April 8, 2009
UPCOMINGThe University of New Mexico will host the first of two outdoor home track meets on Saturday when it welcomes five teams to the Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium for the inaugural New Mexico Tailwind Invitational. The Lobos will take on 2009 Conference USA Indoor champion Rice women, Big Sky Conference men's and women's Indoor champions Northern Arizona, South Florida, Wyoming, and Eastern New Mexico in a rare regular season scored meet. It's the first scored home meet New Mexico has hosted outdoors since 1998.
The field events are tentatively scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. (Mountain) followed by the running events at 12:30 p.m. Admission is free and concession stands will be open.
Saturday's meet will mark the first and possibly final home race outdoors for NCAA mile champion Lee Emanuel. The Hastings, England product will make his 2009 outdoor debut in the 800 meters, which is currently scheduled for a 3:20 p.m. start. Emanuel hasn't competed since becoming the first Lobo in 32 years to win an NCAA individual gold medal on March 14. He did not appear in the Lobos' lone outdoor home meet last year.
UNM will also send a small group of athletes to Arizona State's Sun Angel Classic on Saturday. Indoor All-American Jarrin Solomon will make his 2009 outdoor debut, running both the 400 meters and 4x400 relay.
TAILWIND INVITATIONAL INFORMATION/RESULTSResults: www.GoLobos.com
Schedule: The action gets underway with the men's hammer throw at 10 a.m. The women's 3,000 meters will be the first event on the track at 12:30 p.m. The final event of the day, the men's 4x400m relay is slated to start at 4:15 p.m.
Full Teams Competing: Eastern New Mexico, New Mexico, Northern Arizona, Rice (women only), South Florida, Wyoming.
The Northern Arizona men and women swept the 2009 Big Sky Conference Indoor Championship titles, while the Rice women captured the Conference USA Indoor crown. New Mexico was the Mountain West Conference men's runner-up indoors and tied for 16th at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The Lobo men and women were both No. 46 in the outdoor preseason national rankings.
More Lobos To Watch: In addition to Emanuel's UNM outdoor debut several other Lobo standouts will be in action at G.F.O. UNM Track Stadium on Saturday. MWC long jump runner-up and school record holder Alesha Walker will compete in her marquee event at 2 p.m., while MWC record holder Anthony Fairbanks will throw the javelin at 2:45 p.m. Breakthrough sprinter and former Lobo wide receiver Jermaine McQueen will run the 100m at 4:15 p.m., as well as both relay races. Junior Rory Fraser, an NCAA Indoor qualifier in the 5,000 this past winter, will join Emanuel in the 800 in his collegiate outdoor debut. Long distance standouts Chris Barnicle and Mat Ashton will drop down to run the 1,500 at 5:35 p.m. in their first outdoor meet at UNM.
Albuquerque Weather Report: Cooler weather is projected to arrive in the Duke City on Saturday, but conditions shouldn't hamper performances too badly. The forecast calls for a high of 56 with a 30% chance of showers and wind speeds reaching 16 mph. However, should the cold front arrive late, athletes and fans could be treated to sunny skies at highs of 70, which is the current forecast for Friday.
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.
SUN ANGEL CLASSIC MEET INFORMATION/RESULTSResults: www.TheSunDevils.com
Weather: The forecast in Tempe calls for a high of 69 and a 30% chance of thunderstorms. Wind isn't expected to be a factor with speeds reaching just 9 mph.
Lobos To Watch: After a month off from competition, senior All-American Jarrin Solomon returns to action in his first race since a fifth place finish in the 400m at the NCAA Indoor Championships (March 14). It will be his first collegiate meet outdoors since a 17th place finish at the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Solomon, who redshirted last year has won the 400 in his last two MWC Championship appearances (2007 Outdoor, 2009 Indoor). The Albuquerque La Cueva product is slated to run the 400 and 4x400 relay on Saturday.
CORONADO NAMED MWC ATHLETE OF THE WEEKSenior javelin thrower Katie Coronado has been selected as the Mountain West Conference Women's Outdoor Track & Field Athlete of the Week the league announced on April 7. Coronado is the first UNM woman honored since she picked up her first Athlete of the Week award in 2007.
The Ruidoso, N.M. product broke her own school record at the Texas Relays last weekend. Coronado threw 181' (55.18m) and defeated four NCAA Championship qualifiers in a second place finish in the elite Section A javelin competition. Her mark is the third-best in NCAA Division I this spring as she became just the second woman in MWC history to throw over 180 feet.
LAST TIME OUT: Pomona-Pitzer Invitational/Texas RelaysFormer University of New Mexico wide receiver Jermaine McQueen is quickly making a name for himself as one of the top sprinters in Lobo track and field history. The senior was the top collegiate finisher (second overall) in both the 200 and 100 meters on April 4 at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational, clocking career-best times of 21.11 and 10.62, respectively.
McQueen became the first Lobo since 2003 to qualify for the NCAA regional championships in the 200, while moving into fifth on the UNM all-time performers list in the event. His time ranks seventh on the 2009 NCAA Division I descending order list entering the weekend.
Earlier in the day, he missed the regional qualifying standard by 0.07 seconds while jumping into sixth on the Lobos' all-time performers list in the 100.
McQueen, who transferred to UNM from Palomar College in the summer of 2007, is in his first full collegiate track season. The Raleigh, N.C. product trained with the team for just two weeks last spring before making his lone appearance of 2008 at the Mountain West Conference Championships.
He is coming off an all-MWC indoor season, capped by his bronze medal performance in the 200 at the 2009 MWC Indoor Championships.
Other New Mexico highlights on Saturday included:
-Junior Kim Perkins finishing third in the 400m hurdles with a career-best time of 1:01.35 - 0.53 shy of the regional qualifying standard
-Senior transfer Andrea Wright leading all collegians (third overall) with a time of 2:13.51 in the 800m
-Sophomore Ryan Steadman clocking a time of 1:51.90 in a third place finish in the 800m
-Freshman Dominick Roberts running a 48.56 to finish fourth in the 400
-Freshman Chad Clark finishing third in the 400 hurdles with a time of 54.16
-Junior Matthew Henry-Marshall placing third in the discus with a throw of 163' 1" (49.70m)
Earlier in the day, senior Katie Coronado broke her own school record with a throw of 181 feet (55.18) in a second place finish in the elite section A javelin competition at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Coronado's mark was the third-best in NCAA Division I this spring as she became the second woman in Mountain West Conference history to throw over 180 feet.
Coronado recorded her previous best throw of 179' 6" in a runner-up finish at the 2008 NCAA Championship meet.
Abilene Christian junior Linda Brivule, the Division II national champion and 2008 Olympian (Latvia), won the event with a mark of 184' 6" (56.25m).
It was just Coronado's third loss in her last 13 collegiate meets over the past two seasons. The Ruidoso, N.M. product opened the 2009 season with easy wins at UNLV and Arizona State.
NATIONAL RANKINGS WATCHThe New Mexico women moved up a spot to No. 45, while the men check in at No. 60 in the week one USATFCCCA national team rankings. There are 194 teams currently ranked on the women's list and 191 on the men's side. The Lobos are second among the nine women's teams in the MWC and third among the six men's teams in the league.
PERSONNEL MOVESHead 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.
FORMER DISTANCE STAR GONZALES NAMED TO MWC ANNIVERSARY TEAMFormer University of New Mexico distance standout Matt Gonzales was named to the Mountain West Conference 10th Anniversary Men's Outdoor Track & Field Team. Gonzales earned All-America honors in the 10,000 meters at the 2003 and 2004 NCAA Outdoor Championships, and won the 2004 MWC 5,000m title.
Gonzales was the first national track star under former head coach Matt Henry and helped spark the resurrection of the UNM men's program. The Santa Fe, N.M. product snapped a 12-year All-America drought for the Lobos with his third place finish in the 10K at the 2003 NCAA Championships. He went on to finish fourth in the event the following year to become New Mexico's first two-time All-American in the 10,000.
Gonzales still holds the UNM outdoor record in the 5,000 (13:35.59) and ranks fourth all-time at New Mexico in the 10,000 (28:17.46).
He also became the program's first NCAA regional champion with his stunning victory in the 1,500m at the 2003 NCAA Midwest Championships in Lincoln, Neb. The 5-5 Gonzales ran the fastest time of the day in the prelims and came back to shock the field again with a time of 3:42.83 that remains sixth on the UNM all-time list.
He won his lone MWC track title in 2004, cruising to the gold medal in the 5,000 in Las Vegas.
Gonzales was also named to the MWC 10th Anniversary Cross Country Team during the fall.
The 10th Anniversary Team is selected by a panel of media, institutional, and conference personnel, and an online fan poll. In order to be eligible for consideration, candidates must have won an individual title at the Mountain West Conference Championship and/or attained All-American status at least once in their careers.
50 YEARS AGO...The 2009 outdoor season marks the 50th anniversary of Dick Howard's NCAA gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles. Howard clocked a time of 50.6 to become the Lobos' first NCAA track and field champion at the `59 meet in Lincoln, Neb. His performance helped the UNM men finish 10th in the team standings and marked the arrival of a new national power in track and field.
The Lobos went on to win five more gold medals and notch five top-20 finishes, including two fifth place finishes, over the next seven years. UNM also won four straight Western Athletic Conference titles from 1964-67.
Howard went on to win the bronze medal in the 400 hurdles at the 1960 Rome Olympics, finishing behind teammates Glenn Davis and Cliff Cushman. Howard died in 1967 at age 32.
Feb. 7 at the Convention Center, moving into second on the MWC all-time list for the indoor 400.