Native Americans lead Central Arizona College at NJCAA Track & Field Championships

FORT DEFIANCE

Led by three Native Americans, Central Arizona College’s No. 1 ranked track & field team begins its quest for the National Junior College Athletic Association Track & Field Championships.

Track & field action begins today. The NJCAA National Champion will be crowned on Saturday at Gowans Stadium in Hutchinson, Kansas.

Central Arizona College coach Paul Taveras said the men’s and women’s teams will have its hands full, despite their number one ranking.

“There are so many talented track & field men’s and women’s athletes,” Taveras said. “What hurts us is in some of the field events. We don’t have any depth in the field events. We’re strong in the running events. We need to get points in the running events.”

Taveras said every year Central Arizona qualifies Native Americans in the NJCAA National Championships. This year is no different. Three Native Americans, two women and one man, head the distance running events.

“We had a couple injuries on the women’s team and they failed to qualify,” Taveras said about two Native American distance runners. “We have two Native Americans who are very talented and we hope to get a good place from them. We have one male Native American who we hope will do well.”

Central Arizona’s women’s team captured the NJCAA Region 1 championship two weeks ago at Mesa Community College. Central Arizona women’s team chalked up 288 points, followed by Mesa Community College 152, Pima Community College 147, Paradise Community College 103 and Glendale Community College 42.

Central Arizona garnered the Region 1 men’s championship with 235 points. Pima followed with 220, Mesa 182, Paradise Valley 132 and Glendale 47.

Taveras said freshman Nikesha Eagleman, a 2016 graduate of Chinle High School, is entered the 10K and 5K events.

Eagleman was ranked No. 1 in the 10K in the NJCAA until last week. Eagleman was concentrating on other events and did not compete in the 10K and fell in the rankings to No. 5. She has turned in her best time of 39:35. She is ranked No. 15 in the 5K, recording her best time of 18:22.

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Categories: Track & Field

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