Feb. 29, 2008
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Junior Josh Cosio finished second in the men's high jump and sophomore Alesha Walker broke a school record en route to a fourth place finish in the women's long jump to lead the University of New Mexico on day two of the Mountain West Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Cadet Field House. Cosio earned all-MWC honors for the first time indoors and second time in his career, while Walker became the first UNM woman to jump 20-feet indoors.
New Mexico grabbed another silver medal on the track as the men's distance medley relay team of junior Lee Emanuel, sophomore Philip Reid, redshirt freshman Ryan Steadman and junior Mat Ashton edged Air Force for second place in the final track event of the day. The foursome clocked an altitude adjusted time of 10:01.33 - 0.05 seconds ahead of the Falcons and 1.11 seconds behind BYU - to give the Lobos their best finish in the DMR since 2005.
After finishing sixth in 2007, Cosio turned in the best high jump performance by a Lobo man at the MWC Indoor Championships, clearing 6' 8 3/4" (2.05m) to capture the silver medal. The Albuquerque Manzano product finished just one inch behind BYU senior Bryce Bergen.
Later in the women's long jump, Walker flew into the finals with a leap of 20' 1/4" (6.10m), breaking Keren Sari-Bentzur's 2001 record by 1 1/4 inches. Walker (Killeen, Texas) was unable to improve in the final round, but turned in the best finish by a UNM woman in the event since Sari-Bentzur's victory in 2003.
Junior teammate Sandy Fortner, meanwhile, placed eighth in the long jump with a mark of 18' 6 1/2" (5.65m) less than 24 hours after winning the MWC pentathlon title. The Fort Sumner, N.M. product scored in the event for the third consecutive year, joining Sari-Bentzur (2001-03) and Monique Harris (2000-02) as the only UNM women to do so at the MWC meet.
On the men's side, junior Domnick Meadows recorded the best long jump finish by a Lobo at the MWC Indoor Championships, placing fourth with a leap of 22' 8 1/2" (6.92m). A redshirt winter, Meadows missed a spot on the all-conference team by 3 1/2". The Albuquerque Del Norte product was fifth in the event in 2006.
In other finals action, the women's distance medley relay team of senior Kara Henry, junior Christina Zarrella, sophomore Kim Perkins and junior Carolyn Boosey finished fifth with an altitude adjusted time of 12:34.09.
New Mexico also qualified six athletes to Saturday's running event finals.
Fortner took another step towards team high point honors as she clocked an altitude adjusted time of 8.78 (5th) to advance to the finals of the 60-meter hurdles. Henry qualified in the women's mile with an adjusted time of 5:06.83 (8th), while Emanuel (4:18.61 - 7th) and sophomore Nick Argüelles - who recorded a career-best adjusted time of 4:14.11 (6th) - moved on in the men's mile.
Sophomore Brian Vallie qualified for the 800 finals for the second straight year with an adjusted time of 1:55.40 (6th).