Men's high jumper Brent Dionisio became the 18th Allan Hancock College student-athlete of the year to sign with a four-year university. The sophomore signed a national letter of intent to University of New Mexico Tuesday afternoon during a brief signing ceremony in front of his teammates and coaches.
"I am relieved and excited," said Dionisio, who earned an associate degree in liberal arts: social and behavioral sciences last month from Hancock. "I am really looking forward to moving to New Mexico and growing as a person and an athlete."
The Pioneer Valley High School graduate won the 2017 Western State Conference high jump title this year with a top clearance of 6 feet, 10.25 inches. The sophomore finished fourth during the 2017 CCCAA Track and Field State Championships to earn All-American status. Dionisio earned first-place finishes in six meets this season, including at the Cal Poly Invitational where he beat 10 athletes from four-year universities.
The University of New Mexico competes in the Mountain West Conference. The Lobos finished fourth at the conference championships this season, and 23rd at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Dionisio said the Lobos have been in constant contact him since the middle of the season.
"I feel like New Mexico is the best university for me," said Dionisio. "They have an experienced and dedicated high jump coach, who I feel can help me elevate my game to the next level."
Dionisio is the second Hancock track and field athlete to sign with a four-year university this year. Taylor Nevitt, a women's shot put and discus thrower, signed with Chico State last month.
"I am really grateful for my time at Hancock. I focused on my classes, got good grades and trained as much as possible. I wouldn't have signed with a Division I program if it wasn't for Hancock," said Dionisio.
Dionisio still holds the PAC-8 League record in the high jump of 6-8. He was a four-time Santa Barbara County champion and two-time CIF qualifier. He is a health sciences major who plans to enter the medical field.