Nov. 29, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Distance runner Jeremy Johnson and javelin thrower Katie Coronado were honored last night as the 2007 University of New Mexico Track & Field Athletes of the Year. Former All-American sprinter and founder of the New Mexico Track & Field Club Rene Matison and longtime Lobo track supporter Benjamin Horton presented the plaques to the duo at a ceremony prior to the UNM men's basketball game on Wednesday at The Pit.
Johnson enjoyed a remarkable 2007 indoor/outdoor track season that was capped by his All-America performance in the 10,000 meters (7th) at the NCAA Championship meet. The Albuquerque Manzno product earned four all-MWC awards in three different events (1,500/3,000/5,000) and team high point honors at the Mountain West Conference Indoor and Outdoor Championship meets. He also became the first Lobo to take home all-NCAA Mountain Region honors in the 5,000 (3rd).
Coronado, meanwhile, established herself as the greatest women's javelin thrower in program history in just her second collegiate season. The Ruidoso product broke Sarah Nicholson's 11-year-old record in the event with a throw of 169' 10" on April 14 at the UTEP Invitational in El Paso, Texas. She went on to capture the MWC title, earn all-region honors (6th) and finish 16th in the event in her NCAA Championship debut.
Once presented annually during the 1960s and 70s, the New Mexico Track & Field Athlete of the Year trophy and ceremony was brought back by Matison and Horton in 2005 with the support of former head coach Matt Henry. Each athlete is given a plaque and has their name engraved on the trophy displayed in the UNM track and field office.
UNM Track & Field Athlete of the Year Winners (since 2005)2005: Matt Gonzales (distance), Amanda Barnes (throws)
2006: Derek Mackel (pole vault), Ariel Burr (sprints)
2007: Jeremy Johnson (distance), Katie Coronado (javelin)