May 13, 2005
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Fifth-year senior Jordan Parker and junior Jamie Fishencord earned all-conference honors for the first time in their careers to lead the University of New Mexico's effort today at the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Colorado State University's Jack Christiansen Track. Fishencord opened the day with a third place finish in the women's hammer throw, while Parker closed the afternoon's field events with a third place performance in the men's discus. The Lobo men are fourth with 33.5 points while the women are eighth with 10 points.
The BYU men, five-time MWC defending champions, have 112 points through eight events scored, while the Colorado State women's team has 94 points, after seven events. On the men's side, Colorado State is second with 72.50 points, Air Force is third with 53 points, Wyoming is in fifth place with 30 points, while Utah is sixth with eight points. On the women's side, defending champion BYU has 79 points, while Utah is third with 34 points. San Diego State is fourth with 18 points, followed by UNLV in fifth place (14), Air Force and Wyoming in sixth place (12).
After a disappointing finish in her specialty last year, Fishencord recorded a top throw of 180-10, less than three feet out of second place, to become the first Lobo women ever to earn all-conference honors in the hammer. Colorado State senior Loree Smith, who set the Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium record two weeks ago in Albuquerque, won the event with a NCAA record throw of 229-09. New Mexico senior Amanda Barnes finished two spots higher than her seed, but just missed scoring with a ninth place throw of 158-07.
Parker, meanwhile, became the first Lobo in three years to earn all-MWC honors in the discus with a fine performance on Friday. Ranked fifth in the league entering the meet, the Albuquerque La Cueva product recorded a top throw of 170-05, surpassing the 170 foot mark for the second straight week. He finished ninth in the event in his last MWC Outdoor Championship appearance two years ago in Albuquerque.
The La Cueva graduates also shined on the track as senior Nate Clem grabbed a point in his second career 3,000-meter steeplechase race (9:53.80*) and freshman Lindsey Barr finished a strong fourth in her first career 10,000-meter race. Barr, the 2004 state 5A 3,200-meter champion, clocked an altitude adjusted time of 37:57.34, the fastest by a Lobo since 2001.
In the day's marquee event, the men's pole vault, sophomore Robert Caldwell finished fifth with a mark of 16-09.50. Boasting perhaps the most talented field of any conference in the nation, the MWC pole vault met the expectations as the top four finishers all cleared 17-05.50 or higher. The intense competition overwhelmed much of the field, however, as five of the 11 athletes, including junior Derek Mackel (No. 4 seed) and freshman Zach Graham (No. 9 seed), failed to clear the bar on their first three attempts.
In other field events, rookies Derek McDonald (6th - 22-01.00) and Domnick Meadows (7th - 21-06.25) combined for three points in the long jump. McDonald, who competed in 10 events over the previous two days en route to a fourth place finish in the decathlon, also tied for eighth in the high jump (6-02.75) and clocked a season-best time of 15.19* (7th) to qualify for the finals in the 110-meter hurdles. The Albuquerque Eldorado product is also slated to compete in the triple jump tomorrow, his 14th event of the meet.
As expected, the New Mexico men put themselves in excellent position for Saturday's finals in the sprint events. Seniors Ahmed Raji (3rd - 10.76*) and Aaron Brack (4th- 10.79*), and sophomore Jeramie White (5th - 10.82*) each clocked season-best times to advance out of the 100-meter prelims. Freshman Marcus Smith (9th - 11.03*), ranked fifth in the league entering the meet, missed the cut for the 100m finals by 0.08 seconds, but came back to qualify in the 200. Smith clocked a time of 21.76* (7th) to join fellow Raji (3rd - season-best 21.46*) and White (6th - career-best 21.61*) in tomorrow's finals. UNM also placed a pair of runners in the 400-meter finals as rookie Jarrin Solomon, another La Cueva grad, cruised in with a time of 48.36* (2nd) and sophomore Randle McCain defied his No. 11 seed by clocking the eighth-fastest time of the day, a season-best 49.23*.
In other qualifying action, freshman Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott, yet another La Cueva product, clocked an easy 1:53.61* (8th) to move on to the 800-meter finals. Sophomore transfer Mark Lamb rebounded from a disappointing ninth place finish in the 110-meter hurdles to qualify in the in the 400m hurdles, improving one spot on his No. 9 seed with a time of 54.79* (8th). The 110 hurdles were also unkind to junior Dan Feltman, the winner of the decathlon yesterday. Feltman fell during the race and was forced to pull out of the long jump. He is slated to compete in his specialty, the javelin, tomorrow afternoon.
On the women's side, freshman Kristan Matison continued her hot streak by qualifying for the finals in both the 100 and 200 meters. Matison clocked the third-fastest 100 time (11.90*) and was sixth in the 200 prelims with a season-best time of 24.52*. Fellow freshman Ariel Burr flew into the 400-meter finals with a season-best time of 54.68* (4th), just 0.22 seconds shy of the UNM record. Freshman Tabatha Shaw, who was ranked 16th in the 100, just missed qualifying in the event by a mere 0.07 seconds as she finished ninth with a time of 12.44*. In the 800 prelims, meanwhile, sophomore Riann Lucy advanced to the finals for the first time in her outdoor career. A sixth place finisher at each of the past two indoor conference meets, Lucy ran a strong 2:11.78 to finish fifth in the prelims.
The UNM women suffered a devestating blow, however, when junior Kimilia Davis was lost for the meet after pulling her hamstring during the 200-meter qualifying heat. Davis, who was ranked fifth in the event entering the meet, struggled to finish 18th. She had already clocked the eighth-fastest time of the day (55.97*) to qualify in the 400 and was one of the Lobos' strongest legs in the 4x100 and 4x400-meter hurdles.
The bad luck continued in the field events as the women missed out on scoring chances in the discus and high jump. Two weeks after her school record-setting toss in Albuquerque, fourth-seeded Barnes finished 10th with a mark of 137-03 in the discus. Fishencord, the No. 9 seed, placed 11th with a throw of 136-07. Both women were over 15 feet shy of their career bests. Rookie Tiyana Peters, who was tied for the sixth-best mark (5-07.00) in the high jump entering the meet, finished tied for 11th this afternoon with a clearance of 5-03.00.
Barnes, however, will go for her third straight MWC outdoor shot put title tomorrow in a highly-anticipated showdown with discus and hammer winner Loree Smith. The two matched each other for the best throw of the meet last year, but Barnes took home the gold medal with a superior mark on her second-best throw.
*Indicates altitude adjusted time