June 11, 2004
AUSTIN, Texas - University of New Mexico senior Mark Johnson notched a pair of career-best times in the 100 and 400-meter dashes this afternoon to finish day one of the decathlon in 20th place at the 2004 NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships. Johnson, traditionally a strong second day competitor, posted a score of 3,692 points through the first five events.
After opening the day with a personal record time of 11.13 in the 100, Johnson slipped a bit in the long jump (21-09.50) before coming back with a strong toss of 40-07.75 in the shot put. Although his high jump mark of 6-02.00 was well below his career-best, the Fontana, Wisc. native battled back yet again to post a time of 50.20, a PR of 0.27 seconds, in the 400.
Rice senior Ryan Harlan leads the competition with a first day score of 4,232. BYU's Curtis Pugsley, the Mountain West Conference champion, is 13th with 3,895 points.
Johnson will conclude his sensational New Mexico track and field career on Saturday at Mike A. Myers Stadium with five final events (110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin, 1,500m). When he crosses the finish line for the 1,500-meter run, Johnson will have competed in 173 events in his four years at UNM. The decathlon resumes at 11 a.m. tomorrow.