Pima Community College sports

PIMA ROUNDUP: Palo Verde grad Abraham Valenzuela wins region cross country title

Pima’s Abraham Valenzuela with his championship plaque (Ray Suarez/Pima College)

Pima media-relations director Ray Suarez provided the information for this report:

Pima Community College sophomore Abraham Valenzuela (Palo Verde graduate) captured the NJCAA Region I, Division I individual title on Saturday as he finished the 8K (4.97 mile) race with a time of 25:14.2 at Glendale’s Heroes Regional Park.

“It feels great, considering I was sick last week, and coming back to a consistent time. It felt really awesome to finally take my first dub for the cross country season,” Valenzuela said in a Pima press release. “I started to pick up my pace at the third mile. I felt really comfortable going easy the first three miles, and the last two that’s where I started to push myself more. It was a better strategy.”

The Aztec men finished second with a team score of 30 points, behind Central Arizona College’s 25 points.

The women also finished second with 40 points. Central Arizona placed first with 15 points.

The Aztec men and women will compete in the NJCAA Division I National Championships on Nov. 11 at the John Hunt Cross Country Park in Huntsville, Ala.

In the men’s meet, freshman Declan Jorgenson (Ironwood Ridge) crossed the finish line in fourth place with a time of 26:21.4 while freshman Hall Griffith took seventh place at 26:42.7.

Freshman Jace Schaub (Canyon del Oro) finished eighth in 26:51.1 and sophomore Justin VanDeberg was 10th with a time of 27:17.3.

Sophomore Russell Bauer-Woodman (Marana) was 11th with a time of 27:25.9. Freshman Louis Madrigal-Diaz finished 12th at 27:49.2.

Valenzuela, Jorgenson, Griffith, Schaub, VanDeberg, Bauer-Woodman and Madrigal-Diaz earned All-Region honors.

(Left to right): Pima’s Sara Bredenkamp, Mariah Cruz, Linda Rivero, Reatta Danhof, Alyssa Perez, Iyannah Tolliver/(Ray Suarez/Pima College)

In the women’s meet, Pima freshman Mariah Cruz (Mountain View) was the top finisher for the Aztecs at sixth place in the 5K (3.1 mile) race with a time of 21 minutes, 04.7 seconds.

Freshman Alyssa Perez placed seventh with a time of 21:15.7 while freshman Linda Rivero (Desert View) took eighth place at 21:35.8.

·Freshman Reatta Danhof (Ironwood Ridge) crossed the finish line in ninth place with a time of 21:36.9 and freshman Sara Bredenkamp was 10th with a time of 21:45.5. Sophomore Iyannah Tolliver (Sahuaro) placed 11th with a time of 25:54.1.

Cruz, Perez, Rivero, Danhof, Bredenkamp and Tolliver earned All-Region honors.   


The 2023 Pima women’s soccer team (Stephanie van Latum/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

The No. 3 Pima women’s soccer team played in its fourth straight NJCAA Region I, Division II Finals match on Saturday and came up short to No. 1 Phoenix College 3-1. This was the second straight year Pima has lost at Phoenix College in the finals.

The Aztecs are now 8-7-2 overall and await to see if they receive an at-large bid for the NJCAA Division II National Tournament held from Nov. 12-18 at Kino North Sports Complex.

The Aztecs struggled to generate offense in the first half as the Bears got on the board in the 11th minute with a goal from Justyce Smith. They took advantage of a foul inside the box and Chloe Corral scored on a penalty kick in the 41st minute. The Aztecs trailed 2-0 at halftime.

Pima made it interesting and cut it to a one-goal deficit when sophomore Kyleigh Oliver (Salpointe Catholic) converted on her shot in the 49th minute to make it 2-1.

The Bears responded five minutes later when Ariany Mapula scored in the 54th minute.

The Aztecs were held to one shot on goal in the first half and finished with three for the game. They had an opportunity when Oliver fed a pass to freshman Lizzie Walker inside the box, but her attempt was halted by Phoenix goalkeeper Morgan Trail to preserve their lead.

Sophomore Adriana Pacheco finished the game with seven saves; she made six in the first half as the Aztecs held the Bears to two shots on goal in the second half.


CDO grad Abby Whatton of Pima College (Stephanie van Latum/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

Pima (12-16, 8-8 in ACCAC) closed out the regular season on Friday by defeating nemesis Glendale (10-9, 8-8) at the West Campus Aztec Gymnasium.

The Aztecs earned the No. 3 seed in the NJCAA Region I, Division II Tournament that starts Thursday at Scottsdale at 4 p.m. Pima will face No. 2 Chandler-Gilbert.

The Aztecs rallied against Glendale on Friday after dropping the first set. They overcame the Gauchos tying the match to force a final set.

The Aztecs won the tie-breaker and beat the Gauchos 3-2 (17-25, 25-22, 26-24, 18-25, 15-8).

The Aztecs dominated the tiebreaker scoring the first nine of 10 points to begin the final set.

·Sophomore Abby Whatton (Canyon del Oro) finished the match with a team-high 24 kills.

Kenna Simon had 14 kills while fellow freshman Haylee Gilleland finished with eight. .

Taylor Crawford (Ironwood Ridge) is another freshman who posted 50 assists.

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