May 12, 2004
LAS VEGAS - University of New Mexico senior Mark Johnson recorded career-bests in four events today to finish the first day of decathlon competition in third place (3,857 pts.) at the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championships. With his best event, the pole vault, on the schedule tomorrow, Johnson trails defending MWC champion Devin Scoresby of BYU by a mere 43 points. Sophomore teammate Dan Feltman was equally impressive, notching season-bests in three events to finish day one in fourth (3,715 pts.). Like Johnson, Fetlman will compete in his best event, the javelin, on Thursday.
Johnson placed second in both the high jump (6-07.00) and shot put (41-08.00), shattering his previous bests in each event. He also recorded his best mark in three years in the long jump, leaping 22-07.75 to take third overall. The Fontana, Wisc. native opened the day by clocking a career-best time of 11.22 in the 100 meters (4th) and capped the afternoon with a PR of 50.47 in the 400 (4th). Johnson, the 2002 decathlon champion, enters day two on pace for a score of 7,714, which would be nearly 600 points above the NCAA provisional qualifying score (7,141) he attained in late March at the Texas Relays. A score of 7,700 or above would automatically qualify Johnson for the NCAA Championship meet.
Feltman, meanwhile, notched season-bests in three events, including a winning throw of 43-02.25 in the shot put. The Deming, N.M. native also cleared a season-best height of 6-01.25 in the high jump (6th) and ended the afternoon with a second place finish in the 400, clocking a PR of 49.94.
Junior Bridgid Isworth, meanwhile, led the New Mexico women through the first four events of the heptathlon. Competing in her first career heptathlon, Isworth finished the day in eighth (2,785 pts.), one spot above true freshman teammate Stefany Setliff (2,642 pts.).Isworth, Setliff and teammate Suzanne Nguyen all recorded season-best marks in the high jump. Isworth and Setliff tied for fourth with a height of 5-04.50, best by a Lobo this season, while Nguyen cleared 5-03.25 (T8th). Isworth, the UNM indoor and outdoor record holder in the pole vault, also placed fifth in the 200 with a season-best time of 26.15 and is 100 points out of seventh place entering Thursday's final three events.
The action from Las Vegas resumes tomorrow morning at 10:30 a.m. (MDT).