Pima CC Aztecs

Joel Gardner and Joshua Bowen cap off Pima careers as NJCAA All-Americans in final day of Division I Nationals

Joel Gardner/Photo courtesy of Mark Bennett

(Tucson, AZ)  The Pima Community College men’s and women’s track & field teams closed the 2023 seasons on Saturday in the final day of the NJCAA Division I National Championships.

The men’s team finished in 18th place in the final standings with a total of 17 points.

Sophomore Joel Gardner (Ironwood Ridge HS) capped off his Pima career with a fourth place finish in the 5,000 meter race with a time of 14 minutes, 40.92 seconds earning five team points. Gardner became a three-time All-American in the event (one Outdoor Season, two Indoor). He is the first NJCAA All-American in the 5,000 meters at Outdoor Nationals since Craig Curley in 2008. It is also the best 5K finish since Art Menchaca took second place at 14:32.24 in 1977.

Sophomore Joshua Bowen became a two-time NJCAA All-American in the Javelin as he took seventh place with a mark of 50.31 meters (165-feet, 1-inch) earning two team points. He was the NJCAA Region I Champion in the Javelin earlier this month.

Other Men’s Track & Field finishes:

Tristan Spalding (Palo Verde HS), Nathan Plant, Broden Cahoon, Orion Barger (Canyon del Oro HS) – 13th place in 4×800 3:14.71 (season-best, No. 3 in Pima school history).

Kayden Cockrell – 13th place in Triple Jump 14.64 meters (48-0.50, No. 9 in Pima school history).

Jacob Rosales (Walden Grove HS), Tristan Spalding (Palo Verde HS), Prince Conteh (McClintock HS), Broden Cahoon – 19th place in 4×100 41.52

Tristan Spalding (Palo Verde HS) – 19th place in 400 meters 47.58 (personal-best, No. 4 in Pima school history)

Orion Barger (Canyon del Oro HS) – 24th place in 400 meters 48.04

Jesus Quintero – 27th place in 400 meter hurdles 55.66

Johnathon Lane (Walden Grove HS) – 31st place in 5,000 meters 15:51.73

Abraham Valenzuela (Palo Verde HS) – 37th place in 5,000 meters 16:33.55

Men’s Track & Field NJCAA All-Americans:

Trey Tintinger – 3rd place in High Jump 2.10 meters (6-10.75) (6 points)

Joel Gardner – 4th place in 5,000 meters 14:40.92 (5 points)

Johnathon Lane – 6th place in 3,000 meter steeplechase 9:41.55 (3 points)

Joshua Bowen – 7th place in Javelin 50.31 meters (165-1) (2 points)

Dillon Arvayo – 8th place in Decathlon 5656 points (1 point)

“This season was amazing and there were a ton of positives, including 53 Top 10 marks; which is the largest improvement in school history and statistically the best year ever at Pima,” men’s and women’s track & field coach Chad Harrison said. “With our strong returning core of freshman, we look to make another run at the Region I Championship, which (on the men’s side) would be our third championship in four years. All of our athletes currently have Division I offers on the table or the ability to go to the next level academically and athletically.

Academically, this is one of the best years we’ve had in the history of our program. The coaching staff worked very hard, our athletes worked very hard and we look forward to next year getting our women’s team back to the Region I Championship, and winning it, as well as repeating on the men’s side. Another amazing year with tons of All-Americans. It’s an exciting time for Pima Track & Field.”

The Aztecs also produced 12 new school records (11 Indoor, one Outdoor) and 14 All-Americans.

Press Release courtesy of Pima Aztec Athletics – Raymond Suarez


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