Lobos Head West For Full Week Of Track and Field Action
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/12/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 12, 2005

The University of New Mexico track and field team has a full slate ahead of it this week with Lobo athletes competing at the 47th Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif. and the 2005 Mesa Track and Field Classic in Mesa, Ariz. Junior Dan Feltman will be one of nine New Mexico athletes the Mt. SAC Relays as he takes part in the men's decathlon on Wednesday and Thursday. Senior Matt Gonzales headlines the UNM action on Friday at Mt. SAC, while freshman pole vaulter Whitney Johnson wraps up the Lobos' stay at the prestigious meet on Saturday. The rest of head coach Matt Henry's squad will join Michigan State, Northern Arizona and several regional community colleges on Saturday evening at the Mesa Classic.

Feltman opens the week at 2 p.m. (MST) on Wednesday, competing in his first decathlon of the year. The Mt. SAC multi-event competitions are being held at nearby Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif. Fellow freshman Derek McDonald was scheduled to make his collegiate decathlon debut in California as well before having to pull out of the competition due to an illness. The running and field events at the Mt. SAC Relays begin on Friday at Hilmer Lodge Stadium. Senior Jacquelyne Gallegos and junior Timmie Murphy will run in the women's 5,000-meter race at 3 p.m. (MST), followed by seniors Ben Ortega and Nate Clem in the men's 5K at 7:50 p.m. Freshman Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott will join the field of the Olympic development section of the men's 1,500 at 8:20 p.m., while sophomore Riann Lucy runs in the OD section of the women's 800 ten minutes later. Gonzales will then take center stage as he takes on a loaded field in the men's invitational 5,000 at 9:55 p.m. Johnson then closes the team's stay in California with her pole vault competition on Saturday at noon.

New Mexico competed at both events in 2004 as well. At the Mt. SAC Relays, Gonzales won the open section of the men's 5K with a regional qualifying time of 13:44.52, while Ortega clocked a national provisional qualifying time of 29:36.66 to finish 21st in the invitational 10,000 race. Murphy, ran the fastest 5K of her career, crossing the line in 17:13.59, while Gallegos clocked a time of 4:41.33 in the 1,500.

The UNM men and women recorded three victories and notched season-bests in seven events during its trip to the Mesa Classic. Kimilia Davis won the 400, while Amanda Barnes was victorious in the shot put. Davis also helped the women's 4x100 relay team tie for first, while Derek Mackel posted a regional qualifying mark of 16-04.75 in the pole vault.

Complete information and live event-by-event results from the 47th Mt. SAC Relays will be available at the official website of the Mt. SAC Relays:

Official Website of the Mt. SAC Relays

Follow Dan Feltman's progress in the Mt. SAC Relays decathlon at the following website:

Asuza Pacific University Athletics

Complete information and results from the 2005 Mesa Track & Field Classic will be available at the official website of the Mesa Classic:

Official Website of the 2005 Mesa Track & Field Classic

The Lobos will host the 15th annual Don Kirby Memorial Invitational, sponsored by the Modrall Sperling law firm, on Saturday, April 30 at the Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium. MWC foes Colorado State and Wyoming will headline the field, which will also include athletes from several regional colleges. The meet opens at 9:30 a.m. with the field events, while the action on the oval starts at 10:30.

University of New Mexico junior Derek Mackel was named Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week, the league announced on April 12. Mackel's third-place finish in the Section A pole vault at the Texas Relays, Saturday, April 9, earned him his first Athlete of the Week award.

The Albuquerque Sandia High School product's personal record mark of 17-08.50 was the second-best mark in Lobo history, behind three-time All-American Simon Arkell's 1991 mark of 18-02.00. It is also the third-best collegiate mark all season and fifth all-time in MWC history. Mackel surpassed his personal-best mark by almost eight inches as he defeated two of the nation's top-ten pole vaulters.

This is the first Athlete of Week awarded to a UNM track athlete this season, and it marks the seventh time in the seven-year history of the league that a Lobo has been selected for the award. Mackel qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships last weekend at the UTEP Springtime Invitational, and for his efforts he vaulted up to eighth in the April 12 Trackwire Dandy Dozen pole vault rankings.

After just four weeks this spring, 12 New Mexico athletes and have already earned qualifying marks for either the NCAA national or regional championship meets. During the 2004 outdoor season, 12 Lobos earned qualifying marks for either the national or regional meets. UNM athletes qualified in four different women's events and seven men's events last year. The following is a look at the 2005 qualifiers:

NCAA Provisional Qualifiers (1 in 1 men's event)

Sr. Ben Ortega

10,000m • 29:10.34 • Stanford Invitational - Stanford, Calif. (March 25)

NCAA Midwest Regional Qualifiers (11 in 5 men's and 4 women's events)

Sr. Amanda Barnes

Shot Put • 52-01.25 • Willie Williams Classic - Tucson, Ariz. (March 18)

So. Robert Caldwell

Pole Vault • 17-00.75 • Texas Relays - Austin, Texas (April 7)

Sr. Jamie Fishencord

Hammer • 183-09 • UTEP Springtime Invitational - El Paso, Texas (April 2)

Sr. Matt Gonzales

1,500m • 3:43.31 • Stanford Invitational - Stanford, Calif. (March 26)

Sr. Veronica Gonzales

Javelin • 148-02 • UTEP Springtime Invitational - El Paso, Texas (April 2)

Fr. Whitney Johnson

Pole Vault • 12-11.50 • Texas Relays - Austin, Texas (April 9)

Fr. Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott

5,000m • 14:03.32 • Stanford Invitational - Stanford, Calif. (March 25)

Sr. Derek Mackel

Pole Vault • 17-08.50 • Texas Relays - Austin, Texas (April 9)

Jr. Jessica McIntyre

Javelin • 144-10 • Willie Williams Classic - Tucson, Ariz. (March 18)

Sr. Alfred Neale

High Jump • 6-10.75 • UTEP Springtime Invitational - El Paso, Texas (April 2)

Sr. Jordan Parker

Shot Put • 55-03.00 • Willie Williams Classic - Tucson, Ariz. (March 18)

Senior Matt Gonzales' well-earned reputation as one of the premier distance runners in the nation propelled the University of New Mexico men's track team to its first-ever appearance in the Trackwire Top-25 power rankings, which were released April 5. New Mexico is tied for 25th with South Carolina and Texas A&M in the first rankings of the outdoor season, which project a score of 10 points for the Lobos at the 2005 NCAA Championship meet. Gonzales opened the spring ranked fourth in the country in both the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races on the Trackwire Dandy Dozen list.

Oddly, New Mexico dropped from the April 12 top-25 rankings, despite Gonzales holding his No. 4 positions and junior Derek Mackel moving up to eighth in the pole vault rankings.

The Trackwire 25 projects a hypothetical score for the NCAA Championship meet, factoring in injury reports and other variables supported by information gathered from coaches and NCAA-qualifying competitions across the country. The projection is generated by scoring the Dandy Dozen, a power ranking of the top-12 athletes and relay squads in each NCAA event.

Available online since the 1997 season, the Trackwire 25 has established itself as the most widely respected and reported ranking of Division I collegiate track and field teams. During the collegiate track season, weekly updates are available via email, and free registration is available at www.trackwire.com.