A tradition of producing top college track and field throwing talent continues for Mesa Community College as Michelle Amete and Rashaud Scott head to NCAA Division I colleges.
Both are expected to be immediate contenders for those universities.
Amete, a Queen Creek High School graduate, had a phenomenal two years at MCC and will take her junior college national record in the hammer (189 feet) to Arizona State.
Amete broke five MCC records in the discus, shot put and hammer throws. She also represented the United States at the 2005 Pan-American Track and Field Games.
“She basically went from nothing to No. 1 in the United States for throwers under 20,” said Thunderbirds coach Selmer Olson. “Michelle did not even compete in the hammer until she came to junior college.”
Scott, who was ranked the No. 1 college freshman in the throws last year, will be competing for the University of Kentucky in 2007-2008.
Scott broke a 1997 school record in the discus with a throw of 198 feet, and won a silver medal for the United States under-23 team in the North American championships last year in the Dominican Republic.
Scott also won the NJCAA indoor weight (hammer) throw and shot put as a freshman.
“Rashaud really wasn’t known much in the discus,” Olson said. “He wasn’t even a city champion back in New York, but he turned from a 150-foot thrower in high school to 198 in one year, something I’ve only seen once in an athlete from LSU in 1991.”
Both Scott and Amete came to MCC to work with Olson, who has coached for 36 years. His resume includes a dozen Thunderbird athletes winning 12 national championships, including Sheldon Battle and Shawn Best.
Battle is currently at the University of Kansas, and Best is at the University of Arizona.
Mesa Community College has moved up to 14th in the NJCAA Division II top 20 poll.
The Thunderbirds are 8-5 and hope to add to the win column as ACCAC action picks up steam this month.
Meanwhile, Chandler-Gilbert Community College’s Sarah Hays ranks second in NJCAA Division II scoring with 24.9 points per game.
On the men’s side, Adam McCoy is second in NJCAA Division I in free throw percentage (93.5 percent) and seventh in scoring, averaging 24.1 points per game.