Top 2012-13 Sports Moment #1: Pau Tonnensen Sweeps Multi-Event National Titles
MESA, AZ – As good as the Mesa athletic year was in 2012-13, it took what may be a completely unprecedented feat to qualify for the No. 1 spot in our Top 15 countdown.
The accomplishment went to track and field athlete Pau Tonnensen who capped a remarkable career by winning both multi-event national championships this year, the seven-event pentathlon indoors and ten-event decathlon outdoors. What makes it possibly unprecedented is that he did the same thing a year ago as a freshman, and though records are incomplete, it is believed to be the first time it has happened in NJCAA competition history.
Lest you think that the NJCAA is some minor league level of competition, at the 2012 Olympics in London 50 current, or former, NJCAA athletes were among those competing for numerous nations in track and field.
Tonnensen not only won both events this year, but set national records in each. To complete the amazing accomplishment he also won the national title in his specialty, the pole vault, both indoors and outdoors giving him a total of six national titles in his two-year Mesa career.
There are few ways to properly acknowledge Tonnensen’s feat, but the Arizona Diamondbacks found one. Minutes before the D-Backs’ July 10 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers they saluted the Tempe native with a ceremony broadcast on the stadium’s huge centerfield video board. Clad in a personalized D-Backs jersey he threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Diamondbacks All-Star pitcher Patrick Corbin.
Tonnensen will now move on to the University of Arizona to complete his career as a valued member of the Wildcats track and field program.