Lobo Outdoor Season Hits Full Stride This Weekend
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/27/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

March 27, 2009

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After two small field event-only outings, the University of New Mexico's 2009 outdoor track and field season opens in full this weekend with a pair of meets. The Lobo distance runners will be in California today for the Stanford Invitational, while the rest of the team heads south for the UTEP Springtime Invitational on Saturday.


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Weather: The weather in the Bay Area will be just about perfect for distance running with sunny skies, highs in the upper 60s/low 70s, and light winds.

Lobos To Watch: UNM will have four athletes looking for the NCAA provisional or automatic qualifying time in the longest race in track and field, the 10,000 meters. Senior Mat Ashton and junior Chris Barnicle will be among the top runners in the section 1 race that includes MWC indoor 3K/5K champion Sean Houseworth of Air Force and severl standouts from Oregon, Stanford, Cal, and Auburn. Ashton was 10th in the 10K last spring at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, while Barnicle - a transfer from Arkansas making his official Lobo debut tonight - was a two-time all-region cross country runner for the Razorbacks.

On the women's side, juniors Michelle Corrigan and Nicky Archer will both make their UNM outdoor debuts in the section 1 10,000m race. A redshirt outdoors last spring, Corrigan earned all-MWC honors in the 5,000 during the 2009 indoor season while long-distance specialist Archer - the Lobos' No. 1 cross country runner during the fall - owns a personal best of 36:05.93 in the event.


• Results/Information

Weather: The weather in El Paso will also be virtually ideal with the forecast calling for sunny skies, highs in the upper 60s, and a just a light breeze expected.

Lobos To Watch: Senior javelin thrower Katie Coronado is off to another undefeated start, winning the event at UNLV and Arizona State this season. The 2008 NCAA silver medalist broke the UNM record at this meet in 2007 and hasn't looked back, establishing herself as the finest javelin thrower ever to wear the Cherry and Silver over the past two seasons.


Head coach Joe Franklin announced that junior All-American Deanna Young (triple jump/long jump) will undergo knee surgery and will redshirt the 2009 outdoor season. Senior Sandy Fortner, the 2008 MWC pentathlon/heptathlon champion, will continue to redshirt outdoors while she recovers from a knee injury.

Junior long jumper/sprinter Alesha Walker, however, will return to action after redshirting the 2009 indoor season. Walker was the `09 outdoor MWC runner-up in the long jump and holds the school record in the event with a top mark of 21-04.00.

LAST TIME OUT: Baldy Castillo Invitational

Senior Katie Coronado won the javelin with a throw of 168' 7" (51.38m) to lead a small group of University of New Mexico throwers and jumpers on March 21 at Arizona State's Baldy Castillo Invitational. The 2008 NCAA runner-up in the event, Coronado finished nearly 18 feet ahead of her nearest competitor en route to her 10th victory in her last 12 collegiate meets.

Both of the Lobos' standout javelin throwers punched their ticket to the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Saturday night. Senior Anthony Fairbanks recorded a top mark of 214' 5" (65.35m) on his opening throw en route to a third place finish.


Lee Emanuel, Jarrin Solomon, and the University of New Mexico entered the 2009 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships as relative unknowns. The senior duo, however, put New Mexico back on the national map with their sensational performances at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium on March 14, helping the Lobos finish tied for 16th in the men's standings - their first top-20 finish since 1984.

Emanuel opened the day with a stirring victory in the men's mile (4:00.36), becoming the Lobos' first national track and field champion since Michael Solomon won the 600-yard run in 1977. Michael's son, Jarrin, followed that performance with a fifth place finish (46.55) in the 400 meters - the best finish ever by a UNM sprinter at the Indoor Championships.

The All-America duo scored 14 points for New Mexico - the second highest in program history at the NCAA Indoors and best since the 1978 men's team put up 15 points. The Lobos were the top team in the Mountain West Conference, well above conference champion BYU (T-41st - 4 points).

Emanuel, who entered the meet as the No. 5 seed, was determined to make the mile an honest race. After moving into a comfortable second behind Michigan's Justin Switzer at the 400-meter mark, the Hastings, England product found himself boxed inside as the 11-man field chugged around the second 400 in a sluggish 64 seconds.

As the lead group swelled to five or six runners, Emanuel broke outside and grabbed the race by the reigns, taking the lead with roughly 700 meters (3 1/2 laps) to go. His next 400 was clocked at 59.21 as he and Wisconsin's Craig Miller began to distance themselves from the pack.

Miller sat back on Emanuel's right shoulder as the two hit the 200-meter bell lap. With roughly 100 meters to go Miller made his move, pulling even with Emanuel around the final turn. Emanuel, however, shifted into another gear, pumping his arms and accelerating onto the straightaway as Miller faded behind him.

The best middle distance man in UNM history threw both arms into the air as he crossed the line, nearly a second ahead of Miller (4:01.34) and 1.83 seconds ahead of the popular race favorite, Dorian Ulrey of Arkansas (4:02.19). Emanuel's final 400 was timed at 54.81, including a 27.22 final lap.

Thirty minutes later, Solomon made history of his own in the 400. After running the sixth-fastest preliminary time on Friday afternoon, Solomon drew the furthest lane outside, lane six, in the first of two finals sections (nine runners). The Albuquerque La Cueva product held off the inside runners as best he could, but hit the 200-meter break third (22.01) out of the five men in the section.

Just as he did in his past two races (Iowa State NCAA qualifier and Friday's prelims), however, Solomon swung wide off the final turn and reeled in Texas A&M senior Justin Oliver in the final 50 meters. Wake Forest senior Michael Bingham flew through the finish line at 45.69 - the fastest time in the world this year - to win the section and overall 400m title.

Junior Deanna Young, the UNM women's only representative, capped the meet by tying for 12th in the triple jump (42' 2" - 12.85m). Young, however, was sixth among United States citizens in the event to become the first Lobo woman to earn All-America honors indoors.

The top five finishers in the women's triple jump were all international athletes. The NCAA awards All-America laurels in track and field to the top-eight finishers overall and top-eight American citizens in each individual event.

Young was the first UNM woman to qualify for the NCAA Indoors in the triple jump. She was one of three Mountain West Conference women in the field. San Diego State's Karoline Koehler and Decontee Kaye also earned All-America honors, placing third and eighth, respectively.

Young's season best mark of 43' 1 3/4" recorded two weeks ago in a third place finish behind Kaye and Koehler at the MWC Indoor Championships would have been good for seventh in today's event.


Lee Emanuel became the first Lobo to win an NCAA track & field title since 1977 (Michael Solomon - 600 yards) and was the seventh to win a men's individual title at either the NCAA Indoor or Outdoor Championship meets (3 indoor/4 outdoor)...Emanuel was the first Lobo to qualify for the NCAA Indoors in the mile.

• Emanuel was the second national champion UNM head coach Joe Franklin has coached in his career...Victoria Mitchell of Butler (2005 3,000m steeplechase - outdoors) was the first.

Jarrin Solomon recorded the highest finish (fifth) ever by a UNM sprinter at the NCAA Indoor meet...he was the first sprinter to earn All-America honors since Charles Dramiga (440 yards) at the 1977 NCAA Indoor Championships.

Deanna Young became the first UNM woman ever to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Indoor Championships...she was sixth among the U.S. citizens in the triple jump (tied for 12th overall)

• New Mexico's 14 points were the second-most in men's program history at the NCAA Indoors - just one shy of the 1977 team's 15...the UNM men had scored 11.33 points combined at the NCAA Indoor Championships since 1985 (6 - 1990, 5 - 2005, 0.33 - 2006)

• UNM had three individuals earn All-America honors indoors for the first time...the 1984 men's team had two individuals combine for three All-America awards.

• UNM has had six indoor/outdoor track All-Americans in head coach Joe Franklin's two years in Albuquerque...five of the six have been graduates of New Mexico high schools...UNM had three athletes earn All-America honors at the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Championships.


Senior Lee Emanuel has been selected as the Mountain West Conference Men's Indoor Track & Field Student-Athlete of the Year the conference office announced this morning. The Student-Athlete of the Year award is voted upon by the MWC head track and field coaches.

Emanuel (Hastings, England) recorded the league's best times this season in the mile (3:57.91) and 3,000-meter (7:56.35) races. He became the Lobos' first sub four-minute miler at Notre Dame's Meyo Invitational in February, shattering his own school record in the event by 4.56 seconds. The performance automatically qualified Emanuel for the NCAA Indoor Championships, marking the first time since 2005 a UNM runner has accomplished that feat.

After placing second in the men's 800-meter run at the MWC Championships, Emanuel went on to win an individual NCAA championship in the mile with a time of 4:00.36, becoming the first Lobo since 1977 to do so. His finish earned him All-America honors and led New Mexico to a tie for 16th place, its first top-20 finish since 1984.