With less than three weeks remaining until the NJCAA Indoor National Championships will be contested in Pittsburgh, KS, the Paradise Valley track and field teams are off to a fantastic start. In the first four meets of the season, the Pumas have posted 18 national qualifying marks, set four indoor season school records, and have 14 marks currently ranked in the top ten in the NJCAA.
For the women’s team it is all about distance running, pole vault, and the multi-events. In the distance events sophomore’s Hannah Jarman and Taylor Brendan lead the way, having posted five national qualifying marks between them. Hannah Jarman set a PVCC indoor school record in the 3000m at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, AR, with a time of 10:23.44, which currently ranks 6th in the NJCAA. Jarman also owns the 5th ranked mile time (5:13.58) in the NJCAA while teammate Taylor Brendan has posted top ranked times in the mile (8th) and 3000m (6th). Freshman Lauren Markee has also posted a 5000m qualifying time of 19:14.67.
In the pole vault four Puma women: Malibu Walter, Faith Garza, Candace Hutson, and Natalie Hendrix have posted national qualifying marks, led by sophomore Malibu Walter’s top 5 ranked 3.50m (11-05.75) jump.
The Puma women’s pentathlon squad looks to be the strongest in the NJCAA with three women currently ranked amongst the top 8. The squad, composed of sophomore’s Kayla Mullen and Courtney Brown and freshman, Krista Molina currently have the 3rd (3428), 4th (3176), and 8th (3095) ranked marks in the NJCAA respectively.
The Puma men have also shown strength in the distance events, pole vault, and multi-events along with a school record setting 4x400 meter relay squad.
The men’s 4x400m relay, consisting of sophomore’s Will Wagner, Jesse Llanez and Quinten Bankston and freshman, Tre Larkins set an indoor school record of 3:19.09 at the Arizona Invitational on their way to qualifying the Puma’s first 4x400 relay squad since 2012.
For the distance runners, freshman Jason Ortega is leading the way after putting together a stellar double in the mile (4:19.80) and 3000m (8:33.87) at the Tyson Invitational. His marks in the mile and 3000m are currently ranked amongst the top 10 in the NJCAA. Not far behind are Freshmen Aldo Marquez-Barajas with qualifying marks in the mile (4:22.75) and 3000m(8:53.90) and Tyler Beuchamp in the 3000m (8:53.27).
In the pole vault, the Puma men have posted three NJCAA qualifying marks with freshman Connor Williamson (4.65m, 15-03.00), Nate Devore (4.50m, 14-09.00) and freshman Scott Warner (4.34m 14-03.0).
Like the women, the Puma men’s heptathlon squad is also looking very strong having posted three marks that currently rank in the top 15 in the NJCAA: Connor Williamson (5034), Will Wagner (4386), Scott Warner (4207). Williamson’s mark is not only a PVCC school record, but also currently leads the NJCAA.
The Puma’s will compete at the NAU Tune-Up on Friday, February 17 and the Mesa Indoor Invitational on February 25 before heading to the NJCAA Indoor National Track and Field Championship March 3-4.
Keep up the great work Pumas!