June 11, 2013
NEW ORLEANS — The University of New Mexico men’s cross country and track and field teams finished in 13th place in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s John McDonnell Program of the Year award standings for the 2012-2013 academic year.
After tying for 28th place at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships last weekend, the Lobos, under head coach Joe Franklin, were able to notch their fourth consecutive recognition for the award.
“It's just a testament that you have to not only be good in outdoor track and indoor track, but you also have to be a national-level cross-country team,” Franklin said. “When you have all three, that's what happens. And that's what we've been luckily enough to do the last four years.”
The Lobos cross-country and track and field teams combined to gain 103 points to place 13th in the final standings, which combine the teams' finishes from the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships, 2013 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships and the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
At the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships, the Lobos were paced to a 21st-place finish by junior Luke Caldwell, who finished 27th individually and earned All-American status. New Mexico also relied on Elmar Engholm (85th place), Sam Evans (126th), Patrick Zacharias (133rd) and Donovan Torres (223rd) to record its fourth-straight NCAA finish.
Caldwell again performed well for the Lobos at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, finishing eighth in the 5,000-meter run. Alongside Floyd Ross, who took eighth in the triple jump, New Mexico placed 49th as a team and scored for the fifth-consecutive year at the national championships.
The Lobos wrapped up their place in the final standings last week at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, with USTFCCCA First-Team All-Americans Caldwell and Ross leading the way once again. Ross claimed third in the triple jump while Caldwell took seventh in the 5000 to propel New Mexico to a tie for 28th place.
UNM also finished in the final standing for the award the past four years, dating back to 2010. Last year, New Mexico placed a program-best 11th, with a 31st-place finish in cross country, a 15th-place finish in indoor track and a 33rd-place finish in outdoor track.
In 2011, New Mexico finished the season ranked 14th (16th in cross country, 50th in indoor track, and 41st in outdoor track), and in 2010 the Lobos also placed 11th (8th in cross country, 8th in indoor track, 55th in outdoor track).
New Mexico is one of only three schools to to finish in the final standings each of the last four years, joining Texas and five-time recipient Florida State. UNM is also one of just six institutions (including Florida State, Texas, Oregon, Stanford and BYU) to have placed in the final standings at least four times.
Presented annually, the NCAA Division I Program of the Year Award recognizes the most outstanding cross country and track & field programs in Division I based on the institution’s performance through the academic year. Final standings are predicated on the institution’s combined finishes at the NCAA Division I Championships in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field.
To be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for all three NCAA Championships. Scores for the award's final standings are calculated from the team’s each finish at those championships (i.e., first place earns one point, second place two points, 31st place 31 points, etc.). Ties among schools split points for positions taken.
The team with the lowest total score for all three championships receives the award, which has been presented for the last five years since 2008-2009.
Only 15 men’s teams scored at all three 2012-2013 championships. Leading the final standings was NCAA Indoor champions Arkansas (14 points), while Wisconsin (21) and Oregon (30.5) rounded out the top three.