Victor Saldana signs his letter of intent with New Mexico Junior College at Caster Activity Center Booster Room Thursday afternoon. Saldana is the first signing of NMJC men's cross-country program and second for men's track and field program.
Former Hobbs track and field star Victor Saldana became the first men's cross country runner and second men's track and field member to sign with New Mexico Junior College Thursday night when he made the commitment in the Caster Activity Center booster room. NMJC will field a men's team in cross-country and indoor and outdoor track and field teams for the 2019-20 season.
Saldana was aware of what his signing meant, and did not shy away from the responsibility he will face. "It feels amazing," he said with a smile on his face. "It feels amazing, it feels great to start a great program here and I'm excited."
For Saldana this moment represented a chance to continue his dream of running. He said he prayed a lot asking for the opportunity to continue to run and his prayer was answered with NMJC re-instating its men's program. He acknowledged that it was an amazing moment to sign his letter of intent and continue his dream in his hometown.
When asked why he decided to be a Thunderbird, Saldana simply answered, "it's home". It was an easy decision for Saldana as he saw this as an opportunity to work with great coaches, a great program, and he saw all the success the women's program has accomplished.
Saldana comes into the program ready and excited to start trying to winning national titles. "Hopefully get a couple of conference titles and contribute as much as I can to the team," said Saldana on his goals for the team in the upcoming season. He mentioned he is ready to be a leader for the men's program and to continue to lead by example.
New Mexico Junior College head cross country coach Jeff Becker was on hand for the signing and he was excited that Saldana signed with the Thunderbirds.
"We are really excited about having Victor come out and run for us," the coach said. "I think its gonna be a good opportunity, and he's gonna be great start at bringing back our men's program."
Becker believes that having Saldana committed to the program will help it grow locally and nationally. Having Saldana will help local talent see that this is a program that wants to win national titles from the beginning said Becker.
"Really thrilled about it," said Becker on Saldana signing. "I think he's gonna great fit with our program I think he's a solid runner but a great person as well."
Saldana does have plans to continue his education as he attends NMJC. He plans to take business classes so he can open a few businesses in the future. He plans for one of those businesses to be a barbershop as he is a licensed barber. That will come after he lives his dream of running cross-country and track and field at the collegiate level.
The men's program will begin August 19, 2019 a day both Saldana and Becker are looking forward to with excitement.