Lobos' Newcomers Look to Contribute at Team's Season Opener at NAU
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  01/12/2012
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Jan. 12, 2012

By Mike Mulcahy

As 2012 begins and the school year recommences, the University of New Mexico Track and Field squad will be battling it out at their first meet of the season, the Northern Arizona Invitational in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Again lead by a stalwart crew of returning athletes and Coach Joe Franklin'schampionship-caliber coaching staff, the beginning of the Lobos' 2012 track and field campaign looks to be on solid footing. But, with every new season comes new Lobos, and the newest bunch of New Mexico track athletes have quite a few potential stars.

Headlined by big-time recruits and talented transfers, these incoming athletes will play pivotal roles in how this year's Lobos team will fare both in the Mountain West and on a national stage. But before this team can look too far down the road, they have a stop in Flagstaff at NAU, which serves as the starting line for a new year and new players.

Of this year's incoming class, twelve athletes were selected to be highlighted. Among them include three transfers and nine true freshmen, all of which who look to contribute to the Lobos march for success, starting with Friday's meet at Northern Arizona University.

Will Carter
Freshman - Jumps - Denver, Colo. (Thomas Jefferson HS)

Carter comes to the Lobos as a walk-on from Denver's Thomas Jefferson High School. During his freshman year, Carter projects to be a long jumper, with the possibility to also contribute in the 4x100m relay. A state qualifier in the long jump and 100-meter dash in his junior and senior year in high school, Carter was able to impress the track and field coaching staff upon his arrival in Albuquerque. "[He] tried out in August and showed us some good stuff," UNM Assistant Coach Austin Brobst noted. "He's had a solid fall." With a documented personal best of 21'-11.5" in the long jump, Carter fits in with the long jumpers on the team. "He's just kind of one of those hidden gems" Brobst said.

Personal Bests (HS)
- 60m Dash: 7.46s
- 100m Dash: 11.21s
- Long Jump: 21'-11.5" (6.69m)

Beejay Lee
Freshman - Sprints - Arcadia, Calif. (West Covina HS)

A scorcher on the track, Bernard (better known as "Beejay") Lee has come to New Mexico with immeasurable potential. Recruited out of SoCal's West Covina High School by a number of Pac-12 institutions, Lee opted to come to UNM. "We know he was being recruited by some pretty tough schools [including] UCLA, Oregon, USC," Brobst remarked. "The fact that we got him was great." Lee was crowned Hacienda League Champion in the 100m dash and 200m dash for three straight years, and was state champion in the 200m dash in his senior year. His blistering 20.96-second time in the 200m is the best when compared to the documented personal bests of the entire men's squad (including returning lettermen), and his 10.36s time in the 100m is second on the team. "He's probably one of the best recruits we've had come in this year," Brobst said. "He's one of the nation's top 100 runners."

Personal Bests (HS)
- 100m Dash: 10:36s
- 200m Dash: 20.96s

Floyd Ross
Transfer Junior - Jumps - Memphis, Tenn. (Barton County CC)

A transfer from Great Bend, Kansas's Barton County Community College, Ross has two years remaining of eligibility with the Lobos. Before transferring, Ross was part of a program that won the National Junior College Athletic Association Indoor Track and Field Championships his sophomore year, a competition where he placed second in the triple jump. "We're looking for him to potentially win conference in the triple jump and bring us some really solid points in the long jump," Brobst said. With the longest recorded triple jump (51'-4.5") compared to the rest of the current Lobos, Ross looks to make good on this evaluation. "[He] should be, hopefully, a national qualifier and borderline Olympic trials [qualifier]," Brobst said.

Personal Bests
- Long Jump: 23'-5.5" (7.15m)
- Triple Jump: 51'-4.5" (15.66m)

Donovan Torres
Freshmen - Distance - Lubbock, Texas (Coronado HS)

A standout runner for Coronado High School in Lubbock, Texas, Torres comes to New Mexico to contribute his success in the distance races. A district champion for four consecutive years and a state qualifier his last three years in high school, Torres left Coronado as the school record holder in the 1,600m (4:24), the 3,200m (9:26), the 3 mile run (14:43), and the 5,000m (14:55), all statistics that bode well for the freshman as he starts his collegiate athletic career. Look for Torres to cut down his times as he moves up the ranks, as his high-school mark in the 5,000m is the best among his fellow first-year Lobos.

Personal Bests (HS)
- 800-meters: 2:00.02
- 1600-meters: 4:24.79
- 3200-meters: 9:26.12
- 5,000-meters: 14:55.10

Robert Warensjo
Transfer Junior - Pole Vault - Sollentuna, Sweden (The Ridgeway School)

Another transfer with two years left of eligibility, Warensjo - who was originally from Sweden but grew up in England - is predicted to be one of the best pole vaulters on the New Mexico squad. Already with the best documented mark in the pole vault among this Lobos team, Warensjo looks to only improve and contribute more to New Mexico. "He will immediate come in as an impact scorer in the Mountain West Conference and hopefully go to nationals," remarks Associate Head Coach Rodney Zuyderwyk, whose coaching focus includes Jumps, Combined Events, and Throws. "He's got a lot of potential. We have some big goals for him. By outdoors, he's going to be hopefully one of the better jumpers in the country."

Personal Bests
- Pole Vault: 17'-2.75" (5.25m)

Samantha Bowe
Freshman - Heptathlon - Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva HS)

A local product out of La Cueva High School, Bowe is being primed as the next Lobos heptathlete. As a member of an impressive Bears track team that took first place at meets at the District, Metro, City, and State levels in 2011, Bowe left La Cueva as the school record holder in the pole vault and 4x200m relay. "She came out of high school as a good sprinter and pole vaulter," Zuyderwyk noted. "With her, we're going to tailor things towards the heptathlon for this indoor season. I think she can be a conference scorer for us there."

Personal Bests (HS)
- Pole Vault: 10'6" (3.20m)

Mickey Brown
Freshman - Sprints - Albuquerque, N.M. (La Cueva HS)

A former teammate of Bowe's at La Cueva, Brown also has an indelible legacy at her former high school, holding the school record in the 400m, the 4x200m relay (with Bowe), the medley relay and the 4x400m relay. "Her potential has not been tapped as of yet," quips Jim Ciccarello, La Cueva's head track and field coach. "She not only has talent to compete locally, but regionally, and nationally also." UNM's Brobst echoes those sentiments, noting how "she should be a conference scorer and definitely is going to help the females contribute to the conference championships [in the 4x400m relay]", irrespective of her relative youth.

Personal Bests (HS)
- 200m Dash: 26.90s
- 400m Dash: 54.16s

Christina Gastfield
Freshman - Distance - Arlington Heights, Ill. (Rolling Meadows HS)

Another vaunted runner out of high school, Gastfield is looking to start her freshman campaign at UNM off with a bang. Named All Mid-Suburban League Conference in cross country all through high school, Gastfield consistently bettered her performances, starting off 21st All-Conference in her freshman year, and finishing 7th, 9th and 2nd her last three years respectively. And on top of that, Gastfield was also All-State cross country from 2008 to 2010 and All-State in track and field with her personal-best time of 10:47 in the 3,200-meter run. A vocal team player who hosted her own blog on ESPN.com detailing her senior year of cross country, Gastfield has the potential to make a big impact for the Lobos going forward.

Personal Bests (HS)
- 1,600-meters: 5:08.50
- 3,200-meters: 10:47.84
- 5,000-meters: 17:46.62

Aasha Marler
Freshman - Jumps - Albuquerque, N.M. (Hope Christian HS)

Out of Albuquerque's Hope Christian High School, Marler is an athlete asked to try to contribute a lot to fill a huge void. "We're looking for her to step up since we've lost both Alesha Walker--who's now our GA [graduate assistant]--and Deanna Young," Brobst remarks. Walker, New Mexico's record holder for the women's long jump, and Young, the first women in UNM history to earn indoor All-American honors, have left big shoes to fill, but Marler has the potential to do so. Granted, there's some learning and progressing to do, but as Brobst observes "We're looking for some solid conference points from her...Hopefully [she can be] a three-event scorer."

Personal Bests (HS)
- 100m Dash: 12.31s
- 200m Dash: 26.04s
- High Jump: 4'8" (1.42m)
- Long Jump: 16'-3.75" (4.97m)
- Triple Jump: 38'6" (11.73m)

Jo Moultrie
Transfer Junior - Distance - Glasgow, Scotland (Turnbull HS)

As a transfer from Scotland, Moultrie comes to the Lobos with a wealth of international success and two years left as a Lobo to show it. With personal bests of 4:17.66 in the 1,500m and 9:38.80 in the 3,000m, Moultrie could have rewritten the record books had either mark been accomplished at UNM; her 1,500m time would be a new school record and her 3,000m time would have been sixth all-time. Nevertheless, Moultrie has plenty of time to establish herself as a dominant distance runner for New Mexico, where she has already contributed in the Lobos latest success in cross country, including back-to-back-to-back conference titles and a ninth-place finish in the NCAA Championships in 2011.

Personal Bests
- 800-meters: 2:07.31
- 1,500-meters: 4:17.66
- 3,000-meters: 9:39.80

Yeshemabet Turner
Freshman - Jumps/Sprints - Philadelphia, Pa. (Pecos HS)

Another in-state product from Pecos High School, Turner has the potential to do wonders for the Lobos. She not only is a three-time state champion in the triple jump and long jump and defending state champion in the high jump, she also holds the state records in the 100m dash (12.32s) and 200m dash (25.50s). Brobst pegs Turner as "another potential athlete" who "could do some really good things." On top of that, her high school coach, Leroy Barela, comments on how her "personality, respect for others, respect for self, dedication and discipline far supersede her illustrious athletic career," inasmuch as Turner is the consummate teammate as well as the consummate competitor.

Personal Bests (HS)
- 100m Dash: 12.32s
- 200m Dash: 25.50s
- High Jump: 5'4" (1.62m)
- Long Jump: 17'-9.75" (5.43m)
- Triple Jump: 37'9" (11.51m)

Lucretia Vigil
Freshman - Sprints - Aurora, Colo. (Rio Grande HS)

A natural-born athlete with a background in wrestling, Vigil is taking her talents from the mat to the track as she makes her way to New Mexico. Even though she qualified for Nationals in Girls Wrestling and placed fifth during high school, Vigil has embraced track and field, and projects to be another sprinter in the Lobos' arsenal of lightning-quick runners. "She was [fifth] at the state meet in the 400," Brobst comments. "We're looking for her to just develop on what she had in high school." Vigil will need some time to become fully acclimated to the unique rigors of track and field, but, as Brobst continues, "We're hoping that with full track training, she'll start to come into what she could be and develop as a track athlete."

Personal Bests (HS)
- 200m Dash: 26.71s
- 400m Dash: 1:00.37

Look next week before the home opener for Richard Stevens', GoLobos.com's Senior Writer, full indoor season preview. Also follow the UNM Track and Field team on Twitter by searching for UNM XC/TF or following @Lobo_track.