Information for this report provided by Pima College media relations:
The Pima Community College men’s and women’s track & field teams claimed NJCAA Region I titles on Thursday at Mesa Community College.
The region titles mark the first for the men’s team since 1983, and the first for the women’s team since 1996.
The Pima men’s team finished with a total of 224 points, beating Central Arizona College (200) by 24 points. Mesa Community college finished third with 166 while Paradise Valley Community College had 151. Glendale Community College rounded out the field with 72.
The men’s team claimed five individual Region I championships.
Sophomore Mikhail Browne won his second championship after taking first in the Triple Jump with a mark of 14.71 meters (48-feet, 3-inches). He took home the Long Jump title on Tuesday.
Freshman Cody Rennaker took first place in the High Jump as a best-jump of 1.93 meters (6-4).
Sophomore Donovan Henderson took second place in the Triple Jump with a mark of 14.69 meters (48-2). Freshman Ali Mohamed (Desert View) was second in the High Jump at 1.88 meters (6-2).
Freshman Reise Way took third place in both hurdle events. He finished the 110 meter hurdles with a time of 14.80 and closed out the 400 meter hurdles at 54.26.
The 4×100 relay team of Browne, freshman Octavius Thomas (Tucson High), Henderson and Way placed third with a time of 42.24.
Head coach Chad Harrison described how the men’s team was able to claim the first Region I title for the program in 38 years.
“The biggest thing on the men’s side was they never really lost any position in points. They put up a unified front and got points in unexpected areas,” Harrison said. “The sprints really brought it and we knew if they scored anything, they’d give us the advantage.
“The jumps kept us consistent, the distance runners are always phenomenal and kept chipping away at Central’s lead. The biggest coaching decision was putting four guys in the Decathlon; had we not, I don’t think we would have won. The throwers kept us in the fight with their consistent performances.”
The women’s team finished with a team score of 285. Central Arizona College took second place with 232 while Mesa Community College placed third with 157. Glendale Community College (49 points) and Paradise Valley community College (35) rounded out the field.
The women’s team took home four individual championships.
Sophomore Eliza Littlewood was named the Region I Athlete of the Meet after she scored 42 points for the Aztecs. She won the Heptathlon with a total of 3734 points, and claimed the Triple Jump title with a mark of 10.74 meters (35-feet, 3-inches). Littlewood also took second place in the High Jump at 1.48 meters (4-10).
Freshman Dominique Acosta won the High Jump with a mark of 1.63 meters (5-4). Sophomore Raelynn Fair won the Long Jump event on Tuesday.
Fair finished with a total of 31 points. In Thursday’s events, she took second in the 200 meters with a time of 25.78 seconds. She also placed third in the Triple Jump at 10.51 meters (34-6).
Freshman thrower Lucy Chavez was second in the Shot Put with a mark of 12.71 meters (41-8) and took third place in the Discus at 38.98 meters (127-9).
Freshman Cyndasia Miles was second in the Triple Jump with a best-mark of 10.70 meters (35-1) and third in the High Jump at 1.48 meters (4-10).
The 4×100 relay team of freshman Haylee McLeod, Fair, sophomore Masaada Johnson and Littlewood placed second with a time of 48.84. The 4×400 relay team of McLeod freshman Alyssa Parton, freshman Marissa Lopez (Sahuarita) and freshman Nyah Torres also took second place with a time of 4:14.60.
Freshman Fatmata Conteh earned two third-place finishes in the hurdle events. She finished the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.71 seconds and the 400 meter hurdles at 1:10.06.
Harrison explained how the women’s team won the program’s first Region I title in 25 years.
“The women scored 285 points and I’m 99 percent sure, that’s the most in school history,” said Harrison. “We had a lot of individual gutsy performances. The jumpers kept us consistent and dominated, we had four women sprinters in every final.
“The throwers were an area of concern but they dominated. Lucy Chavez, Victoria Malaki and Jessica Bright Schade all scored. The coaching staff got them to PR at the right time. It was just a collected energy and effort across the board. The 29 points in the heptathlon was a big deal and we wouldn’t have won without it. The kids are fighters and they believed in the process.”
The Pima men’s and women’s track and field teams play next in the NJCAA Division I Outdoor National Championships May 11-13, at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writing intern Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. He is currently attending Pima Community College where he writes for the Aztec Press. Next semester he will be attending the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU where he will work towards a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies.