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CCP’s Track and Field Team Members Take National Honors and Sprint Towards Future Success

Eleven track and field athletes from Community College of Philadelphia (CCP) captured All-America honors for the 2019 NJCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field season, according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

CCP athletes who received All-America honors include: Jamail Khan, Christian Nuelle, Sean Ringgold, Kory Wharton, Donoven Cook, Elizabeth Chukwuezi, Jada Erwin, Maisha Hutchins-Colema, Tianna Jeffcoa, Aleah Langley and Jazmin Vasquez Lopez. These student athletes earned USTFCCCA All-America honors by virtue of finishing among the top-eight of their respective events at the 2019 NJCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which was held this past May in Utica, New York.

“They work really hard,” said Robert Taylor, who coaches the men’s and women’s track and field and cross country teams at the College. “They begin as early as August and practice two hours per day, averaging four days a week. This is a very big commitment for these commuter athletes. They don’t live on campus, so they have to commute. A lot of them also have jobs. “

Many of the College's track and field athletes also participate in cross country during the fall semester. This past academic year, the cross country women’s team won the Eastern Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (EPAC) conference title. The men’s team placed fourth. Taylor, a former CCP track star himself, said that the schedule allows athletes to gain a competitive advantage and mental toughness: “They love the sport. They love competing and they love working together as a team.”

During the 2019 NJCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, the women’s track and field team had an impressive showing. Erwin, Chukwuezi, Hutchins-Colema and Langley each received three All-America honors in various events.

Even in the light of victory, the journey to nationals was not an easy path for many of the student athelets—athletes like Hutchins-Colema. Growing up, Hutchins-Colema ran indoor and outdoor track and field during high school and her freshman year in college at a DII school. Due to circumstances, Hutchins-Colema was forced to stop running. After transferring to CCP and refocusing solely on academics, Hutchins-Colema still frequented the school's gym to relieve stress. It was there that she met Ringgold. 

"Sean [Ringgold] saw me work out and suggested I join the track team," said Hutchins-Colema, who will be attending Temple University in the fall through the College's Health Professions dual enrollment program. "Coming from a background of running and considering how long it had been since I trained, I just knew I was no fit for any track team. I was terribly out of shape! I felt like I needed months of training to get back to where I was."

Despite all of the challenges, including an overloaded schedule, Hutchins-Colema decided to put her running shoes back on. Crediting the coaches at the Athletics Center for their encouragement, support and patience, Hutchins-Colema was able to complete her first two meets with qualifying times for nationals: "Through the support of my team and coaches at CCP, I had the confidence to go out and perform my best even when my body wasn't at its best."

And perform, she did. Hutchins-Colema earned three All-America honors in the 4x100 relay, 800m and 4x400 relay, an accomplishment she views through the lens of a Community College of Philadelphia student.

"I felt as if being a part of the track team and making it all the way to nationals really allowed me to embody the mental and physical journey of resilience that every CCP student showcases," said Hutchins-Colema, who wants to become a physical therapist. "Almost every single student at CCP has a back story and/or life story that isn't just free to focus on school as much as they would like, but despite that, with hard work and dedication, each [CCP student] gets the job done!"

Ringgold, the student who convinced Hutchins-Colema to get back on the track, also won three All-American honors on the men's team. Wharton won two All-America honors. 

Ringgold, who led the team, ranked 16th in the 200m but finished in second place, breaking a personal and school record of 22.03 (previously held by Coach Taylor) with a wind-aided time of 21.91. He was also ranked seventh in the 400m and finished second with a personal best of 49.79. After the championships, Ringgold was named the Eastern Pennsylvania Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week, Region XIX.

In addition, Ringgold, Wharton, Nuelle and Khan placed fourth in the 4X400 team meet. Khan, a student in the College's Liberal Arts - Honors program, celebrated not only his athletic award, but also his acceptance into Swarthmore College.

Overall, the men's team surpassed expectations at the championships, ranking 16th out of 28 schools but finishing in eighth place.

"Going to nationals was amazing and earning medal with my team was the most satisfying, because we worked hard together all year, so being able to share that with them meant a lot after training together day after day," said Nuelle, who will be participating in cross country this fall. 

As yet another successful sports season at CCP has come to its close, Hutchins-Colema reflected on how the College and its athletics program has influenced and inspired her.

"CCP is not just a community college to me, but an institution that gave me hope within myself as a student, as an athlete, but, most importantly, as a person," she said. "I am proud to say that I was one of the last Colonials to run for CCP and be able to represent CCP on and off the track."

CCP Men’s Team Results:

Athletes receiving All-America honors and their events.

Event

Athlete

Year

4x400 Relay

Jamail Khan

Sophomore

4x400 Relay

Christian Nuelle

Freshman

400 Meters

Sean Ringgold

Sophomore,

4x400 Relay

Sean Ringgold

 

200 Meters

Sean Ringgold

 

4x400 Relay

Kory Wharton

Sophomore

Long Jump

Kory Wharton

 

Long Jump

Donoven Cook

Sophomore

Women’s Team Results

Athletes receiving All America Honors and their events.

Event

Athlete Name

Year in School

4x400 Relay

Elizabeth Chukwuezi

Sophomore

Triple Jump

Elizabeth Chukwuezi

 

High Jump

Elizabeth Chukwuezi

 

100 Meters

Jada Erwin

Sophomore

4x100 Relay

Jada Erwin

 

4x400 Relay

Jada Erwin

 

4x100 Relay

Maisha Hutchins-Colema

Freshman

800 Meters

Maisha Hutchins-Colema

 

4x400 Relay

Maisha Hutchins-Colema

 

4x100 Relay

Tianna Jeffcoa

Freshman

4x100 Relay

Aleah Langley

Freshman

200 Meters

Aleah Langley

 

4x400 Relay

Aleah Langley

 

5000 Meters

Jazmin Vazquez Lopez

Freshman