McDonald Just Off The Lead After Day One Of MWC Heptathlon
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/25/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Feb. 25, 2005


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of New Mexico freshman Derek McDonald got off to a solid start on his first day of competition in his Mountain West Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships debut yesterday at Cadet Field House. McDonald finished the first four events of the men's heptathlon in fourth place (2,850), just 138 points behind the day one leader, Colorado State senior Caleb Pelger.

The former Albuquerque Eldorado High School standout won this seven-event competition with a score of 4,865 in his first trip to the Air Force Academy in the Lobos' season-opener, Jan. 21-22, but was a bit off that pace on Thursday. McDonald finished fourth or higher in three of the four events, tying Pelger for first place in the high jump (6-04.75). He was the runner-up in the long jump (22-09.25) and placed fourth in the 60-meter dash (altitude adjusted 7.22). Though he was ninth in his weakest event, the shot put, McDonald still recorded a season-best mark of 32-02.00.

Lobo teammate Jason Bigott also enjoyed a solid performance to open his second career heptathlon competition, finishing the first four events in eighth place (2,361). Bigott, a senior Air Force ROTC cadet, recorded season-bests in three of the four events, including a sixth place finish in the 60 meters (7.48).

New Mexico's Mark Johnson won the MWC's inaugural indoor heptathlon competition last year with a score of 5,263 and was a two-time all-conference honoree in the indoor pentathlon. The Lobos' top multi-event athlete, junior Dan Feltman, has been sidelined since injuring his quadriceps muscle in the first event of his first heptathlon competition of the season at the Air Force Invitational.

In the women's pentathlon, meanwhile, UNM sophomore Stefany Setliff scored a career-high 3,069 points to finish 15th place in a loaded field of 18. Setliff, who was ninth a year ago with a score of 2,840, turned in season-bests in three of the five events. Her best effort came in the high jump, where she tied for eighth with a career-best leap of 5-02.25.

Day two of the MWC Championship heptathlon begins at noon today with the 60-meter hurdles, followed by the pole vault and 1,000-meter run. Preliminary competition will also get underway in the sprints and hurdles, while event finals will be held in the 5,000, distance medley relay, weight throw, long jump, men's high jump and women's pole vault.

Day One Heptathlon Results:

1. Caleb Pelger, CSU 2,988; 2. Kevin Johnson, CSU 2,967; 3. Brett Zowada, WYO 2,872; 4. Derek McDonald, UNM 2,850; 5. Brian Walsh, AFA 2,805; 6.Chris Weirich BYU 2,518; 7. Matt Gensic, AFA 2,426; 8. Jason Bigott, UNM, 2,361; 9. Eric Sutter, WYO 2,349; 10. Joe Dredge, BYU 2,219.

Final Pentathlon Results:

1. Amy Menlove, BYU 4,172; 2. Christine Spence, UNLV 3,958; 3. Liis Berendsen, BYU 3,938; 4. Katie Lloyd, CSU 3,777; 5. Maret Komarova, BYU 3,707; 6. Dierra Poland AF 3,586; 7. Cristina Gourdin, CSU 3,547; 8. Emily Pearson, CSU 3,384; 9. Julie Andersen, BYU 3,380; 10. Sarah Lacey, BYU 3,362; 11. Leah Burke, WYO 3,229; 12. Niomi Ridge, CSU 3,217; 13. Ashleigh Morton, CSU 3,200; 14. Ingvild Carstens, WYO 3,112; 15. Stefany Setliff, NM 3,069; 16. Tory Respass-Parsons, SDSU 3,002; 17. Terri Trautwein, UNLV 2,906; 18. Janine Polischuk, SDSU 1,538 (DNF)