No. 2 NMJC Track and Field Repeat as National Champions

No. 2 NMJC Track and Field Repeat as National Champions


Hobbs New Sun  Sunday March 4, 2018


No. 2 NMJC track and field repeat as national champions




The New Mexico Junior College women's indoor track and field team went into the national meet ranked No. 2, but left as National Championships. The Lady Thunderbirds have now won back-to-back national championships in indoor track and field.


With 120 points, the Lady T-Birds won with ease as runner-up South Plains tallied 90 points and top ranked Iowa Central finished with 89. Barton County and Central Arizona rounded out the top five.


The Lady T-Birds had two individual winners and four second place finishers. Esther Gitahi and Shian Hyde each won individual national championships. Gitahi won the mile and Hyde took first in the 200-meter dash.


Gitahi won the mile run, finishing in 4:53.08 and took second in the 1,000-meters (2:55.36). Hyde won the 200 with a time of 23.68 and finished third in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.42.


D'Jai Baker was runner-up in the 400-meters, turning in a time of 54.07 while Erin Sermons was second in the 800-meters (2:22.10). Kristal Liburd finished second in the triple jump, clearing 12.46 meters


The Lady T-Birds 4x400 relay finished third (3:44.84). Britney Hew, Sermons, Raheema Westfall, and Baker ran the 4x400. Cathilee Mullings' placed fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 12.30 while Jerono finished fifth in the 800 (2:24.26). Teresha Jacobs (5:14.65) and Sharon Jerono (5:16.47 finished fifth and seventh in the mile. Westfall finished sixth in the 200 (24.17) while Jacobs was sixth in the 1,000 (3:02.88). Bristol O'Connor was seventh in the weight throw.




New Mexico was guided by three top six finishers in individual points. Esther Gitahi led the way with 28 points, while Kristal Liburd notched 18 points, tied for fourth and Shian Hyde tied for sixth with 16 points.


  • Gitahi finished first in the mile run for the second consecutive year with a time of 4:53.08. In the 1,000-meter and 3,000-meter run, the sophomore notched times of 2:55.32 and 9:30.95, respectively, to finish second in both events.

  • In the long jump, Liburd finished with a jump of 6.21 meters for first and in the triple jump, Liburd jumped 12.46 meters to finish second.

  • With the title, the Thunderbirds' program has earned 10 titles - eight coming from track & field (five from men and three from the women's program).

  • Seselia Dala of South Plains took first in the 5000 meter run with a mark of 18:04.39. In the mile run, Dala sprinted to a third place finish with a time of 5:13.89.

  • Hyde persevered for first in the 200 meter dash with a time of 23.68 toclip Central Arizona's Josephine Anokye who finished with a time of 23.73.

  • Iowa Central shined in the team races, as they won the 4x800 meter relay and distance medley. 

  • Adva Cohen of Iowa Central, a two-time frehsman All-American in the fall cross country season, captured four first team All-American honors including a pair of individual honors in the 1,000 and 3,000-meter runs. Cohen's time of 9:30.89 in the 3,000-meter run broke the previous NJCAA record.

  • Shawkia Iddrisu repeated as the women's 400-meter dash champion.

  • Hutchinson's Adriana Janic retained her 60-meter hurdle individual title after winning as a freshman in 2017.

  • Sophomore Abigail Kwarteng of Western Texas completed her second-straight high jump championship with a mark of 1.81 meters.

  • Central Arizona boasted its second-straight champion in the shot put after Cherisse Murray put up a meet-best 15.86 meters.