s team also took second and third place in the long jump. Sophomores Kahlil Hakim and Gains had jumps of 22-2 and 22-11 ¾ respectively.
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
Pima Community College athlete Kevin Lamont Snead has played football his entire life. It wasn’t until this spring that Snead decided to apply his talents to the track.
He had no idea that he could get this good so fast in a sport in which he’s never competed.
In only his second race, he ran the 100-meters in 10.61 seconds, which was good enough for fifth place all time in PCC history.
Snead’s hard work and positive attitude haven’t gone unnoticed.
“He’s a great teammate and person,” head track coach Greg Wenneborg said. “He has done some great things in such a short time. He has run a 10.6 in the 100-meters and will very likely run under 10.5 by the end of the year.”
A native of Richmond, Va., Snead has played football since he was 8 years old. He went on to become a football star at Clover Hill and George Wythe high schools in Virginia.
Snead didn’t accomplish everything he wanted to do while in high school, so he was forced to take the junior college route after graduation to continue his athletic career.
“The game speed is a lot faster and guys are a lot bigger than they were in high school,” he said.
When Snead came to PCC, he had to try out for the football team. He quickly got noticed when he clocked a 4.3 40-yard dash.
“ They’re aren’t that many kids that can run that fast,” head football coach Jim Monaco said.
“We tried to have special packages for him so we could maximize his talents and abilities,” the coach added.
Monaco quickly realized that Snead’s talents could also be used on the track team.
“Snead is blazing fast and I’m glad he’s found his niche with track because he’s very, very good,” Monaco said.
When times get hard, Snead turns to the support of his mother and grandmother.
They have always have been there for him in times of need, and give him the confidence and strength he needs to move forward.
The oldest of three, Snead feels the added pressure of being a positive role model for his two younger siblings.
“My brother right now is a starting slot receiver at Hermitage High School in Richmond, and my sister is in cheer,” he said. “They both look up to me a lot.”
Snead hopes to eventually earn a degree in sports medicine. It’s something he has always been interested in and something he feels he can be good at.
For now, however, he’s focusing on being the best runner he can be to help the Aztecs continue their success on the track.
Five universities are looking to give him a chance to continue his athletic career, three for football and two for track. Snead wants to keep the names of the schools to himself for now, so he doesn’t jinx anything.
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
Pima Community College men’s and women’s track teams failed to provide a national qualifier during competition at the Glendale Community College Outdoor Invitational on April 5, but did have several first-place finishes.
To date, 14 Aztecs have national qualifying marks.
Women jumpers dominate
On the women’s side, four Aztec jumpers finished with top marks for the day.
Sophomores Marlee Sherwood and Becca Harris finished in the top two in the triple jump. Sherwood took first place with a jump of 36-4, while Harris had a jump of 35-7.
Freshman Maggie Prillaman took first place in the long jump with a jump of 17-4. Freshman Vanessa Fox finished right behind Prillaman with a jump of 16-5, which was good enough for second place.
At the March 29 Puma meet, sophomore Nikki Regalado finished first in the 10,000-meter race and set a qualifying time of 40 minutes, 35.1 seconds. She also qualified in the 5,000-meter with a time of 18:26.9.
Harris and Sherwood once again finished in the top two of the triple jump, but this time their roles reversed. Harris had a jump of 36-9 and Sherwood’s jump was 36-2.
Sophomore Briana Rodriguez took first place in the long jump with a jump of 17-7. Fox finished second with a jump of 17-3 1/4.
Sophomore Ericha Edwards took first place in the 400-meter with a time of 1:03.75.
Snead takes top 100-meter spot
The men’s team had one top finisher at the Glendale meet. Freshman Kevin Snead took first place in the 100-meters with a time of 10.67.
At the March 29 Puma Multi-Meet, freshman Anfernee Alexander set a national qualifying mark in the discus throw with a distance of 152-2. The throw won him third place.
Sophomores Eddie Wilcox and Deante Gaines and freshman Luke Ross finished in the top three spots in the high jump. Wilcox took first place with a jump of 6-6 while Ross and Gaines both had jumps of 6-4.
Sophomore Justin Garms took first place in the triple jump with a jump of 39-7 1/4.
PCC next competes at the Mesa Classic Invitational on April 11.
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
The Pima Community College men’s and women’s track teams set five national marks in the Willie Williams Classic at the University of Arizona on March 21-22.
Women set national marks
The women’s team continued a strong start to the season by setting national marks at the Willie Williams Classic.
Sophomore Nikki Regalado finished fifth behind four UA runners in the 5,000-meter race. Her time of 18:26.95 was the No. 1 qualifying JUCO time in the nation.
Sophomore Kathy Fisher finished second in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:03.23, which was the second-best qualifying time in the nation.
The 4×400 relay team of freshman Maggie Prillaman and sophomores Brianna Rodriguez, Tenishia Reynolds and Fisher earned a national qualifying mark with a time of 3:59.27.
The women started conference competition March 15 with a second-place finish at Paradise Valley. They lost to Central Arizona College, but defeated Paradise Valley, Mesa and Glendale community colleges.
Fisher qualified for outdoor nationals with a second-place finish in the 400-meter. Her time was 1:03.52.
Freshman Kaysee Pilgrim took second place in the outdoor high jump with a jump of 5-5.
Rodriguez took first place in the long jump with a jump of 17-8 and finished third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.54.
She also competed in the 4×400 with Reynolds, Prillaman and freshman Aimee Yocupicio. The relay team took second place with a time of 4:06.67.
Yocupicio also finished second in the 800-meter race with a time of 2:29.42 Men continue strong start
The men’s team also set national marks in the Willie Williams Classic.
Sophomore Alfonso Mejia had the nation’s best qualifying time in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 53.59.
Sophomore Eddie Wilcox improved his national qualifying mark in the high jump with a jump of 6-10 3/4.
The men finished in third place at Paradise Valley on March 15. They defeated Paradise Valley and Glendale but lost to Central Arizona and Mesa.
Three athletes set outdoor national qualifying marks at the meet.
Wilcox qualified in the high jump with a first-place jump of 6-8.
Freshman Kevin Snead finished second in the 100-meter dash with a qualifying time of 10.61, the fifth-fastest in PCC history.
Sophomore Deante Gaines qualified in the long jump with a fourth-place finish of 23-10, the eighth-longest in school history.
He also took second place in the high jump with a jump of 6-6.
Freshman Anthony Spendlove took second place in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:46.48.
Freshman Khalil Hakim placed second in the triple jump at 42-6.
The Aztecs have six national qualifying marks after two events in the outdoor season. They will next compete at the Puma Outdoor Distance and Multi-Meet March 27-29 in Phoenix.
By NICK MEYERS
Mexico native Sandra Araiza left Hermosillo, Sonora, with dreams of becoming a biomedical engineer.
The 19-year-old international student is now in her second semester at Pima Community College, on her way to doing just that.
Araiza’s interest in medicine began in high school. During her senior year, her class visited hospitals to learn more about the medical environment.
“We went to hospitals and we’d see how they work and the environment, and I liked it,” she said.
Her choice in studies brought Araiza to the United States. With aspirations of practicing medicine, she obtained a scholarship from the Arizona-Mexico Commission to attend college in Arizona.
The commission, which aims to improve Arizona-Mexico relationships, offers scholarships to provide in-state tuition for international students. Araiza’s career choice made her a prime candidate.
“It is difficult if you choose a career that is also available in Sonora, but if you choose a career like biomedical engineering they will give it to you because there’s no career there,” Araiza said.
Despite opportunities to attend a university in Mexico, Araiza took advantage of the scholarship to obtain the education she wanted.
Araiza’s family has encouraged her to attend college from a young age. Her parents both obtained law degrees from the Universidad de Sonora. Although Araiza is not the first member of her family to go to college, she is the first to choose to attend school in the United States.
“When I told my family that I was going to school in America, many of them told my mom, ‘No! Don’t let her go,’” Araiza said.
She went anyway, but still makes time for family Skype updates and visits often.
Araiza has participated in both basketball and track and field in state-sponsored and high school leagues since age 8. She received a basketball scholarship to an Hermosillo-based private school, Tecnologico de Monterrey.
“I’ve always had a basketball scholarship, since the year after I started,” Araiza said. “At 9 or 10 I got the scholarship for elementary, then middle school and all throughout high school.”
The Tecnologico de Monterrey offers education at many levels ranging from high school to post graduate studies. The school focuses on science, technology, engineering and math subjects, which heavily supported Araiza’s interests.
At PCC, Araiza participates in track and field and is a member of the engineering, math and drama clubs.
She plans to transfer to the University of Arizona in Fall 2015 to earn a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering.
Her only concern is that she won’t be able to continue her athletic career down the road.
“Since I’ve been in a sport since 8 years old, it is very difficult, the idea of there will be a point that I have to leave,” she said.
Araiza may know her major, but doesn’t yet know where she wants her career to take her.
“You could be the one who makes equipment for medicine or you could build robotic hands or you could invent a procedure for surgeries to not be so risky,” she said. “I could do it all!”
By JAIME HERNANDEZ
Pima Community College men’s and women’s track team put on an impressive performance at the Indoor National Championships at the Armory in New York City on March 7-8.
Women’s track team takes home 10th place
The women’s team showed their muscle with two top-three finishers.
The top finisher was freshman Kaysee Pilgrim, who won the national championship in the high jump. Her first-place jump of 5 feet 7 inches also set a Pima indoor record.
“I knew I had it in me,” Pilgrim said. “I just had to push myself to show everyone else I could do it.”
“She is my first jumper to win a national championship in the seven years since I’ve been at Pima,” jumpers coach Chad Harrison said.
Sophomore Nikki Regalado broke two school records in the distance medley relay and 3000-meter race.
Regalado took second place in the 3000-meter with a time of 10 minutes 17:32 seconds. Her finish earned her All-American status.
She also finished in third place in the distance medley relay with sophomores Heidi Lopez and Kathy Fisher and freshman Raelene Yocupicio. They finished with a time of 12:24:29, which was also a Pima record.
Lopez broke her own Pima indoor school record in the one-mile run, finishing in seventh place with a time of 5 minutes, 19.79 seconds.
Sophomore Brianna Rodriguez took seventh place in the long jump with a jump of 18 feet, 3¼ inches.
“It’s was a fabulous performance, it exceeded our performance in so many way,” head coach Greg Wenneborg said.
The women finished with a team score of 28 points, which put them in 10th place out of 27 teams. They were also the top finishing team from Arizona.
Men’s team finishes in 25th place
The men’s team didn’t fare as well as the women, but still had a strong showing.
Sophomore Eddie Wilcox took fourth place in the high jump with a jump of 6 feet 8 inches and 13th place in the long jump with a jump of 19 feet 11 inches.
Sophomore Khalil Hakim took eighth place in the long jump with a jump of 22 feet 11 inches.
The men’s team finished with a team score of 5.5 points, which put them in 25th place out of 28 teams.
“I’m confident that our men’s team will achieve the goal of having numerous National Championships qualifiers for outdoors,” Wenneborg said.
Wenneborg also feels that both teams have a real shot of winning regionals this year, the main team that stands in their way is Central Arizona College.
The Aztecs open conference play at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix on March 15.