Pima track's Reece Gardner captures NJCAA national heptathlon title
The Pima Community College men’s track & field team closed out the NJCAA Indoor National Championships on Saturday at Pittsburg, KS.
The Aztecs finished in 14th place with a total of 17 points.
Sophomore Reece Gardner (Marana HS) is taking home the NJCAA Indoor National Title in the Heptathlon. He finished with a total of 5112 points; which set a new Pima school record. He started the day in sixth place.
Athlete Quote: “After the 1,000-meter run, I had no idea what I had accomplished. It wasn’t until a couple minutes later that I realized I was a National Champion and I couldn’t be more happy,” Gardner said. “I hugged my coaches and talked to them about all the hard work paying off. All the late nights in the weight room, all the running and all the coaching that went into it, payed off. It felt amazing knowing all the hard work payed off and all the pain wasn’t for nothing.”
Gardner hit personal-bests in five of the seven events of the Heptathlon.
The Aztecs finished with two athletes earning All-American status and three new school records.
In the first day of competition, Gardner earned third place in the Pole Vault as he broke the Pima Indoor school record by four inches with a vault of 4.73 meters (15-feet, 5-inches).
Freshman Joel Gardner (Ironwood Ridge HS) earned NJCAA All-American honors and broke the Pima school record in the 5,000 meter race by 25 seconds as he finished with a time of 14 minutes, 43.36 seconds.
Coach’s Quote: “We had a phenomenal national championships!. Tons of good marks and I’m proud of this team’s resiliency via indoors,” Pima men’s and women’s track & field coach Chad Harrison said. “It’s been a fun time. We beat every metric this year in record setting fashion. All of our athletes set personal bests sat the Indoor National Championships but, coming home with a national champion and 80 percent of our teams being All-Americans was awesome.”
The Aztecs will begin the Outdoor Season on Mar. 18-19 at the Willie Williams Invitational hosted by the University of Arizona. It will be held at Roy P. Drachman Stadium.