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Pima track makes statement with 7 new qualifiers at Mesa Classic

The Pima Community College men’s and women’s track and field teams set seven new national qualifying marks and times on Friday at the Mesa Classic. The Aztecs also improved on six previous qualifiers.

In women’s competition at Mesa Community College, freshman Hannah Bartz (Mountain View HS) set her third national qualifier as she took fifth place in the triple jump with a mark of 36-feet, 2-inches (11.02 meters). She set previous national qualifiers in the long jump and as part of the 4x100 relay team.

Sophomore Baylee Lakey (Cibola HS) set her new national qualifier in the hammer throw as she placed ninth with a throw of 147-4 (44.90 meters). 

Sophomore McKenna McGrath (St. David HS) finished in first place in the high jump and set her national qualifier at 5-5.25 (1.66 meters).

Sophomore Kelsey Montano (Tucson Magnet HS) set her second national qualifier as she placed 11th in the 1,500-meter race with a time of 4 minutes, 58.20 seconds. She has also set a qualifier in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Freshman Melissa Cotsonas (Mountain View HS) finished 15th in the 400-meter race but earned herself a national qualifier with a time of 1:06.87.

The 4x100 relay team of Bartz, sophomore Jamie Holliday (Sahuaro HS), McGrath and freshman Amber McCroskey (Buena HS) improved on their national qualifying time for the second week in a row. They placed second in the event with a time of 47.50 (improved from 47.65). Sophomore Shalise Fernander (Flowing Wells HS) improved on her 800 meter race qualifier by almost two seconds. She finished the race with an improved time of 2:17.79 (from 2:19.38 last week). 

Holliday improved on her mark in the triple jump as she placed third with a jump of 37-.50 (11.29 meters). She improved from 11.27 meters. Freshman Katherine Loyd (Catalina HS) improved on her time in the 5,000 meter race. She took fifth with a personal record time of 18:41.71 (her previous qualifying time was 18:43.42).

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In men’s competition, sophomore Amanuel Logo (Catalina HS) finished eighth in the 5,000-meter race but set a national qualifying time at 15:15.88.

Sophomore Estevan Gomez (Tucson Magnet HS) set his qualifier in the 3,000-meter steeplechase as he took fifth in the race with a time of 10:09.28.

Sophomore Mark Bennett (Marana HS) improved on his time in the 5,000-meter race as he took ninth at 15:16.17 (improved from 15:22.40). Freshman Devonte Rodriguez (Palo Verde HS) improved on his javelin mark, which he set last week. He took eighth with a throw of 157-8 (48.05 meters). He improved from 47.87 meters.

The Aztecs now have 32 total national qualifying marks.

The Aztecs will complete the regular season at the Triton Invitational on Apr. 22-23 at the University of California-San Diego. Events begin on April 22 at 4 p.m. and continue the next day at 10 a.m.

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Ben Carbajal/PCC

Distance runner Estevan Gomez set a national qualifying time in the 3,000-meter stepplechase. He finished with a time of 10 minutes, 09.28 seconds. The Aztecs set a total of seven new outdoor national qualifying marks at the Mesa Classic.