With a successful 2016 cross country season in the books for Mesa, Head Coach Daniel Pescador looks to the 2017 season with a sleew of new signees.
WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY
On the women's side, the T-Birds add Quinn Johnson, Montana Hancock, Emilie Reemstma and Amber Bleckledge. Johnson has improved tremendously over the years at Poston Butte. She brings a good blend of endurance and speed, excelling in cross country and dropping down to the 400 putting up good times. "I am excited about the potential that Quinn has and expect her to have a break out season," said Coach Pesador.
"Montana is going to be a big contributor to the cross country and track team. She is beginning to really tap into her potential, and he best years are ahead of her," said Coach Pescador about the Combs High School standout.
Reemstma hails from Skyline Highschool. "Emilie has been a tremendous runner for Skyline through out her entire career. She's competed in the very tough division 1 level at skyline. She has championship experience and will be an integral asset to keeping our women's team competing at a high level," said Coach Pescador.
Amber Bleckledge joins the T-Birds from Mountain View High School. "Amber comes from one of the top programs in division 1 out of Mesa Mountain View. Amber was a catalyst in helping her team secure a 4th place finish in the 4x800m relay at the state championships. Amber is new to sport but shows alot of grit, fight, and composure. She will be a boost to the team," said Coach Pescador.
MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY
Along with adding a strong women's class, Mesa brings in a solid 2017 class as well. Jacob Suber, Carlos Bugdud, Tristan Stellmach, Luke Jernigan and Felix Rios headline just a few of the 15 men's cross country signees.
Suber comes to Mesa out of Desert Vista High School. "Jacob is coming from a very decorated and championship program. He will be a tremendous boost the men's team and help them become national contenders. Jacob is no stranger to championship pressure, helping lead his desert vista team to the 4x800m relay state title in 2016, and a runner up finish in 2017. I'm very excited to have Jacob on the team. He will bring that level of toughness and championship experience that the men's team has been missing," said Coach Pescador.
Carlos Bugdud hails from Alhambra High School. "We're very excited to have Carlos join the team. He's coming from a very good program at Alhambra. Carlos is always ready to compete to his best of his abilities for his teammates. Time and time again, he shows that he will fight to the end and help his team in what they need. Carlos has tremendous upside and will look for him to have a big break out year. Carlos wrapped up his HS career with an All-State 4th place finish in the men's division 1 800m run," said Coach Pescador.
Tristan Stellmach comes to Mesa from Queen Creek High School. "Tristan comes from D2 powerhouse Queen Creek High School. He's been a consistently top performer for queen creek, that included a big victory in the 1600m run at the prestigious Sun Angel Classic. Tristan will come in and be a big contributor right away, he's shown he can respond to the pressure and step up when called upon," said Coach Pescador.
Luke Jernigan joins the T-Birds from Perry High School. "Luke comes from Perry Hs, and has shown what he is capable of. One of the most underrated runners in division 1, he quietly moved up the ranks lowering his personal bests this season in the mile and 800m runs. Luke brings in a level of talent and toughness that will be very much needed on the men's team. Luke has the championship experience that will help him excel here. He was part of the ALL State 4th place 4x800m relay his junior year," said Coach Pescador.
Felix Rios comes to Mesa from Buckeye High School. "Felix i believe is one of Arizona's best kept secret. Felix is brand new to the sport of the cross country and track, but that didn't stop him from making his presence known. In his very first state cross country championship meet, Felix ran to an ALL-State finish placing 12th. The state meet course is a very daunting one, and for Felix to run what he ran on only 2 months training is very impressive. Felix is very raw and untapped and will have a very big year next season," said Coach Pescador.
Along with the five names above, Coach Pescador is please to add Jose Siqueiros, Irvin Cerda and Ed Hernandez out of Kofa High School. Also, Sean Hendrix from Lamar High School in Dallas, TX, Casey Brown out of McClintock High School, Noah Lopez out of Alhambra High Schoo, Aaron Terrazas out of Westwood High School, David Estrada out of Poston Butte High School, Dominic Ramirez out of Combs High School and Nathan Reinhert out of Mountain Pointe High School.