NJCAA track nationals converge on Mesa

by Chris Hawks

This year, the 2014 Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track and Field National Championship will be hosted by Mesa Community College. This will be the second time in nearly four decades that the event has taken place in Arizona.

The three-day event will be at Riggs Stadium May 15-17. Top athletes from all over the country, as well as former Olympic runners, will be at this event. The first day, all field events will start without prelims. On day two, there will be preliminary running events and the final day will also include finals for each running event.

Division One university coaches are also expected to attend seeking prospects for their schools (to compete at a higher level). Glendale’s very own track team will have athletes participating in this event. Sabber Mohamed, a sophomore at GCC, has qualified to run the 400m and 1500m races at nationals. The 4×100 and 4×400 teams will also compete there. The 4×100 team includes Giovanni Pascascio, Logan Hullinger, Eric Esparza and Jordan Hall and the 4×400 team has pretty much the same lineup, except for Hall. Mohamed replaces Hall in the 4×400. “I think this is a great opportunity for me. This is my first year here at GCC and to go to Nationals is a good feeling,” freshman Hullinger said.

Local and national teams, as well as coaches, family members and MCCD students are welcome to attend. The event will also be broadcast live online on njcaatv.com all three days.

“It will be great for our athletes to run in this meet,” Assistant Coach Ralph Neighbors said. “We have home field advantage and we are familiar with the track at Mesa and the weather. It’s going to be hot, so we know what to expect. Other athletes might not know how to deal with the Arizona heat.”

The NJCAA provides a manual on their website discussing rules, maps and where trainers will be during the event, as well as hotel information and athlete check-in, and also ticket prices for events.

For more information, visit njcaa.org.