Mesa, AZ - The men and women hosted the 2017 NJCAA Region 1 Championships at Shalimar Golf course. Both teams placed 3rd overall in their respective races.
The men started the day with the 8k at 9am and were led by All-Region performers Felix Rios and Amir Husen Husen, who placed 7th and 14th overall.
"I thought Felix and Amir did a very good job of moving up throughout the entire race and closed well," said Head Coach Daniel Pescador, "As a team, we ran pretty good and saw some very good things, while running without Josh who's been our #2 runner, and Tristan who's been our #1 runner had a rough day today."
Though Mesa was 3rd, the men were able to lose the gap on PV, who is currently ranked 4th in the country, without their top 2 runners.
"When I see how we performed today without two of our top guys, that leaves very optimistic as to how we can do in two weeks," said Coach Pescador.
The women followed the men and also ran to 3rd place finish, missing 2nd place by a mere 3 points.
It was a team effort that saw four Lady Thunderbirds run to an All-Region performance. Led by Emilie Reemtsma, Quinn Johnson, Ashlyn Didomenico, and Montana Hancock, they placed 8th, 11th, 12th, and 14th.
"I thought the women did a much better job competing in the middle like we have been talking about all season long," said Coach Pescador, "We had a few girls run season bests, which is what we always want for the region Championships."
Like the men, the women ran without their #2 runner Maddie Ambrosio, and still nearly managed a runner-up finish.
"It would of been nice to get that runner-up placing, but to only be 3 points away without a key runner speaks volume to our team and the effort the women put up today," said Coach Pescador, "The biggest performance was from Emilie, who until race day was very limited at practice due to injuries and was only able to jog a few miles once in a span of 10 days. She really stepped up for her team."
The Thunderbirds now turn their attention to the NJCAA National Championships that will be hosted by Iowa Central in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The National meet will be held Saturday, November 11th with men running at 11am and the women at Noon.