Feb. 25, 2009
UPCOMINGThe University of New Mexico men's and women's track and field teams look to continue a record-setting winter when they travel to the U.S. Air Force Academy for the 10th Mountain West Conference Indoor Championship meet (Thursday-Saturday). The 27th-ranked UNM men are poised for their best MWC Indoor finish and could challenge the 1990 team's program record second place finish (118 points) at the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championships. The Lobos have never finished higher than fifth in the MWC men's indoor standings.
The UNM men returned to respectability under former head coach Matt Henry and his staff (2001-07) after nearly a decade of futility indoors. New Mexico went 10 straight seasons (1992-2001) without surpassing the 30-point mark at the indoor conference meet and from 1994-99 scored a total of 30.5, including just a single point 10 years ago at the 1999 WAC Championships.
This year, however, coach Joe Franklin's balanced Lobos feature scoring threats in virtually every event, led by gold medal contenders Jarrin Solomon (400m), Lee Emanuel (800m), Rory Fraser (3,000m/5,000m), David Bishop (mile), Josh Cosio (high jump), Jermaine McQueen (200m) and Solomon's 4x400 relay team.
The UNM women will have trouble replacing 2008 high point scorer Sandy Fortner and long jump standout Alesha Walker (both redshirting), as well as high jump champion Tiyana Peters (graduation). However, sprinter Ariel Burr, triple jumper Deanna Young, and distance standouts Michelle Corrigan, Nicky Archer and Ashley Gibson will be formidable individual threats this weekend.
MWC CHAMPIONSHIPS MEET INFORMATION/RESULTS
Schedule: The meet begins on Thursday at 11 a.m. (Mountain) with the women's pentathlon and first four events of the men's heptathlon.
Friday's schedule opens at 11 a.m. with the final three events of the men's heptathlon. The day will feature finals for the men's and women's weight throw, long jump, 5,000m run and distance medley, the women's pole vault and men's high jump. Prelims for the 60, 60 hurdles, 200, 400, 800 and mile will also be held on Friday. The day's events are scheduled to conclude at approximately 5:45 p.m.
The third and final day of competition gets underway at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Finals for the women's high jump, men's pole vault, men's and women's triple jump and shot put, and all remaining track events (60, 60 hurdles, 200, 400, 800, mile, 3,000, 4x400 relay) will be held. The meet is expected to conclude around 2 p.m.
Teams Competing (9): Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State (women only), TCU, UNLV (women only), Utah (women only), Wyoming.
Facility Information: The indoor track at Air Force's Cadet Field House is a six-lane, 268-meter, flat polyurethane surface oval that is housed in the multi-purpose facility (1,000 capacity). The sprints/hurdles straight includes eight lanes.
NEW MEXICO AT THE MWC INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
MENYEAR.....MWC Finish.....Events Won.....All-MWC Honors
2000......6th/6 (26 pts.).....---.....2
2001.....5th/6 (29 pts.).....---.....1
2002.....5th/6 (53 pts.).....---.....3
2003.....5th/6 (49 pts.).....---.....3
2004.....5th/6 (66 pts.).....1.....4
2005.....5th/6 (67 pts.).....2.....5
2006.....5th/6 (67 pts.).....---.....4
2007.....6th/6 (62 pts.).....1.....4
2008.....6th/6 (44.5 pts.).....---.....4
WOMENYEAR.....MWC Finish.....Events Won.....All-MWC Honors
2000.....6th/8 (39 pts.).....---.....3
2001.....4th/8 (57 pts.).....1.....4
2002.....7th/8 (51 pts.).....1.....5
2003.....6th/8 (49.5 pts.).....3.....4
2004.....6th/8 (23 pts.).....---.....2
2005.....7th/8 (31 pts.).....---.....3
2006.....5th/9 (57 pts.).....---.....6
2007.....7th/9 (38 pts.).....2.....2
2008.....6th/9 (51.5 pts.).....2.....4
ALL-CONFERENCE CANDIDATESThe annual all-Mountain West Conference team is comprised of the top three finishers in each event at the MWC Championships meet. The following are the athletes currently in top contention for indoor all-conference honors, ranking among the league's top five in their respective events entering this week's conference championship meet:
Sr. Ariel Burr* - 400m (2nd - 54.38)
Jr. Ashley Gibson - Mile (4th - 4:47.88)
Jr. Nicky Archer - 3,000m (4th - 9:40.71) & 5,000m (3rd - 16:45.75)
Sr. Michelle Corrigan - 5,000m (2nd - 16:34.58)
Jr. Deanna Young - Triple Jump (3rd - 42' 4 1/4")
* Burr also owns the 3rd-fastest time in the 200, but will not compete in that event
Sr. Jermaine McQueen - 60m (T-4th - 6.96) & 200m (2nd - 21.69)
Fr. Thomas Trujillo - 200m (3rd - 21.83)
Sr. Jarrin Solomon - 400m (1st - 46.69)
Sr. Lee Emanuel* - 800m (2nd - 1:50.30) & 3,000m (1st - 7:56.35)
Jr. David Bishop - Mile (2nd - 4:00.38)
Jr. Rory Fraser** - 3,000m (4th - 8:03.75)
Sr. Mat Ashton - 5,000m (5th - 14:06.61)
4x400m Relay Team (2nd - 3:13.59)
Sr. Josh Cosio - High Jump (T-1st - 6' 10 3/4")
Fr. Brandon Simpson - High Jump (T-1st - 6' 7 1/2")
Sr. Domnick Meadows - Triple Jump (3rd - 49' 3 1/2")
Jr. Matthew Henry-Marshall - Weight Throw (5th - 58' 11 1/4")
* Emanuel also owns the top time in the mile, but will not compete in that event
** Fraser also has the top time in the 5,000, but will not compete in that event
2008 MWC INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS REWINDAs expected, a lack of depth hampered the New Mexico men (6th - 44.5 points) and women (6th - 51.5 points) in the overall team standings at the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships. The individuals who did compete, however, were outstanding, combining for two conference titles, eight all-MWC medals (4 - men, 4 - women) and three school records over the three days of competition.
Junior Tiyana Peters cleared 5' 7" (1.70m) to become the Lobos' first three-time conference champion in the high jump. The Flanders, N.J. product joined Monique Harris (triple jump, 2001-02) and Keren Sari-Bentzur (pentathlon/long jump, 2003) as the only UNM women to win multiple conference titles indoors. She also earned all-MWC honors in the event for the third straight year indoors and fourth time in her career.
Junior Sandy Fortner, meanwhile, cleared 5' 5" (1.65m) to tie for third place. Fortner, who cleared a conference-best 5' 8 1/2" two days earlier in the pentathlon high jump, medaled in the event for the first time in career. It was her ninth event competition of the weekend.
The Fort Sumner, N.M. product opened her day on the track with a fourth place finish in the women's 60-meter hurdles finals, clocking a career-best altitude adjusted time of 8.65. Her finish was the best by a Lobo since Angela Whyte in 2000 as she became the first UNM woman to score in the event since 2001.
Fortner piled up a team-high 21.5 points - nine behind High Point Award winner Karoline Koehler of San Diego State - in the pentathlon (first), high jump (tied for third), hurdles (fourth) and long jump (eighth).
Sophomore Deanna Young turned in a remarkable conference triple jump performance. She broke former All-American Lavern Clarke's 18-year-old school record by four inches and was over 2 1/2 feet beyond her previous best in a third place finish with a mark of 42' 7" (12.98m).
In the men's triple jump, junior Domnick Meadows placed third to become the first Lobo ever to medal in the event indoors or outdoors. Meadows, who was fourth in the long jump, recorded a lifetime best mark of 48' 10 3/4" (14.90m) - almost a foot beyond his previous best. The Albuquerque Del Norte product led the UNM men with 11 points during the meet.
Junior transfer Lee Emanuel paced the Lobos on the track, using a late surge to take third in the mile with an altitude adjusted time of 4:14.62 - 1.04 seconds behind the winner, BYU junior Kyle Perry. Emanuel joined former All-American Matt Gonzales (second in 2004) as the Lobos' lone all-MWC honorees in the event.
After finishing sixth in 2007, Junior Josh Cosio turned in the best high jump performance by a Lobo man at the MWC Indoor Championships, clearing 6' 8 3/4" (2.05m) to capture the silver medal. The Albuquerque Manzano product finished just one inch behind BYU senior Bryce Bergen, earning all-MWC honors for the first time indoors and second time in his career.
Sophomore Alesha Walker broke a school record en route to a fourth place finish in the women's long jump. Walker became the first UNM woman to jump 20-feet indoors with a leap of 20' 1/4" (6.10m), breaking Keren Sari-Bentzur's 2001 record by 1 1/4 inches. Walker turned in the best finish by a UNM woman in the event since Sari-Bentzur's victory in 2003.
New Mexico grabbed another silver medal on the track as the men's distance medley relay team of junior Lee Emanuel, sophomore Philip Reid, redshirt freshman Ryan Steadman and junior Mat Ashton edged Air Force for second place.
Fortner won the pentathlon with a school record score of 4,005. Fortner became the second woman in Lobo history to win a conference title in the pentathlon, joining Sari-Bentzur, who captured the MWC title in 2003 with a then school record 3,845 points. Fortner recorded the fourth-best score in MWC history.
LAST TIME OUT: ISU Classic/Husky ClassicAfter four outstanding weeks at home in the Albuquerque Convention Center the University of New Mexico was sensational in its first major road meets of the 2009 season on Feb. 14 at Washington's Husky Classic and Iowa State's ISU Classic. Eight Lobos recorded NCAA provisional qualifying times and two more records fell on a remarkable day of competition.
Junior transfer Rory Fraser led the way in Seattle and likely secured his place in the NCAA Indoor Championship field with a time of 13:49.57 (sixth in section 4) in his first 5,000-meter race of the winter. Fraser was just three seconds shy of the NCAA automatic qualifying time and four seconds off All-American Matt Gonzales' 2005 school record in the event.
Fraser's was one of a string of fine 5K performances for the Lobos at the Dempsey Indoor Facility. Senior Matt Ashton clocked an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 14:06.61 (20th, section 4), while junior transfer Jacob Kirwa was also under the provisional standard with a time of 14:07.44. Sophomore Brock Hagerman was just 18 seconds off the provisional time, crossing the line in 14:27.32.
Earlier in the day, junior transfer David Bishop just missed becoming the second Lobo in as many weeks to clock a sub 4-minute mile as he crossed the line in an NCAA provisional qualifying 4:00.38 to win his heat.
Senior teammate Lee Emanuel, who clocked a school record 3:57.91 mile the previous week, ran a remarkable 7:56.35 in his first collegiate 3,000 race. The time broke Fraser's school record by over seven seconds and was just two seconds off the NCAA automatic qualifying time.
Meanwhile, on the women's side, senior Michelle Corrigan smashed her own UNM record and provisionally qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 5K (ninth) with a time of 16:34.58 - 30 seconds under her previous best. Junior teammate Nicky Archer missed the provisional standard by a mere 0.75 seconds with a time of 16:45.75 in her first collegiate 5,000.
The distance runners weren't the only ones turning heads on Saturday. Senior Jarrin Solomon's performance in Ames, Iowa served notice to the nation that he is a legitimate contender for the NCAA 400-meter crown. Solomon won the seeded race with a time of 46.85 to move to 3-0 in the event this season.
The Albuquerque La Cueva product defeated a loaded field that included two-time All-American, Big 10 champion and 2008 Olympian Gakologelwang Masheto (Illinois), 2008 Olympian and relay All-American Jose Acevedo (Kentucky), All-American Bobby McCoy (Arizona), and 2008 indoor/outdoor high school national champion JaVell Bullard (George Mason). It was Solomon's second head-to-head victory over McCoy this season.
Senior teammate Ariel Burr was the top collegian in the women's seeded 400 as she crossed the line second with a time of 54.54, trailing only 2008 Olympian Kou Luogon (53.81).
Junior Deanna Young picked up another victory for the Lobos in Iowa with an NCAA provisional qualifying leap of 42' (12.91m) in the triple jump.
MEN CLIMB TO NO. 27 IN NATIONAL RANKINGSAfter another record setting weekend, the University of New Mexico men's track and field team shot up to 27th in the Feb. 18 USTFCCCA NCAA Division I team rankings. New Mexico, which has climbed more than 50 spots over the past three weeks, trails only No. 18 BYU among Mountain West Conference teams in the national rankings and is four points away from breaking into the top-25.
Senior Lee Emanuel has led the charge for the Lobos this winter. The Hastings, England product has the sixth-fastest Division I time in the mile and ninth-fastest in the 3,000 meters.
Senior Jarrin Solomon owns the ninth-fastest 400 time, while junior transfer Rory Fraser is ranked ninth in the 5,000. Another junior transfer, David Bishop, is No. 15 in the mile. Fraser is also contributing points in the 3,000, where he is ranked 31st. .
EMANUEL CAPS HISTORIC WEEK WITH MWC AWARDSenior Lee Emanuel added another record to his resumé on Feb. 10 when he was named Mountain West Conference Men's Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Week. Emanuel is the first Lobo to earn the Men's Athlete of the Week award twice during the indoor season and three times overall during their track and field careers.
The Hastings, England product joins fellow senior Jarrin Solomon (400m) as the second New Mexico athlete honored this winter - also a first for the program. The UNM men have earned the weekly honor four times in the past four years after winning the award just once in the first seven years of the MWC's existence.
Emanuel made history on Feb. 7 when he became the Lobos' first sub four-minute miler with a time of 3:57.91 in the signature Meyo Mile race at Notre Dame's Meyo Invitational. The time is the fourth-fastest in the country this season.
Emanuel clocked the second fastest mile in MWC history as he became the first Lobo since 2005 to automatically qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships. Colorado State's Bryan Berryhill is the only man in league history to run faster, recording a time of 3:56.84 when he won the event at the 2001 NCAA Indoor Championships.
Emanuel shattered his own school record in the event by 4.56 seconds and was nearly two seconds under the NCAA automatic qualifying standard.
Emanuel finished second in an elite field of 11 and was one of a remarkable five men to run under four minutes in the Meyo Mile. Among the runners Emanuel defeated were: two-time All-American (DMR) and former Big Ten 1,500-meter champion Justin Switzer (Michigan), Conference USA 1,500m champion Mark Davidson (Tulsa) and three-time All-American (DMR, 1,500) Craig Miller (Wisconsin).