April 5, 2007
UPCOMINGThe University of New Mexico will send seven athletes to Austin, Texas this week for the 80th running of the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Held in front of near capacity crowds at the 20,000-seat Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus, the Texas Relays is an annual gathering for many of the nation's top professional, collegiate and high school track and field athletes. The New Mexico contingent will be in action on Friday and Saturday, starting at 8:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. (Mountain), respectively. Live event-by-event results are available here.
The men's 4x400-meter relay team of senior Randle McCain (Silver City), juniors Jarrin Solomon (Albuquerque La Cueva HS) and Kurt Henry (Albuquerque Cibola HS), and sophomore Taylor Siemon (Albuquerque La Cueva HS) will open the meet for the Lobos on Friday morning when they race in the event prelims. The all-New Mexico foursome will be looking to punch their ticket to the NCAA Regional Championship meet with a time of 3:10.00 or faster. The Lobos clocked a time of 3:10.72 - the fastest at UNM since 2003 - last weekend at Arizona. New Mexico, the 2007 Mountain West Conference indoor champions in the event, currently owns the best time in the conference outdoors.
UNM will also send NCAA regional qualifiers Katie Coronado (sophomore - javelin), Tiyana Peters (junior - high jump) and Anthony Fairbanks (sophomore - javelin) to Austin. All three athletes currently lead the MWC in their respective events and are making their second appearance at the Texas Relays.
THE TEXAS RELAYS AT A GLANCEResults: Meet results will be available here.
Schedule: The men's 4x400 relay team competes in the event prelims, which begin on Friday morning at 8:30 p.m. (Mountain). The team would race again on Saturday at 3:25 p.m. should it advance to the finals. Tiyana Peters begins the women's high jump (section B) at 9 a.m. on Friday, followed by Anthony Fairbanks in the men's javelin (section B) at 6 p.m. Katie Coronado will take part in the section A women's javelin competition at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Weather: Friday's weather should be ideal for track and field competition most of the day. Morning temperatures will be in the high 50s with light winds and partly cloudy skies. The evening forecast calls for cloudy skies, temperatures in the mid-60s and virtually no wind. The humidity will range from 46 - 52 percent during the day.
Saturday, however, could be a little more challenging with highs in the low 50s and a 50 percent chance of showers. Humidity will also be around 65 percent, though the winds will be light.
Last Meet In Austin: UNM sent 11 athletes to the 2006 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships (May 26-27) at Myers Stadium. Senior Derek Mackel won the pole vault, while junior teammate Robert Caldwell finished sixth in the event. Then-freshmen Katie Coronado and Anthony Fairbanks both placed seventh in the javelin to become the first UNM rookies to score at the regional championships.
Last Time at the Texas Relays: Senior Jamie Fishencord (hammer), sophomore Whitney Johnson (pole vault), then-freshman Anthony Fairbanks (javelin) and senior pole vaulter Derek Mackel all recorded NCAA regional qualifying marks in their respective events over three days of competition at the 2006 Texas Relays.
Fairbanks finished second in a field of 18 in the section B javelin, improving on his NCAA regional qualifying mark with a season-best throw of 210' 9". He defeated Mountain West Conference record holder Joseph Brown of TCU (5th - 207' 5") and senior teammate Matt Keeran (8th - 195' 11") for the first time.
Then-sophomore Tiyana Peters finished 15th in the section B high jump with a mark of 5' 7" in her Texas Relays debut, while the men's 4x400-meter relay team of Taylor Siemon, Jarrin Solomon, Kurt Henry and Randle McCain was 24th with a time of 3:13.10 in their first appearance at the meet. Then-freshman Katie Coronado fouled on all three attempts in the women's javelin.
LAST TIME OUT (Arizona International/Stanford Invitational - March 31)Click here for the complete meet recap.
CORONADO MAKING SOME NOISEKatie Coronado will look to extend her javelin winning streak to three in a row on Saturday in Austin. The sophomore from Ruidoso, N.M. (which means "noisy" in Spanish) has wasted no time in setting the tone for her 2007 season. Coronado opened the spring with a season-best and NCAA regional qualifying throw of 159-09 at Arizona State where she finished over 13 feet ahead of her nearest competitor. The following week at USC, Coronado edged Texas A&M All-American Jessica Wingfield (155') with a winning mark of 156' 2".
Coronado currently owns the top javelin mark in the Mountain West Conference and is ranked No. 17 in the nation. She has four victories and eight top-3 finishes in her 10 collegiate javelin competitions.
RUNNING INTO THE RECORD BOOKSSenior Jeremy Johnson and junior Jarrin Solomon established themselves as two of the best performers in Mountain West Conference history on Saturday, March 31, with a pair of sensational times in the 5,000 and 400, respectively.
Johnson clocked a career-best time of 13:50.85 in a ninth place finish at the elite Stanford Invitational section 1 5,000 race. The time was the fastest in the MWC in two years and ranked fourth on the conference all-time performance list.
Earlier in the day at the Arizona International in Tucson, Solomon won the 400 with a career-best time of 46.42, which ranked fourth on the MWC all-time list. Solomon, however, is the only athlete currently among the league's top-5 in the men's 400 to record his time before the month of May.
BEST OF THE MOUNTAIN WESTThe New Mexico men have already taken home two Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track & Field Athlete of the Week awards in the first month of the 2007 season, matching the program record. The Lobos also had two Outdoor Athlete of the Week winners in 2002 and `04.
Sophomore Anthony Fairbanks earned his first career award on March 21 - the first for a Lobo outdoors since 2005. Fairbanks, an Albuquerque Highland High School product, finished second in the javelin at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. with a career-best and NCAA regional qualifying throw of 217' 10" (66.39m), surpassing his previous personal best distance in the event by over four feet.
Junior Jarrin Solomon later earned his first Athlete of the Week award on April 3 for his performance at the Arizona International meet in Tucson, Ariz. The Albuquerque La Cueva High School product ran a career-best and NCAA regional qualifying time of 46.42 to win the 400-meter race. Solomon finished 0.13 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Arizona State All-American Domenik Peterson, as he recorded the fastest time by a Lobo since 1991. He shaved 0.39 seconds off of his previous career-best mark, set in May of 2006 at the MWC Outdoor Championship meet, as he recorded the fourth-best in MWC history.
Solomon was also a part of the second-place UNM 4x400 relay team that clocked a conference season-leading time of 3:10.72 in Tucson. The time was New Mexico's fastest in the event since 2003 and just 0.72 seconds off the regional qualifying standard.
HENRY BROTHERS ANNOUNCE RETIREMENTUniversity of New Mexico head track and field coach Matt Henry and associate head coach Mark Henry announced on Feb. 19 that they will retire from UNM effective at the end of the 2007 outdoor season. A nation-wide search is underway to replace the twin brothers, who are in their seventh season with the Lobos.
"We just felt that it was time for us to step aside," said Matt Henry. "We've done some pretty nice things since we've been here. Cross country in particular - we've been pretty successful on both the men's and women's sides. We've also had some good track and field performances over the years, but I'm most proud of the fact that we've done it almost entirely with New Mexico kids."
Under Henry's tutelage, 13 UNM athletes have advanced to NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championship meets, giving the Lobos representation every year since 2002. New Mexico has also earned four All-America awards, two Academic All-America certificates, won 24 Mountain West Conference event titles and earned all-MWC honors 106 times. Twenty-five UNM indoor/outdoor records have been set during Henry's tenure.
In cross country, Henry's runners have earned a combined 17 all-MWC awards and 11 all-NCAA Mountain Region certificates. New Mexico has sent six individuals and one team to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, earning All-America honors three times.
Henry's fellow coaches named him MWC Coach of the Year for men's outdoor track in 2002 and again in 2005 for women's cross country.
Mark Henry has been the primary sprints and relays coach all seven years at UNM. Since 2001, Henry's sprinters have captured a four MWC titles and earned all-conference honors 26 times. Four individuals and two relay teams have advanced to the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship meet and seven school records have been set in the sprint and relay events under Henry's watch.
"The Henry name has been synonymous with track and field - locally and nationally - for many decades," said UNM athletics director Paul Krebs. "I'm disappointed that future Lobo student-athletes will not have the benefit of receiving guidance and coaching from Matt and Mark. They have worked tirelessly for the New Mexico track program and the sport of track and field. They will be missed."
Both Matt and Mark say they plan to stay in the Albuquerque area after finishing at UNM. Matt's sons Kurt (a junior) and Kyle (a freshman) will both remain with the program.
NEW MEXICO TRACK & FIELD CLUB Click here to apply for membership.
Championship track and field programs are not built overnight. They are constructed gradually, built upon a strong foundation of pride, tradition and a commitment to excellence. The University of New Mexico track and field program has built its legacy with the same championship formula.
Since 1930, New Mexico athletes have earned All-America honors 70 times, won 11 NCAA Championship events and claimed 202 conference events. Perhaps the most exceptional group of athletes ever to compete in any sport at UNM were on legendary coach Hugh Hackett's track and field teams of the 1960s.
A large group of Lobo legends from that era, including coach Hackett and former national champions Adolph Plummer and Art Baxter, reunited in Albuquerque on Jan. 20, 2006 for a memorable evening spent sharing memories and reaffirming a commitment to New Mexico track and field excellence. That night, reunion organizer Rene Matison, a two-time All-American at UNM, announced the founding of the New Mexico Track & Field/Cross Country Club.
The organization seeks to unite all the alumni, friends and supporters who have been part of New Mexico's proud track & field history and would like to help the program continue its ascent under head coach Matt Henry. The New Mexico Track & Field Club goals include celebrating and preserving the program's proud tradition while helping current and future generations of Lobo track and field athletes establish a championship legacy of their own through facility and equipment upgrades and donations to the track and field scholarship fund.
In its first year, the club raised funds to sponsor the UNM Men's and Women's Athlete of the Year awards, assist with team equipment needs and begin creating a New Mexico Track & Field Wall of Champions at the Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium. The group also helped secure funding for a Daktronics track & field scoreboard which is scheduled to be installed in the spring of `07.
More help is needed though and the New Mexico Track & Field/Cross Club is looking for members who want to see Lobo Track & Field once again take its place among the elite programs in the Mountain West Conference and eventually, the nation.
For more information contact Rene Matison via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Lobo Track & Field office at (505) 925-5735.