Feb. 24, 2010
UPCOMINGThe Mountain West Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships return to Albuquerque this weekend (Thursday-Friday) after a two-year hiatus. The University of New Mexico hosted the meet in 2006 and 2007 at the city's world class facility at the Convention Center in downtown Albuquerque. Boasting one of their strongest indoor teams in the past decade, the host Lobos will be looking to put on a show in their final home appearance of the 2010 indoor season. The MWC meet will also kick off a historic weekend of track & field action at the new-look Convention Center, which will also be the site of the USA Indoor Championships (Saturday night - Sunday).
The MWC action begins on Thursday at 11 a.m. with the women's pentathlon and men's heptathlon competitions. The heptathlon concludes at 11 a.m. on Friday, followed by the first field events at 1 p.m. and opening event on the track at 1:30. Saturday's field events begin at 9:45 a.m., followed by the first race on the track at 10:45. Admission on Friday and Saturday is $5 at the door for adults and $3 for kids (ages 4 to 18) and UNM students (with a valid Lobo ID). Thursday's multi-event competitions are free to the public.
In just four years of action, the indoor track and field facility at the Albuquerque Convention Center has earned a well-deserved reputation as one of the premier venues in the America. This weekend's event will be the last of six UNM home meets and 11th of 13 total events held this winter at the facility. The Convention Center will also be the home of the NCAA Division II Championships (March 12-13).
MWC CHAMPIONSHIPS INFORMATION/RESULTSMWC Championships Central: http://www.themwc.com/champ/itrack-champ-2010.html
Live Results: http://www.sml1.com/recordtiming/mwc/2010indoor/
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 9:45 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 (9 women's, 6 men's): Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State (women only), TCU, UNLV (women only), Utah (women only), Wyoming.
Ranked Men's Teams (1): No. 22 New Mexico.
Ranked Women's Teams (2): No. 11 BYU, No. 25 San Diego State.
Lobo Men's Preview: New Mexico turned in its best MWC Indoor performance and tied a program record with its second place finish last year at Air Force, but the Lobos could be even stronger this winter. Led by a dominant distance crew, the No. 22 UNM men are poised to push nine-time MWC champion BYU, which has won seven straight conference titles indoors.
The Lobo 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 at the 1999 WAC Championships. The 2009 team officially signaled the beginning of a new era with its 102-point barrage at the Cadet Field House.
Head coach Joe Franklin's 2010 Lobos feature scoring threats in virtually every event, led by gold medal contenders Lee Emanuel (800m/mile), De'Vron Walker (60m hurdles), Rory Fraser (3,000m), David Bishop (mile), Richard York (heptathlon), Ty Kirk (triple jump), Jacob Kirwa (5,000m), and Fraser's distance medley relay team.
While New Mexico expects to score well in the mid-distance and distance events, the key to a truly special meet could lie in the extra points the Lobos receive from sprinters Kendall Spencer and Lamaar Thomas, pole vaulter Kyle Walker, heptathlete Brian Wilson, Spencer in the long jump, and York in the high jump.
Lobo Women's Preview: The UNM women will look to build on last year's solid fifth place finish, led, like the men, by an outstanding distance group. Senior Ashley Gibson is the top-ranked miler in the MWC, while junior Ruth Senior and senior Nicky Archer will be one of the top threats in the 3,000 and 5,000, respectively. Senior Michelle Corrigan could emerge as a gold medal contender in the 5K as well. Gibson's distance medley relay could also provide a real challenge for BYU, which has won eight straight MWC DMR crowns.
The Lobos get a huge scoring boost from the return of senior multi-event star Sandy Fortner, who redshirted all of 2009. Fortner, the 2009 MWC pentathlon champion, owns the league's best score in the five-event competition, and could also add points in the long jump, high jump, and 60 hurdles.
Freshman Precious Selmon, meanwhile, has been one of the league's top hurdlers all winter and is hungry for her first conference title.
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 top five on the descending order list in their respective events entering this week's conference championship meet:
Sr. Ashley Gibson - Mile (1st - 4:43.78)
Jr. Ruth Senior* - Mile (4th - 4:54.87)
RS-Fr. Bianca Martin - Mile (5th - 4:55.71)
Sr. Nicky Archer - 5,000m (1st - 16:42.29)
Sr. Michelle Corrigan - 5,000m (4th - 16:56.65)
RS-Fr. Lacey Oeding - 5,000m (5th - 17:00.95)
Fr. Precious Selmon - 60m Hurdles (2nd - 8.49)
Sr. Sandy Fortner - Pentathlon (1st - 3,913 pts.) & Long Jump (5th - 19-04.25)
* Senior also owns the top time in the 5,000, but will not compete in that event
Sr. Lee Emanuel* - 800m (2nd - 1:50.31), Mile (1st - 3:57.62), & 3,000m (1st - 7:51.20)
Fr. Raffi Cote - 800m (4th - 1:51.78)
Sr. David Bishop - Mile (2nd - 4:00.74)
Fr. Ross Millington - Mile (3rd - 4:02.02)
Sr. Rory Fraser** - Mile (5th - 4:04.99) & 3,000m (2nd - 7:56.31)
Sr. Jacob Kirwa - 5,000m (4th - 14:10.31)
Jr. Brock Hagerman - 5,000m (5th - 14:15.24)
RS-Fr. De'Vron Walker - 60m Hurdles (1st - 8.13)
4x400m Relay Team (5th - 3:19.24)
RS-Fr. Ty Kirk - Triple Jump (2nd - 50-02.00)
Fr. Richard York - Heptathlon (2nd - 5,294 pts.)
Jr. Brian Wilson - Heptathlon (4th - 4,752 pts.)
* Emanuel is only expected to run two of the three events this weekend
** Fraser also has the top time in the 5,000, but will not compete in that event
2009 MWC INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS REWINDThe New Mexico men's team tied a program record with a second place finish (102 points) at the MWC Indoor Championships held at Air Force's Cadet Field House. The Lobos were sixth in 2008 and had never finished higher than fifth in nine prior MWC Indoor meets.
UNM moved up a spot from 2008 to finish fifth in the women's standings with 53 points - just eight out of third place.
Jarrin Solomon won the lone event title of the weekend for the Lobos, cruising to the 400m gold, as expected, with a time of 47.17. He was the first UNM runner since 1990 to win a conference title in the men's 400.
Solomon's was one of a program record eight all-MWC medals for the New Mexico men during the meet. Senior Domnick Meadows earned team high point honors (16) with silver medal performances in the long (23-04.75) and triple jump (49-03.00). It was the highest MWC Indoor finish by a Lobo in either event.
Senior Lee Emanuel finished second in the 800m with an altitude-adjusted school record time of 1:50.15, while junior Rory Fraser was the runner-up in the 3,000m with an altitude-adjusted time of 8:21.44. Fellow junior David Bishop ran an altitude-adjusted time of 4:14.87 to finish third in the mile, while senior Jermaine McQueen was the bronze medalist in the 200 (21.72).
The UNM distance medley relay team of Fraser, sophomore Kyle Henry, Emanuel, and Bishop finished second behind BYU in the closest DMR race in conference history. The foursome clocked an altitude-adjusted time of 10:05.78 - just 0.26 seconds behind the Cougars.
New Mexico earned four women's all-MWC medals for the second straight year, including silvers from senior Ariel Burr and the DMR team.
Burr ran a season-best 54.05 in her final MWC 400m race while the team of redshirt freshman Alex Darling, junior Kim Perkins, senior Andrea Wright, and junior transfer Ashley Gibson notched the Lobos' best finish in the event since 2004 with an altitude-adjusted time of 12:11.98.
Junior Deanna Young broke her own school record in the triple jump with a leap of 43-01.75 to earn an indoor bronze medal for the second straight year. Senior Michelle Corrigan opened the meet with a third place finish in the women's 5,000 (altitude-adjusted 17:46.28) - the highest finish ever by a UNM woman in the 5K.