OROVILLE, Calif. - Melissa Navarro is sprinting into Division I athletics, signing with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a member of its track and field team.
"I never thought I'd get the opportunity to run at a college like that," she said. "It was definitely a huge blessing."
"I've had some conversations with her where she said growing up she thought she would never have an opportunity like this," Navarro's dad Randy said. "I'm really excited for her. We are all really excited she gets this opportunity."
Navarro has been on the Butte College Track and Field team since the Fall of 2018. She competed in the javelin throw, sprints and shot put.
Javelin is Navarro's specialty. She set the Butte College school record with a throw of 150 feet and eight inches.
Setting a school record is especially impressive because Navarro never did track and field before attending Butte College.
"I still don't think she knows how good she can be and how good she is," Butte Track and Field Coach Jon Hays said. "Her work ethic is unbelievable. She has some things to work on definitely, but track is one of those things where you just need one good throw."
Navarro did CrossFit and played numerous other sports in high school. She decided to try track at Butte College after her brother convinced her.
"Butte really helps you learn how to grind," she said. "You go through a lot of hard stuff. You have to work. You go to school full time and you're an athlete. You really learn how to work hard."
Navarro will begin competing with Cal Poly in the spring. She'll train under Les Courtemanche, who is from Oroville and use to coach at the College of the Siskiyous.