T-Bird Athletes Receive National Honors

Thunderbird logoMCC Thunderbirds MESA, Ariz.  –The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has honored 18 Mesa Community College student-athletes as all-academic for the 2013-14 year, as well as seven complete Thunderbird teams.

The all-academic selections have been awarded each year since 1983. In order to qualify, a student-athlete must have a 3.6-or-better GPA. Barely three percent of the more than 58,000 who competed last season are honored. Teams must have at least a 3.0 overall GPA.

“Most significantly for MCC this year is that all seven of the teams that were cited were among the school's best athletically as well. All seven finished among the nation's top 11 with baseball and women's basketball leading the way, each having captured national championships. Those two also had the two best team GPAs,” said John Mulhern, director of MCC Athletics.

Individually, Mariah Willadsen (So., Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain H.S.), of the women's basketball team, was honored with the Pinnacle Award for posting a 4.0 GPA. There were only 171 athletes recognized in this fashion.

Thunderbird teams honored were:

  1. Baseball - National champions
  2. Women's Basketball - National champions
  3. Men's Golf - 2nd in the nation
  4. Women's Golf - 4th in the nation
  5. Women's Cross Country - 6th in the nation
  6. Men's Tennis - 10th in the nation
  7. Women's Tennis - 11th in the nation

Individual Thunderbird student-athletes honored were:

  1. Nicole Cirivello (So., St. John's, AZ/St. John's H.S.) - Women's Soccer
  2. Ciara Daniel (So., Show Low, AZ/Show Low H.S.) - Women's Track and Field
  3. Natalie Elkins (So., Snowflake, AZ/Snowflake H.S.) - Volleyball
  4. Kristi Heathcote (Fr., El Paso, Texas/Maeser Acad. (Utah) - Women's Track and Field
  5. Blake Kemp (So., Chandler, AZ/Hamilton H.S.) - Football
  6. Drew LaComb (So., Las Vegas, Nev/Spring Valley H.S.) - Baseball
  7. Levi Larmour (So., Oakville, Ont., Canada/Stephen Lewis Secondary H.S.) - Baseball
  8. Cole Loncar (So., Olympia Wash/Olympia H.S.) - Baseball
  9. Marious Mylonas (So., Scottsdale, AZ/Desert Mountain H.S.) - Baseball
  10. James Phillips (So., Phoenix, AZ/Tempe H.S.) - Men's Cross Country
  11. Jose Retana Ceballos (So., Mesa, AZ/Skyline H.S.) - Men's Cross Country/Track and Field
  12. Cesar Sandoval (So., Rockford, Ill/Desert Vista (AZ) H.S.) - Men's Soccer
  13. Kyle Tomlinson (So., Mesa, AZ/Dobson H.S.) - Men's Basketball
  14. Emily Wilkinson (So., Tucson, AZ/Ironwood Ridge H.S.) - Women's Cross Country/Track and Field
  15. Mariah Willadsen (So., Mesa, AZ/Red Mountain H.S.) - Women's Basketball
  16. Ashley Wingersky (Fr., Phoenix, AZ/Xavier Prep) - Women's Tennis
  17. Raquel Woody (So., Kirtland, NM/Kirtland Central H.S.) - Women's Basketball
  18. Rebekah Young (So., Show Low, AZ/Show Low H.S.) - Women's Cross Country/Track and Field

“The recognition bestowed by the NJCC is evidence of the high standards and conscientious effort put forth by each student athlete to succeed academically and on the courts, fields and in the classroom,” said MCC President, Dr. Shouan Pan. “I commend our students, faculty and coaching staff for their pursuit of academic and athletic excellence.”   

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Wayne Block, Sports Information Director (480) 461-7543 Wayne.Block@mesacc.edu
Dawn Zimmer (480) 461-7892 Dawn.Zimmer@mesacc.edu

About Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering its more than 40,000 students who attend annually to succeed in a local and global community.  Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District. For additional information please visit http://www.mesacc.edu.

About MCC Athletics
MCC has one of the top two-year athletic programs in the nation. This year MCC finished fourth among more than 400 schools in the NATYCAA Cup, a compilation of team success in national championship events, and had 18 individuals and seven full teams, recognized as all-academic by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). More than 60 student-athletes will continue their careers at four-year institutions. Additional information about MCC’s athletic programs is available online at http://athletics.mesacc.edu.

The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Source Details

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, July 1, 2014