Head Coach, Renee Ross
Renee Ross enters her 3rd season as head coach of the Mesa Men’s and Women’s track and field program and 5th season as head coach for the women’s cross country program.
Since arriving at Mesa in 2008, Ross was named the 2008 PCAC Women's Cross Country Coach of the Year, as well as the 2011 PCAC Men's Track and Field Coach of the Year after the Olympians were crowned the 2011 Foothill Conference Champions..
Before coming to San Diego Mesa College, Ross coached for 24 years at five different high schools. . She brings over 30 years of coaching experience to Mesa. She is also a level 1 USA Track and Field certified coach
Prior to her coaching tenure, Ross attended Riverside Poly High School where she competed in track and field as well as cross country, shattering long-standing records and preparing to enter the collegiate scene. She went on to compete at SDSU in everything from the 100 meters on up to 1500 meters. She held SDSU's 400 meter record for 20 years until it was broken a year ago and still currently holds the 800 meter record. A three-time All-American, Ross held a commanding presence on the track across the board as she placed on SDSU's all-time top 10 list in 10 events. In 1985, she missed the world 500 meter indoor mark by a mere second. Ross competed in the 1984, 1988 and 1996 Olympic Trials in the 400 and 800 meters.
Ross was born and raised in Riverside, CA. She is married to Mike, a former SDSU Aztec Baseball player who had a stint with the Houston Astros organization. They have 3 children who are no strangers to athletics. Mandy was a standout sprinter at Azusa Pacific University and is currently attending Pepperdine for her master’s degree. Danielle is a sophomore and is currently the center back on the soccer team at Azusa Pacific University and a math major. Sean is in 7th grade playing for the Easton A’s travel ball team under the coaching of Dave Stewart (Dodgers/Oakland A’s) who was inducted in the Hall of Fame.
Ross earned her B.A. degree in Kinesiology from San Diego State University.Her Master’s degree from National University.
Distance, Thom Hunt
Thom Hunt is in his fifth year coaching the distance runners at San Diego Mesa College. Under his guidance, Mesa athletes have won four individual state championships and have had a total of eleven all-state performers in the past three years. Mesa athletes have also won twelve Pacific Coast Athletic Conference titles from 2007-2009. Hunt was also coach of the United States Junior Men at the World Cross Country Championships held in Edinbrough, Scotland in 2008.
In addition to coaching, Hunt is the secretary of the Cross Country Executive Council of USATF. Locally, he serves as the mens long distance running chair for the San Diego-Imperial Association of USATF. Coach Hunt is a Level 1 USATF certified coach.
Before coaching, Hunt had a successful international running career that spanned 17 years. In high school, Hunt set the national record in the indoor mile with a time of 4:02.7. As a freshman at the University of Arizona, he won the Junior International Cross Country title. He was also a seven-time NCAA All-American. During his post collegiate career, Hunt competed in four US Olympic Trials and set an American Record in the 10k on the roads with a 28:12 in 1981.
Coach Hunt is married to Caroline Marshall and they have three children; Marshall, Claire, and Chloe. He also plays drums for The Jackals, a no-frills rock n roll band.
Sprints, Monique Henderson
Monique Henderson, a 2 time Olympic Gold Medalist joins the coaching staff at Mesa College as an assistant sprint coach. Since retiring from sprinting in 2008, she has been coaching athletes of all ages.
Henderson prepped at Morse High School in San Diego '01. She is the only 4-time 400 meters California State Champion in the state's history from 98–01. At age 17, she set a US junior class, as well as high school national record at 50.74 in the 400 m at the CIF California State Meet. In 2000, she became the first high school athlete to make the US Olympic track & field team since 1976. That year she was named the national Girl's "High School Athlete of the Year" by Track and Field News. . Her section, state, and national scholastic records in the 400m still stand today. She attended UCLA and won 9 conference titles in the 200m and 400m, an NCAA Championship in the 400m, and earned an Olympic Gold Medal as part of the 4x400m. After graduating from UCLA, she made her third Olympic team in 2008 as part of the 4x400m and earned her second Gold Medal. Her best times are 49.96 in the 400m and 22.71 in the 200m.
Monique was born and raised in San Diego and was recently inducted into the San Diego Breibard Hall of Fame as the youngest recipient.
Throws, Jarred Rome
Jarred Rome brings a wealth of competitive experience to San Diego Mesa college as one of the United State's top discus throwers, ranking in the US top three since 2002 and in the world top ten since 2004. He was a 6 time NCAA All American while getting his degree in business administration at Boise State University. Rome has competed in three world championships (2005, 2007, 2009) and was a member of the 2004 Olympic Team. Born in Seattle, Washington he now resides in Chula Vista.
Hurdles, Robert Williams
Coach Robert Williams is the newest addition to the San Diego Mesa College coaching staff. A native of Riverside, CA, he was a high school stand-out as he clinched California State Championship title in the 110 high hurdles in 2005. He then went on to attend Washington State University where he continued to set the track ablaze, climbing the record charts and ranking amongst the top 10 hurdlers in WSU history. Williams was a three-time NCAA Championship qualifier in the high hurdles, an NCAA Championship qualifier in the 4x400m relay, a four-time PAC-10 finalist and was previously ranked as one of the top collegiate hurdlers in the country. In addition to apprenticing alongside his collegiate coaches while training post-collegiately at WSU, Coach Williams has mentored athletes at various track and field clinics throughout the state of Washington as well as engaged in a brief coaching stint at Riverside City College.
Jumps, Marcus Carroll
Marcus Carroll is in his third year as San Diego Mesa College Vertical/Horizontal Jumps Coach. With over a decade of combined experience as track and field student-athlete and coach, his personal achievements include becoming a NCAA national championships finalist in the long and triple jump, All-CCAA conference honoree in the long jump, triple jump, 100m, 4x100m and 4x400m relay, High School State Champion in the 4x100m relay and High School State finalist in the long jump. In 2008, Carroll received the CCAA Dr. Hal Charnofsky Award, an annual award that recognizes the CCAA top male and female student-athlete who distinguished themselves in the classroom as well as in their sport. This is the standard that he has been setting for Mesa's student athletes these past three years. And it shows.
In his past two seasons as Vertical/Horizontal Jumps Coach, Carroll has led ten Olympians to the CCCAA Southern Regional Championships and one to the CCCAA State Championships.
Carroll competed collegiately at California State University of Los Angeles and received his B.A degree in Communication with an emphasis in Interpersonal Communication/ Language and Social Interaction. A current member of San Diego-Imperial Association of USATF, Carroll is a USATF Level 1 Certified Coach. Prior to coming to Mesa, Carroll worked for two years with student-athletes at the high school level as a Jumps, Sprints and Hurdle Coach.
Carroll was born, raised and currently resides in his home town of San Diego. He attended Helix Charter High School and from as long as he can remember, he has enjoyed reading, watching, and performing various types of athletic activity.
Pole Vault, Kara Filipowski
Kara Filipowski is entering her third year as the pole vault coach at San Diego Mesa College. She brings to the Olympians eight years of competitive experience in the event in addition to two previous years of experience coaching at the high school level. Since arriving at Mesa, Filipowski has led two individuals to conference championship titles and rose to the top with the men's team as they claimed the Foothill Conference Title in 2011.
Filipowski attended California State University Long Beach, where she competed on the 49er’s track and field team. During her years at Long Beach State, Filipowski was a Division I Big West Conference Qualifier as well as a scholar athlete. She graduated from Long Beach State with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and Sociology.
Filipowski is nearing the completion of her graduate program at National University where she is earning a Master’s and PPS Credential in School Counseling. She is also getting married this June!