Huge Field Competing In Saturday's Don Kirby Invitational
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/30/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 30, 2009

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Updated Final Event Schedule
ALL-ACCESS VIDEO: Head Coach Joe Franklin Press Conference
• ALL-ACCESS VIDEOS: Jermaine McQueen Interview | Jarrin Solomon Interview


The University of New Mexico will host its final home meet of 2009 on Saturday when nine collegiate and 17 New Mexico high school teams converge at the Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium for the 19th Don Kirby Memorial Invitational and Rio Rancho High School Invitational. UNM head coach Joe Franklin's decision to combine the collegiate and high school meets for the first time at the Don Kirby Invitational will make this one of the largest fields ever for a Lobo home track meet. The first event gets underway at 8 a.m. with the meet expected to conclude at 5:45 p.m.

Admission at the gate is $5 for adults, $3 for children, and free for UNM students with a Lobo ID card. Concession stands will be open throughout the day.

The Don Kirby Invitational will also mark the final home appearance for 14 New Mexico seniors, including 2008 NCAA javelin silver medalist Katie Coronado (Ruidoso, N.M.), 2009 NCAA Indoor 400m All-American Jarrin Solomon (Albuquerque La Cueva HS), Mountain West Conference javelin record holder Anthony Fairbanks (Albuquerque Highland HS), and UNM outdoor pole vault record holder Whitney Johnson (Mission Viejo, Calif.).

Senior Lee Emanuel, meanwhile, will lead a group of elite Lobo distance runners competing at Stanford's Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on Saturday night. Emanuel, who owns the nation's second-fastest 1,500-meter time (school record 3:37.99), will run his marquee event for the second time this season.


Results: Will be posted on www.GoLobos.com immediately following the conclusion of the final event (approximately 6 p.m. Mountain)

Schedule: The action gets underway bright and early with the collegiate women's 5,000 meters at 8 a.m. The final event of the day, the collegiate men's 4x400m relay is slated to start at 5:40 p.m. High school running events will be held before and after each collegiate event throughout the day. The high school field events will all be held between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m. with the majority of the collegiate field events to follow from 12:30 to 5 p.m.

Collegiate Teams Represented (9): Colorado College, Diné College, New Mexico, New Mexico Highlands, New Mexico JC, NMMI, New Mexico State, South Plains College, UTEP.

High School Teams Represented (17): Atrisco Heritage, Belen, Bernalillo, Capital, Gallup, Goddard, Grants, Hope Christian, Los Lunas, Moriarty, Pojoaque, Raton, Rio Rancho, Robertson, St. Michael's, Valencia, West Las Vegas.

Albuquerque Weather Report: The weather report as of Wed., April 29 predicts a great day for spectators and athletes alike on Saturday. Temperatures will reach the mid 70s with some clouds to keep the sun in check. There is no chance of precipitation and wind shouldn't be a huge factor with speeds reaching 18 mph.

Don Kirby Memorial Invitational History: Named in honor of the longtime Albuquerque meet official and friend of the UNM track and field program, the first Don Kirby Memorial Invitational was held on April 2, 1991 as a scored meet between the men's and women's teams of New Mexico, San Diego State and Cal State Los Angeles. The Lobos won the men's competition 141-94 over runner up SDSU but finished second behind the Aztecs on the women's side, 128-74.5.

Last year the Lobos won 10 events and the women's team clinched the Rio Grande Rivalry title for UNM with a 204-143 victory over New Mexico State.

Directions: The G.F.O. UNM Track Stadium is located on Avenida Cesar Chavez, east of University Blvd. The track facility is on the east side of University Stadium (football). Fans should enter at the north side of the facility.


Live Video: Click here for complete video coverage, including live commentary, on Flotrack.org.

Live Results: Click here for live results

Weather: The forecast in Stanford calls for a high of 69 and a 40% chance of showers. Wind isn't expected to be a factor with speeds reaching just 13 mph.

Lobos Travel Squad: Jr. Nicky Archer (Kim McDonald 10,000); Sr. Mat Ashton (10,000 - section 2); Jr. Chris Barnicle (10,000m - secion 2); Jr. David Bishop (1,500 - section 3); Sr. Laura Bowerman (5,000m); Jr. Michelle Corrigan (5,000 - section 2); Sr. Lee Emanuel (1,500 - section 1); Jr. Rory Fraser (1,500 - section 3); Jr. Ashley Gibson (1,500 - section 2); Fr. Ross Millington (1,500 - section 3).


Fourteen Lobo seniors will compete for the last time as collegians at G.F.O. UNM Track Stadium. The list includes two All-Americans, two conference champions, seven all-MWC honorees, and three school record holders.

2009 UNM Seniors Appearing On Saturday
Women: Katie Coronado (Ruidoso, N.M.) - javelin; Becky Green (Arlington, Texas) - 1,500m; Whitney Johnson (Mission Viejo, Calif.) - pole vault; Leslie Luna (Albuquerque, N.M.) - 5,000m; Stasia Ploskonka (Albuquerque, N.M.) - 1,500m/3,000m steeplechase; Brittany Smith (Kent, Wash.) - long/triple jumps; Vanessa Strobbe (Albuquerque, N.M.) - javelin; Andrea Wright (Greenbelt, Md.) - 800m/4x400 relay.

Men: Josh Cosio (Albuquerque, N.M.) - high jump; Ezra Esquibel (Albuquerque, N.M.) - 800m; Anthony Fairbanks (Albuquerque, N.M.) - javelin/discus; Jermaine McQueen (Raleigh, N.C.) - 4x100 relay; Domnick Meadows (Albuquerque, N.M.) - long/triple jumps; Jarrin Solomon (Albuquerque, N.M.) - 400m.


New Mexico has already smashed its program record with 16 athletes qualified for the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships (in 12 different events). Last year, UNM tied the program record with 13 individuals qualified for the regional meet. The group of 16 includes 10 men and six women.

An additional four athletes (two men, two women) have reached the NCAA provisional qualifying standard in the 10,000 meters. The 10K and multi-event competitions are the only events not contested at the regional meets.


Senior Jermaine McQueen was selected as the Mountain West Conference Men's Outdoor Track & Field Athlete of the Week the conference office announced on April 28. New Mexico has won or shared the past three MWC Men's Athlete of the Week awards with middle distance man Lee Emanuel capturing league honors on April 14 and 21. The Lobos' three men's awards and four combined men's and women's awards this spring are tied for the most in program history (2007).

The New Mexico men have captured eight Outdoor Athlete of the Week awards over the past three years after winning just six times from 2000-06 and none in their first two seasons in the league

McQueen won the university section of the 100-meter dash with an NCAA regional-qualifying time of 10.46 to lead New Mexico at California's Brutus Hamilton Invitational on April 25. His MWC-leading time was the fastest by a Lobo since 1986 and moved him up to third on the school's all-time performers list.

McQueen, whose 100-meter time is tied for 38th in the nation, also led the Lobo 4x100 relay team to a second-place finish with a time of 40.82. The relay performance is the second-fastest time in the league this year and places the team fifth all-time in school history. The Raleigh, N.C., native moved the Lobos from third to second on the anchor leg of the relay.

The former wide receiver is the first Lobo short sprinter (100m/200m) to win the Athlete of the Week award.

LAST TIME OUT: Brutus Hamilton Invitational (California)

Day Two
Senior Jermaine McQueen won the university section of the 100 meters with an NCAA regional qualifying time of 10.46 to lead the University of New Mexico at California's Brutus Hamilton Invitational on April 25. McQueen's Mountain West Conference leading time was the fastest by a Lobo since 1986 and moved him up to third on the school's all-time performers list.

The former wide receiver for the UNM football team punched his ticket to the regional meet in the 200 meters earlier in the year.

McQueen's freshman teammate Thomas Trujillo (Rio Rancho, N.M.) clocked a season-best 10.84 to finish fourth in the 100.

The duo also led the Lobo 4x100 relay team to a second place finish, behind the host Bears, with a time of 40.82. It's the second-fastest time in the MWC this year and moved the team into fifth on the all-time UNM performers list.

Junior Alesha Walker helped New Mexico sweep the 100, winning with a time of 12.01 in her season-debut in the event.

Senior Katie Coronado paced the Lobos' in the field, finishing second (top collegian) in the javelin with a throw of 156' 4" (47.66m).

Day One
Junior Kim Perkins clocked an NCAA regional qualifying time of 59.88 in the 400-meter hurdles to lead a strong effort by the Lobos on day one. Senior Anthony Fairbanks had the top performance in the field, extending his Mountain West Conference lead in the javelin with a throw of 218' 4" (66.54m).

Perkins was the story of the day, however, as she finished second in the 400 hurdles and became the first woman in school history to advance to the regional championships in the event. New Mexico now has a program record 16 athletes qualified for the regional meet - already three more than last year's record-tying total.

The Clovis, N.M. product cut a remarkable 1.51 seconds off her previous best in the hurdles and clocked the third-fastest time in UNM history. It was the fastest time by a Lobo since 1986.

Fairbanks, meanwhile, added another two feet to his season-best and regional qualifying mark in the javelin in a second place finish.

Elsewhere, senior transfer Laura Bowerman ran her fastest 5,000m since 2005 with a time of 16:52.16 (3rd). Bowerman was just 0.16 seconds off the NCAA regional qualifying standard as she became the eighth woman in UNM history to run under 17 minutes in the event.

Redshirt freshman Alex Darling jumped into third on the Lobos' all-time performers list in the 3,000 steeplechase with a time of 11:06.09 (2nd) in her debut in the event. Senior teammates Stasia Ploskonka ran a career-best 11:13.96 (4th all-time) to finish third in the event.

One of the most surprising performance of the day came from junior Kelly Fortner, who smashed her previous best in the pole vault by over a foot with a jump of 11' 7 ¾" (3.55m) to finish tied for third in the section B competition. Fortner's effort moved her up to seventh on the UNM all-time performers list.

Solomon At The Penn Relays
On April 25, meanwhile, senior Jarrin Solomon ran a sensational anchor split time of 44.86 to lead the Trinidad & Tobago in the nationally-televised "USA vs. The World" 4x400 race at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia. Only six men on the seven national teams in the race, including two USA squads, ran faster splits than Solomon.

The Albuquerque La Cueva product, who holds dual citizenship with the United States, led the T&T team to a time of 3:03.57. The USA Red team won the event with a time of 2:59.78. .


The New Mexico men moved up five spots to No. 33 while the women also climbed five spots to No. 44 in the week four USATFCCCA national team rankings. There are 201 teams currently ranked on the women's list and 187 on the men's side. The Lobos are fourth among the nine women's teams in the MWC and second among the six men's teams in the league.


The 2009 Lobos have put their name on the school's top-10 performers list in 16 events so far this spring, including school records for Lee Emanuel in the 1,500 and Katie Coronado in the javelin. Here's the rest of the top-10 performers this year:

Men's 100 Meters
3. Jermaine McQueen.....10.46.....2009

Men's 200 Meters
5. Jermaine McQueen.....21.11.....2009

Men's 400 Meters
5. Jarrin Solomon.....46.27.....2009

Men's 1,500 Meters
1. Lee Emanuel.....3:37.99.....2009
7. Ross Millington.....3:45.04.....2009
10. David Bishop.....3:46.79.....2009

Men's 5,000 Meters
3. Rory Fraser.....13:39.85.....2009
8. Chris Barnicle.....14:00.16.....2009
10. Mat Ashton.....14:05.66.....2009

Men's 10,000 Meters
7. Chris Barnicle.....28:58.96.....2009

Men's 4x100-Meter Relay
5. Trujillo, Reid, Roberts, McQueen.....40.82.....2009

Women's 1,500 Meters
4. Ashley Gibson.....4:23.96.....2009

Women's 5,000 Meters
4. Nicky Archer.....16:47.38.....2009
8. Laura Bowerman.....16:52.16.....2009

Women's 10,000 Meters
3. Michelle Corrigan.....34:12.31.....2009
5. Nicky Archer.....34:32.21.....2009

400-Meter Hurdles
3. Kim Perkins.....59.88.....2009

3,000-Meter Steeplechase
3. Alex Darling.....11:06.09.....2009
4. Stasia Ploskonka.....11:13.79.....2009

Pole Vault
7. Kelly Fortner.....11-07.75.....2009
8. Amber Menke.....11-01.75.....2009
8. Aditi Majumdar.....11-01.75.....2009

Women's Triple Jump
8. Asal Salehpoor.....38-08.25.....2009

Women's Hammer
5. Tami Williams.....145-04.....2009

Women's Javelin
1. Katie Coronado.....181-00.....2009


Head coach Joe Franklin announced that junior All-American Deanna Young (triple jump/long jump) will undergo knee surgery and will redshirt the 2009 outdoor season. Senior Sandy Fortner, the 2008 MWC pentathlon/heptathlon champion, will continue to redshirt outdoors while she recovers from a knee injury.

Junior long jumper/sprinter Alesha Walker, however, will return to action after redshirting the 2009 indoor season. Walker was the `09 outdoor MWC runner-up in the long jump and holds the school record in the event with a top mark of 21-04.00.