March 4, 2006
SEATTLE - Senior Timmie Murphy sliced four seconds off her own school record and surpassed the NCAA provisional qualifying standard for the first time in her career, running a time of 9:33.11 in the women's 3,000 meters this afternoon at the University of Washington's Last Chance Qualifier meet. Murphy finished third in the race, but likely needed a time of 9:18.00 or faster to secure a bid to next weekend's NCAA Indoor Championship meet.
It was a similar situation last night in Colorado Springs as sophomore pole vaulter Whitney Johnson cleared a career-best and NCAA provisional qualifying mark of 13-01.75 at the Don Barrett Air Force Open. Johnson won the event easily and missed the UNM indoor record by just 3/4 of an inch, but likely needed a vault of 13-05.00 or higher to guarantee her spot in the NCAA Championship field.
Johnson, who was coming off a disappointing no height last week at the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships, ended her winter season on a high note as she improved on her personal record by 1.5 inches. Bridgid Isworth still holds the indoor record in the event, clearing 13-02.50 as she became the first Lobo woman to compete in the pole vault at the NCAA Championship meet in 2003.
Murphy, who is slated to redshirt the upcoming outdoor season, finished her final indoor campaign as the fastest UNM woman ever to run the 15-lap indoor 3,000. The Farmington, N.M. native finished among the top-3 in all seven 3K races she ran this winter.
On the men's side, pole vaulters Derek Mackel and Robert Caldwell will make their postseason plans on Monday when the NCAA selection committee announces the field for the 2006 indoor national championship meet. Ranked seventh and 11th, respectively, Mackel and Caldwell are expected to be the first pair of Lobo pole vaulters ever to compete at the same NCAA Championship meet. The men's pole vault will be held on Friday, March 10 at 4:35 p.m. (MST) at the NCAA Indoor Championship meet in Fayetteville, Ark.