Mesa, AZ – It was a good day to be a heptathlete, 800-meter runner, or pole vaulter for the Mesa track and field teams Saturday as the T-Birds equaled, or bettered, NJCAA national championship qualifying standards in a and season-high 16 events at the Mesa Invitational and Multis at John D. Riggs Stadium.
In the single biggest achievement, Makel Hubbard tied the MCC school record in the heptathlon with 5,331 points. The record was originally set by Pau Tonnesen, Mesa's all-time great, the only person ever to win the multi events in all four possible national championships in his career.
Meanwhile, Mesa dominated in the men's 800, with five runners beating the NJCAA standard and all finishing within less than two seconds of each other. To top it off, all five qualified in the event for the first time this year. They were, in order, Andrew McCumber (1:56.13), Conner Dosmann (1:56.65), Luke Nicolds (1:57.21), Jonathan Respress (1:57.47), and Geoffrey Grossthal (1:57.96). The NJCAA qualifying mark is 1:58.06.
In the pole vault three athletes bettered the mark, although all already have better heights. They were, for the men, Lofton Thomas at 14-7 ½, and for the women, Belle Huber, 10-7 ½, and Janie Tenney, 10-1 ½.
In winning the heptathlon Hubbard also beat two qualifying marks. He improved in the high jump to 6-10 ¾ and ran an 8.31 60-meter hurdles, although he already has a better mark in the latter event.
There were still other qualifiers. Uriel Hernandez added his name to the list in the shot put with a toss of 48-2 ¾. In addition, Van Harvey Vance ran a 48.16 400-meters and Juba McClay triple jumped 47-1, although both have done better this season.
Also, both the men's and women's distance medley relays also qualified. The men's team, consisting of McCumber, Nicolds, Dosmann and Ridge Larkins ran a 10:18.57, while the women's team of Mary Simi, Camille Foster, Niji Hunter and Maggie Orr was time in 12:56.87.