Stevens: Lobos Eye MWC Indoor Championships As Gateway to NCAA
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/23/2011
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Feb. 23, 2011

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MWC Indoor Championship Central

Live Results

Lobo Men's-Women's Track -- The Mountain West Indoor Championships
Thursday-Saturday -- Albuquerque Convention Center

By Richard Stevens -- Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

Lobo coach Joe Franklin promises that he`s "not sandbagging," this time when he says the Brigham Young Cougars will wear the men's and women's Mountain West Conference Indoor crowns.

He says the Cougars are loaded on both sides and when all the running, jumping and throwing is over this weekend at the Albuquerque Convention Center, BYU will be Kings and Queens indoors. The BYU men are looking for their ninth straight indoor title. The Cougar women are chasing their 10th crown.

The stat sheets confirm Franklin's message. It appears the only way the Cougars can fail is if they think it's the MWC outdoor meet and head over to the Lobo track instead of the Convention Center.

"BYU is probably 100-point favorites on both sides (men/women)," said the New Mexico track coach. "And I'm not sandbagging this time."

Franklin ho-hummed UNM's chances in the 2010 NCAA West Regional Cross Country Championships where the Lobos threw out an impressive sweep. At the indoor meet that runs Thursday through Saturday, Franklin thinks super performances by his Lobos could push his men as high as No. 2 and his women as high as No. 3.

The Lobos' best combined finish came in 2009 when the UNM men finished second and the UNM women finished fifth. The women's best finish was fourth in the 2001 MWC meet.

"We have people who can win a lot of event or do well in them," said Franklin. "But we don't have super depth. BYU has quality and depth."

The Lobos and the Convention Center are hosts for the indoor meet for the fourth time in the 12-year history of the league. It's difficult not to think the Lobos don't have visions of a team title dancing in their heads. However, Franklin says the main thrust of this meet is to win some individual MWC crowns and push as many Lobos as possible onto the NCAA meet.

UNM has three players qualified for the NCAA postseason in Natalie Gray (5,000 meters), Ruth Senior (5,000) and Ross Millington (3,000). Gray and Senior, both juniors, clocked NCAA automatic-qualifying times of 15:54.29 and 16:02.38, respectively.

There are a number of other Lobos capable of advancing including Deanne Young (triple jump), De'Vron Walker (hurdles), Richard York (combined), Precious Selmon (hurdles), Logan Pfibsen (pole vault) and the distance medley relay team.

Walker, a sophomore, became the first Lobo to run the men's 60-meter hurdles in under eight seconds, setting a new program record with a altitude adjusted time of 7.94. That run ranks first in the MWC this season and fourth all-time in MWC history.

There are a number of sensational individuals performing in the Convention Center.

  • Air Force senior Justin Tyner is the league's top-returning 3,000-meter runner and has the MWC's best time this season at 7:53.91.
  • Falcon senior Melissa Beerse holds the Academy record in the women's pole vault at 13 feet, 6.5 inches.
  • Air Force's Morgan Mosby owns the school's top all-time mark in the 1,000-meter run at 2:54.62.
  • BYU's Leif Arrhenius has the league's top shot put heave at 61 feet, 4.75 inches and the best weight throw at 69 feet, 1.25 inches. CSU's Ian Lettow has 62-0.25 weight throw.
  • Cougar Mile Batty set a new MWC mark in the men's mile at 3:55.79.
  • Cougar Lacey Bleazard has the BYU mark in the 800-meter run at 2:03.89.
  • BYU's Ada Robinson set a new MWC record in the high jump at 6 feet, 1.25 inches.
  • San Diego State's Whitney Ashley set Aztec marks in the shot put (50-4.50 and weight throw (61-5.00).
  • TCU's Mychal Dungey is looking for his second MWC 200-meter title. His 21.38 clocking is the top MWC sprint indoors.
  • TCU's Jessica Young set a league mark in the women's 60-meter dash at 7.18, which is the fastest time in the nation.
  • UNLV's Chelsea Cassulo and Amanda Bingson have the MWC's two top marks in the weight throw at 64-8.00 and 63-5.00, respectively.
  • Utah's Langley Iverson has a career-best in the high jump at 6-0.75, an NCAA qualifying mark.
  • Wyoming's Jeremiah James, the 2010 MWC High Point Award recipient, returns to defend his triple jump and long jump titles.
  • Wyoming's Afiya Walker has the women's fastest time at 400-meters at 53.75.

    Franklin said the meet, and particularly Saturday's finals, with be "spectator friendly, with great competition in a short window."

    Schedule of Events:

    Thursday (Feb. 24):

    11:00am Men's Heptathlon 60m Dash, (Followed by LJ, SP and HJ)
    11:10am Women's Pentathlon 60m Hurdles, (Followed by HJ, SP, LJ and 800m)

    Friday (Feb. 25):

    11:00am Men's Heptathlon 60m Hurdles, (Followed by PV and 1000m run)
    Field Events
    1:00pm Women's 20 lb. Weight Throw Trials & Final
    1:00pm Men's Long Jump Trials & Final

    2:30pm Women's Pole Vault Final

    3:00pm Women's Long Jump Trials & Final

    3:30pm Men's 35 lb. Weight Throw Trials & Final

    4:00pm Men's High Jump Final

    Track Events

    1:30pm Women's 5000m Run Final

    1:55pm Men's 5000m Run Final

    2:20pm Women's 60m Hurdles Qualifying

    2:35pm Men's 60m Hurdles Qualifying

    2:50pm Women's 60m Dash Qualifying

    3:05pm Men's 60m Dash Qualifying

    3:20pm Women's Mile Run Qualifying

    3:35pm Men's Mile Run Qualifying

    3:50pm Women's 400m Dash Qualifying

    4:05pm Men's 400m Dash Qualifying

    4:20pm Women's 800m Run Qualifying

    4:35pm Men's 800m Run Qualifying

    4:50pm Women's 200m Dash Qualifying

    5:05pm Men's 200m Dash Qualifying

    5:20pm Women's Distance Medley Final

    5:35pm Men's Distance Medley Final

    Saturday (Feb. 26)

    Field Events
    9:45am Women's Shot Put Trials & Final

    9:45am Women's Triple Jump Trials & Final

    11:00am Men's Pole Vault Final

    11:45am Women's High Jump Final

    11:45am Men's Triple Jump Trials & Final

    11:45am Men's Shot Put Trials & Final

    Track Events
    10:45am Women's 60m Hurdles Final

    10:55am Men's 60m Hurdles Final

    11:05am Women's 60m Dash Final

    11:15am Men's 60m Dash Final

    11:25am Women's Mile Run Final

    11:35am Men's Mile Run Final

    11:45am Women's 400m Dash Final (2 sections)

    11:55am Men's 400m Dash Final (2 sections)

    12:05pm Women's 800m Run Final

    12:15pm Men's 800m Run Final

    12:25pm Women's 200m Dash Final (2 sections)

    12:35pm Men's 200m Dash Final (2 sections)

    12:45pm Women's 3000m Run Final

    1:10pm Men's 3000m Run Final

    1:25pm Women's 4x400 (Mile) Relay Final

    1:40pm Men's 4x400 (Mile) Relay Final

    2:30pm Awards Ceremony


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