April 18, 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - New Mexico senior Jeremy Johnson has been named Mountain West Conference Men's Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week, while sophomore teammate Katie Coronado shared the women's award with Colorado State's Emily Pearson the conference office anounced on Tuesday. It's the first career Athlete of the Week award for both UNM athletes, giving New Mexico a program-best four men's and women's award winners this spring.
Johnson, an Albuquerque, N.M., native, recorded the third-fastest time in MWC history in his first career 10,000-meter race at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif., last Friday. He crossed the finish line in a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 28:47.76, which was less than three seconds off the NCAA automatic qualifying mark. Johnson finished ninth overall and third among collegians in a field of 57 runners. His time is also currently the ninth-fastest in the nation.
Johnson is the third member of the men's team to earn the weekly conference award - the most by UNM since the MWC was formed in 1999. The Lobos had just one athlete named Men's Outdoor Athlete of the Week in the previous two years combined. Sophomore Anthony Fairbanks (javelin) and junior Jarrin Solomon (400m) were the previous winners this season.
Coronado, from Ruidoso, N.M., broke an 11-year-old UNM javelin record with a personal-best throw of 169'-10.00" (51.77) on the way to a second-place finish at the UTEP Invitational in El Paso, Texas, last Saturday. She surpassed the previous Lobo school record by over four feet and moved up to third on the all-time MWC list for the event. Her mark is currently the sixth-best in the nation.
Coronado is the first UNM women's javelin thrower ever to be named Athlete of the Week and the first UNM woman to be recognized outdoors since 2005.
Pearson, a La Junta, Colo., product, won the heptathlon at the California Invitational in Azusa, Calif., last weekend. She posted a career-best 5,204 points, which is an NCAA provisional mark and the third best heptathlon point total in CSU school history. She collected career-best marks in the 200-meter dash (24.89), 800-meter run (2:24.08) and the high jump (5'-4.25" [1.63m]) during the course of the meet. Pearson took the lead during the last event of the first day, the 200 meters, and never trailed again on the way to the victory.