UCO Track Star Continues to Shine
Senior Mariah Garcia throws weights during a Fall 2017 track meet. Garcia has set indoor records for the University of Central Oklahoma, throwing 59 feet, 7 inches. (Provided/ UCO Photo Services).
UCO track star Mariah Garcia has had a stellar senior season, breaking her own record two times just this season.
“They’re just an accomplishment I guess. Every time you break one, you just want to better,” Garcia said. All of the senior’s records have come at the weight throw.
As a junior, Garcia won the outdoor Division II National Championship in discus throw. However, this still is not Garcia’s favorite moment of her career.
“The Olympic trials. That was like the best moment ever,” Garcia said.
Garcia transferred to UCO from Wichita State. She had to sit out her sophomore season after a transfer rule that kept her on the sidelines.
This season Garcia has already made waves. In December the Mustang graduate took first place in the weight throw at the Crimson and Gold invite at Pitt State. She followed that up with a second place throw at the Missouri Southern Invitation.
Earlier this year she participated in the J.D. Martin Invitational, a Division I meet. Despite not being able to contend for a medal, she still launched a the weight throw over 50 feet.
On Feb. 11, Garcia placed second place at the Gorilla Classic in Pittsburg, KS. The meet solidified her place atop the MIAA standings. While she is well aware of the place she is in, she knows there is work left to do.
“I’m ahead in the conference right now and I just want to keep that lead,” Garcia said.
The Wichita State transfer has hit a provisional mark in all four events she has competed in this season. The weight throw has proven to be her bread and butter as the season has gone on.
She set her first school record last season throwing 57 feet 2 3/4 inches. Not one to settle, she broke that early on this season with a throw of 57 feet 11 inches. That one would not last for long either as the senior topped that mark, throwing 59 feet 7 inches last weekend in Pittsburg, Kansas.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Garcia hopes that her throws are good enough to earn her a provisional placement in the National Championships.
“For indoor, I want to just PR [personal record] with my last indoor track meet with a 19 or 20,” Garcia said.
For Garcia, these accomplishments mean more than just numbers. She considered giving up her track career three years ago.
“Perseverance. I almost quit three years ago, so being here now, I’m just really thankful for it,” Garcia said.
Garcia competes both indoors and outdoors for the Bronchos. She competes in the discus throw, hammer throw, shot put and weight throw. She has a favorite, though.
“Definitely discus. Since I’ve been dabbling in hammer throw and weight throw, those get my mind off of discus and I enjoy them, too,” Garcia said.
With one meet left until the MIAA Conference meet, the senior still has time to make more history. She has her sights set on winning the conference and another national title in outdoor.