Mesa Community College freshman high jumper Valerie Woo competing at the Mesa Invitational on April 19, 2024. (Photo by Dylan DeVlieger/ MCC Athletics Department)

Mesa Community College send over 35 athletes to track and field nationals

The Mesa Community College track and field teams prepare to send 39 athletes to compete in the National Junior College Athletics Association national championship tournament in West Monroe, Louisiana from May 16-18.

The women’s track and field team would head into NJCAA nationals ranked seventh in the country by U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, while the men’s team is ranked 12th in the country as of the May 8 edition of the rankings..

The Thunderbirds competed in the NJCAA Region I Outdoor Championships from April 30- May 2, with the men’s team finishing in third and the women’s team coming in second.

Pima Community College finished in first place with 258 points, Central Arizona College came in second place with 213 points as MCC finished with 210 points on the men’s side.

The Central Arizona women’s team came in first place with 265 points, as MCC finished with 244 points and Pima scored 196 points for third place.

“I think if we can get healthy in time for Region [finals], I think we have a shot at both the men’s and women’s [championships],” said head coach Steve Jacobs prior to the Region I finals.

Jacobs noted events such as sprinters and the multis were impacted, as well as the women’s pole vault unit missing freshman Sarah Nipper.

Freshman Raely Palmer is the lone women’s pole vaulter besides Nipper to have qualified for nationals this year.

Freshman Deshay Turner won the 100 meter, sophomore Taylor Jacobs won the 800 meter and sophomore Anna Harmon won the 1500 meter, at the  Region I finals and will look to carry the momentum into nationals, as all three have qualified as well.

Sophomore Ernest Green won the men’s 1500 meter, also taking a victory into nationals.

According to Pescador, Ernest was at one point ranked second in the country with his brother Samuel being ranked tenth in the country.

Pescador believes the indoor national championships, which took place on March 1-2, provided many learning opportunities for the athletes on the team.

“Honestly, I do feel if we can perform to our full potential, the women’s team can be top five [nationally]. I would love for them to be top five,” said Pescador.

Both Jacobs and Pescador credit the sophomores on the team with creating a culture of hard work and diligence, which the younger athletes on the team learn from.

The NJCAA outdoor nationals will be in West Monroe, Louisiana from May 16-18.

  • Adam Terro

    Adam Terro is the Sports Editor for the Mesa Legend. He joined the staff in January 2021 and first published with the Legend in fall 2020. His passion is for sports, specifically football and basketball.

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