Lobosí Jumpers, Mid-Distance Open Outdoor Season in Texas and Arizona
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/25/2014

What: Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays & Arizona State Invitational
When: Texas Relays - March 26-29; ASU Invite - March 28-29
Where: Texas Relay - Mike A. Myers Stadium; ASU Invite - Joe Selleh Track

After an indoor season in which New Mexico swept the Mountain West championships and earned two All-American nods, the Lobos have grand plans for their outdoor campaign.

They’ll look to some of their top field athletes and some mid-distance talent to get them started.

The University of New Mexico track and field team is sending a handful of athletes to the 87th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas, and the Arizona State Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., this week as the Lobos kick off their 2014 outdoor season.

UNM is taking five jumpers and a decathlete to the Texas Relays at Mike A. Myers Stadium, while two mid-distance runners will head to the the ASU Invitational at Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium.

“This weekend is about just getting going again,” New Mexico head coach Joe Franklin said.

With the outdoor season just starting — some teams, including the majority of the Lobos, still won’t open for another week or so — New Mexico is aiming to put athletes into contention for the postseason.

The top 48 athletes in each event in the NCAA’s West Region advance to the NCAA West Preliminary Championship, which is the qualifying meet for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.

With that top-48 ranking in mind, the Lobos are sending some of their best to Texas and Arizona.

In Texas 2014 Mountain West indoor titlists Kendall Spencer and Aasha Marler and two-time MW decathlon champion Richard York are making their debuts.

“The jumpers typically have great experiences at Texas, very similar to the distance runners and Stanford,” Franklin said. “So it gives them a chance to go out and compete and hopefully get some good marks and get done what they need to for regionals.”

Spencer, a three-time conference champion in the long jump, heads to Texas with an outdoor record of 26 feet, 8 ¼ inches, which is second all-time at UNM and the MW record. He advanced to the West Preliminaries last year, missing out on advancing to the national finals by one place.

However, Spencer is fresh off an All-American performance two weeks ago at the UNM- and Albuquerque-hosted NCAA Indoor Championships. He jumps in the A section of the long jump Friday night.

JP Cordova  

Joining Spencer in the long jump is Yannick Roggatz, the runner up in the long jump at last month’s MW indoor meet.

Roggatz carries a best of 24-7 ¼ in the long jump, which he recorded at the MW Championships, and has been jumping well in 2014. He competes in the B section on Friday morning.

For the women, Marler enters the meet on a hot streak, having set the UNM indoor long jump record and winning the long jump her last time out at the MW Indoor Championships.

She has a personal (and school) record of 20-5 set indoors at the conference meet, and looks to improve on her outdoor best of 18-8 set in 2012.

She competes Friday in the women’s A section Friday night.

Two triple jumpers are also competing at the Texas Relays, with Jannell Hadnot and Warrick Campbell.

Hadnot, the freshman phenom who jumped to second all-time in UNM history indoors, looks to replicate her success outdoors. She owns a personal best of 42-3 ½ set in February, that ended as one of the top marks by a freshman during the indoor season.

She is entered in the A section of the triple jump, and is one of two freshman in the 16-athlete section.

Campbell also had a strong indoor season, which culminated in a conference title in the triple jump. His career best is 52 feet even, and has an outdoor record of 49-11 ¾.

He competes Friday afternoon in the men’s A section.

The final athlete traveling to the Lonestar State is Richard York, the two-time MW decathlon champion. York, who redshirted last spring, owns a personal record of 7,513 points in the 10-event decathlon, which ranks fourth in school history and third in conference history.

He starts action Wednesday with the 100-meter run, the long jump, the shot put, the high jump and the 400. He finished Thursday with the 110 hurdles, the discus, the pole vault, the javelin and the 1500.

Out in Arizona, Peter Callahan and JP Cordova will open the season in the 800 as both look to get some competition under their belts.

“It’s just to get some first races for them,” Franklin said.

Callahan, a transfer from Princeton, has run 1:48.66 in the 800 indoors and won the 1500 at the Ivy League Championships last year.

Cordova owns a personal-best time of 1:51.36 in the 800, which he posted in a scoring effort at last year’s MW Outdoor Championships.

The duo race Saturday afternoon.

Check back Saturday for a complete recap of the Lobos action in Texas and Arizona and follow the action on Twitter by following the official UNM track & field account at @Lobo_track.