May 28, 2005
NORMAN, Okla. - University of New Mexico freshman Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott extended his rookie season by another day as he made his way into the 1,500-meter finals with a strong performance in the preliminary heat this evening at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships. Earlier, junior Matt Keeran got the New Mexico men on the scoreboard with a seventh place finish in the javelin at the University of Oklahoma's John Jacobs Track and Field Complex.
Kiptoo-Biwott placed sixth in his heat and 11th out of 17 runners overall with a time of 3:47.80. An all-Mountain West Conference honoree in the event two weeks ago, the 20-year-old Kiptoo-Biwott was over a second off his career best time of 3:46.53 which he recorded at altitude in Albuquerque. The 2004 cross country All-American will toe the line for the 1,500 finals on Saturday at 4:22 p.m. (MST).
Keeran, the 2005 MWC champion, recorded a mark of 197-04 on his third attempt to defeat 11 of the 18 competitors in the field. The Albuquerque La Cueva product missed his first national championship berth by just under four feet as the fifth place finisher advanced with a throw of 201-07. Keeran shocked the conference field two weeks ago with a career-best mark of 211-05 in his first league championship meet appearance since undergoing season-ending elbow surgery in 2004.
In other finals action on Friday, junior Jamie Fishencord finished 12th out of 19 competitors in the hammer throw with a mark of 178-11 on her one and only legal attempt. Fishencord entered the meet as the No. 6 seed with a top distance of 192-06, but had to watch as the fifth automatic qualifier advanced to the NCAA Championships with a mark of 191-06. Colorado State senior Loree Smith, the Mountain West record holder, won the event with a toss of 217-08.
Elsewhere, fifth-year senior Jordan Parker capped his fine Lobo career by placing 20th in the shot put (52-02.75) and 22nd in the discus (161-05), while rookie Whitney Johnson was unable to clear the opening height of 12 feet in the women's javelin.
Back on the track, freshman Ariel Burr finished fifth in her heat and 20th overall with a time of 55.47 in the 400-meter prelims. Fellow freshman Jarrin Solomon was 17th overall in the men's 400 prelims, clocking a time of 47.85.
The field event action resumes tomorrow at 11 a.m. with the track events to follow at 4 p.m.