May 12, 2006
PROVO, Utah -- The University of New Mexico men's team put up big points in the pole vault, long jump and high jump to move into third place today at the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at BYU's Clarence F. Robison Track. Derek Mackel, Mike Powdrell and Josh Cosio all turned in all-MWC performances to help the UNM men score 40 points on day three. The Lobo women, meanwhile, added 8.5 points to their total to finish the afternoon in sixth place (12.5 pts.).
Mackel, a fifth-year senior, ended two years of frustration at the MWC meet, as he finished second to become the Lobos' first outdoor all-conference honoree in the pole vault. After failing to clear his opening height in 2004 and '05, the Albuquerque Sandia HS product sailed over the bar at 17' 3/4" on his first attempt before missing his final three runs at 17' 4 1/2".
Mackel, a two-time all-MWC honoree indoors, had the MWC title in hand before BYU freshman Whitney Neves cleared 17' 4 1/2" on his final attempt. Cougar senior Robison Pratt, a five-time MWC champion, surprisingly failed to score when he missed on all three attempts at his opening height of 17' 8 1/2".
UNM scored 16 points in the pole vault as junior Robert Caldwell finished fourth with a season-high clearance of 17' 3/4" and sophomore Zach Graham matched his career-best with a sixth place vault of 16' 3/4".
Powdrell, also a fifth-year senior, placed second in the long jump to earn the second all-conference medal of his career, but first since his rookie season of 2002 (3rd, high jump). The former UNM cornerback flew 24' 1 3/4" on his third attempt, holding the lead briefly before yesterday's decathlon champion, Kevin Johnson of Colorado State, recorded a mark of 24' 3 1/2" on his fifth jump. Powdrell became the first Lobo to earn all-conference honors in the long jump since Shannon Kincaid, another former football player, also finished second in 2000.
Sophomore Domnick Meadows, meanwhile, placed fourth in the event with a career-best mark of 23' 6 1/4" on his final legal jump. The Albuquerque Del Norte product was seventh in the event last spring and fifth at the '06 MWC Indoor Championships.
Cosio became the first Lobo rookie to earn all-MWC honors in the high jump since Powdrell and Hank Baskett III in 2002, clearing 6' 6 3/4" on his second attempt to finish third. Powdrell used three attempts to match Cosio's height to place fourth, scoring in the event for the third time in his career.
On the women's side, fifth-year senior Jamie Fishencord placed sixth in the hammer with a mark of 178' 6" and came back to finish eighth in the discus with a throw of 144'. Fishencord is the only UNM woman ever to score in the hammer and discus at the MWC Championships. She was third a year ago in the hammer and placed seventh in the discus in 2004.
Sophomore Tiyana Peters scored for the first time outdoors in the high jump, finishing tied for sixth with a mark of 5' 4 1/2". Freshman Sandy Fortner, who placed fifth in the heptathlon yesterday, added two more points with a seventh place effort in the long jump. Fortner ended a two-year scoring drought for the UNM women in the event with a jump of 18' 1 1/2".
Sophomore Joseph Garcia and junior Juan Ortega added seven more points to the men's total in the final event of the day, the 10,000-meter run, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively. Both men scored for the first time in their careers as Garcia crossed the line in 32:25.04, followed by Ortega in 32:31.72.
In the preliminary events, sophomores Ariel Burr and Kristan Matison both advanced to the league finals for the second year in a row. Burr flew into the 400-meter finals, slicing one hundredth of a second off her own school record with a time of 53.47*, good for fourth in the prelims. Matison cruised into the 100-meter finals with a time of 12.05* (fifth) and also advanced in the 200m with a career-best time of 24.42* (eighth).
The UNM men, meanwhile, qualified four runners for Saturday's finals, including three in the 400-meter dash. Sophomore Jarrin Solomon clocked a season-best time of 47.15*, the third-fastest preliminary time of the day, while freshman Taylor Siemon and junior Randle McCain also advanced. All three Lobos ran their fastest time of the spring as Siemon finished seventh with a time of 48.35* and McCain was ninth in 48.81*.
Senior Aaron Brack, who entered the meet as the No. 9 seed, moved on to the 100-meter finals for the second straight year, finishing fifth in the prelims with a time of 10.80*. Junior Mark Lamb advanced to 110-meter hurdles finals for the first time after clocking a time of 14.82* (eighth) this afternoon.
* indicates altitude-adjusted time recorded at an elevation of 4,627 feet in Provo.