March 11, 2009
NEW ORLEANS - The University of New Mexico men's track and field team moved up 10 spots to No. 23 in the latest USTFCCCA NCAA Division I team rankings released this morning. New Mexico, which has climbed nearly 60 spots over the course of the season, is the top ranked team in the Mountain West Conference - seven spots ahead of MWC champion BYU.
The USTFCCCA rankings are based on national level performances rather than dual meet strength. BYU used its depth and roster size to defeat the second place Lobos by over 100 points last week at the six-team MWC Indoor Championship meet, but has only two individuals (one in the top-10) and one relay team factoring into the national rankings. New Mexico has three individuals (two in the top-10) and one relay team contributing points in the national rankings.
The men's trio of senior Lee Emanuel, senior Jarrin Solomon, junior Rory Fraser, and the distance medley relay team will represent New Mexico at the NCAA Indoor Championships, Friday-Saturday, in College Station, Texas. Emanuel is the No. 5 seed in the mile, Solomon is the No. 8 seed in the 400 meters, Fraser is No. 11 in the 5,000, and the DMR team is seeded eighth.
Junior triple jumper Deanna Young is the lone representative from the UNM women's team, giving the Lobos a program record-tying four individuals and a relay team at the Indoor Championships. The New Mexico men's team sent the same number to the 1978 NCAA Indoor meet.
UNM had qualified six total athletes to the Indoor Championships in the previous 18 years combined.