Pima CC Aztecs

More speed, more hope and desire is what Aztec Track is all about

(Tucson, AZ)  A new school year is nearly upon us and with a new school year comes all new sports seasons.

Although the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field team at Pima Community College had their season cut short due to the Coronavirus outbreak, it did not silence or kill the positivity that surrounds the track and field program.

The interim head coach of the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Program, Chad Harrison, and his coaching staff have been getting busy with their recruiting for their upcoming season.

This will be Harrison’s first season at the helm after being an Assistant Coach for Jumpers.

“We have nearly double our roster from last year,” Harrison said. The Aztec Men’s and Women’s teams have upgraded in every event from adding more speed in the sprints, hybrid runners in the middle distance and long distance events.

After sitting down and analyzing what it’s going to take for Pima to be competitive all the way to the Regional Championships, Harrison figured out that he’s going to need a roster of 75 to 85 athletes. “We will cap it at 85,” Harrison said.

Last season, Pima was carrying a roster of thirty nine athletes along with coaches, Harrison said. Once again, with a fresh new outlook and a commitment to excellence, the Aztecs have put a priority on “a stronger, a faster and a larger squad.”

Five of the new recruits are from local Tucson area high schools. This is an important goal of Harrison and shows that the Aztecs have put a priority in keeping the local talent at home.

Along with the local recruits, the track and field program has brought in a dominate and competitive recruiting class from athletes who have transferred out of their Division I programs into Pima College.

Harrison believes that by keeping the local talent here it can help to stabilize the track and field program as well as bring it back to what it was in years past and what the current coaching staff knows it can be.

“We haven’t turned down a single athlete that has come out,” Harrison said.

Adding depth into their roster and recruiting athletes that can compete in more than one event has brought Pima all that much closer to winning and being competitive at the Regional Championships this upcoming season.

“We want to have depth in all events,” Harrison said.

Athletes like Reece Gardner from Marana High School will play a large part in Pima’s success for this upcoming season, Harrison said.

“He is a decathlete,” Harrison said, “he will be able to compete in 10 events for us opposed to just one or two.”

Freshman, Octavius Thomas from Tucson Magnet High will add depth on the sprinting and jumping side.

“He is running a 10.67,” Harrison said, “so he is a big recruit for us.”

The returning athletes, who will now be sophomores and a have a year of experience will play a vital role to Pima’s success this year.

“Mikhail Browne who competes in the long and triple jump is going to have a breakout season,” Harrison said.

Donovan Henderson is also going to be very good for Pima in the triple jump this upcoming year.

On the women’s side, Pima was able to maintain a good number of 100-meter sprinters.

“We have signed six new girls in the 100,” Harrison said. You can never have too much speed.

Within those recruits is Fatmata Conteh is one of the top hurdlers in the state of Arizona along with Dominique Acosta who can have a promising run to become a National Champion.

“Acosta can already jump 5’7, so if we can get it to a 5’9 jump, she could be in the running to win a National Championship,” according to Harrison.

Pima also picked up sprinter/jumper, Lydia Pelletier-Butler who will make Pima more competitive and provide depth in these events.

This 2020 recruiting class that Pima Track and Field has put together is one that can’t go unnoticed.

Pima wants to get back and be known for what they were in years past and with the talent that Harrison has brought in for the 2020-21 season, they are getting one step closer to becoming just that.

Stay tuned for this Aztec team to make some serious noise on their way to the top.


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