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LOBOS' MAGNIFICENT SEVEN READY FOR NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP COMPETITION
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  06/09/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

June 9, 2008

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UPCOIMNG

The University of New Mexico and first-year head coach Joe Franklin will send seven athletes to the 2008 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which begin on Wednesday afternoon and wrap up on Saturday at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa. It's the most UNM has qualified in the modern era of the NCAA Championships since the men's and women's meet was combined in 1983. New Mexico has sent 12 athletes to the Outdoor Championships over the past two years - the most in consecutive seasons since 1967-68 - and been represented on the national stage every year since 2002.

The nation's best athletes will gather at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa to take their shot at national title. Among the elite are five Lobos that are ranked among the top-10 in their respective events. The top eight finishers and the top eight U.S. citizens in each event will earn All-America honors.

THE NCAA OUTDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS AT A GLANCE

Television: CBS College Sports Network (formerly CSTV) will be airing live coverage of the NCAA Track and Field Championships on Friday, June 13th from 6-9 p.m. MST. CBS will also broadcast live coverage of the final day of competition from 2-4 p.m. MST.

Live Blog: University of New Mexico media relations assistant Daniel S. Archuleta will be on hand to provide complete Lobo coverage of the NCAA Outdoor Championships exclusively on www.GoLobos.com. The live blog will start on Wednesday during the women's high jump and men's pole vault at around 3 p.m. Mountain time.

Live Stats: LIve event-by-event results will be posted by Flash Results, Inc. Click HERE

Schedule: The meet runs Wednesday, June 11 through Saturday, June 14 at Drake Stadium on the campus of Drake University. The UNM contingent competes at the following times (Mountain Standard):

Wednesday, June 11
3 p.m. - Sr. Tiyana Peters (high jump qualifying)$
3:15 p.m. - Sr. Robert Caldwell (pole vault qualifying)*

Thursday, June 12
1:15 p.m. - Jr. Katie Coronado (javelin qualifying)#
7:10 p.m. - Jr. Lee Emanuel (1,500m qualifying)
7:50 p.m. - Sr. Jeremy Johnson (10,000m finals),
Jr. Mat Ashton (10, 000m finals)

Friday, June 13
12:00 p.m. - Jr. Sandy Fortner (Heptathlon)**
4:15 p.m. - (Men's pole vault finals)
4:45 p.m. - (Women's high jump finals)

Saturday, June 14
11 a.m. - (Heptathlon)
2:45 p.m. - (women's javelin finals)
4:24 a.m. - (men's 1,500m finals)

$Top 16 high jumpers advance to finals
*Top 12 jumpers advance to finals
# Top 12 marks advance to finals - 3 throws each.
** Heptathlon day 1 - 100m hurdles, high jump, Shot Put 200m. Day 2 - Long Jump, Javelin, 800 meters.

Des Moines Weather Report: Des Moines will have scattered thunder storms with a 50-60 percent chance of precipitation each day and temperatures in the mid-to-high 80s. The winds will range from 10-12 miles per hour.

UNM Men At The NCAA Outdoor Championships:The four Lobos qualifiers are the most for the men's program since 1987. UNM has had a representative at the outdoor championships for six straight seasons - the longest streak since a six-year run from 1982-87. The Lobos had just one men's qualifier (1998 and 2000) between 1993-2002.

UNM Women At The NCAA Outdoor Championships: The UNM women qualified three qualifiers for the second straight season. The Lobos had one woman (thrower Amanda Barnes in 2005) advance to the outdoor championships from 2004-06.

New Mexicans At The NCAA Outdoor Championships: Sixteen of the 21 NCAA Outdoor Championship qualifiers since 2000 have been from the state of New Mexico. Fourteen of the 17 men and women that have qualified over the last four years hail from the Land of Enchantment.

UNM Outdoor All-Americans: Thirty-four individuals and three relay team have combined to earn outdoor All-America honors 49 times since Buster Charles (decathlon) became the Lobos' first All-American in 1930.

UNM athletes have also won six NCAA event titles outdoors. Olympian Dick Howard was New Mexico's first NCAA champion, winning the 440-yard hurdles in 1959. Adolph Plummer won the 1961 440-yard dash crown in `61 and Larry Kennedy captured the discus in `64. Clarence Robinson swept the long and triple jump at the 1965 national championships and Raton, N.M. native Art Baxter was the Lobos' last NCAA champion, winning the triple jump in `67.

Santa Fe native Matt Gonzales and Albuquerque Manzano product Jeremy Johnson are the only outdoor All-Americans - both in the 10,000 - for the men's team since 1991. Gonzales earned the award in 2003 (third) and `04 (fourth), while Johnson was seventh in 2007.

It's been 12 years since a UNM woman earned All-America honors. Sophomores Tangi Galloway (4th - 10,000m) and Sarah Nicholson (12th - javelin) both earned All-America laurels at the 1996 NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore.

NEW MEXICO'S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFIERS

Mat Ashton • 10,000 meters (No. 19 seed)
6-0 • Jr-Tr
Oxford, England (St. Mary's (England))
Career Best: 28:56.39 (May 4, 2008 - Stanford, Calif.)

Preliminary Race Scouting Report: Ashton owns the 19th-fastest entry time among the 26 competitors that will toe the line on Thursday night...it will be his third 10,000-meter race of the season...Ashton has faced 13 of the runners in the field head-to-head in his two 10K races this spring, including senior teammate Jeremy Johnson (No. 10 seed)...he defeated Iona's Andrew Ledwith (No. 20), Wisconsin's Christian Wagner (No. 21) and Oregon's Diego Mercado (No. 25) on May 4 at Stanford and Wisconsin's Landon Peacock (No. 26) a month earlier at Stanford.

Quoting Ashton: "This has been my main goal since about Christmas time. I sat down with coach Franklin and coach Howarth and we discussed that the main goal was to get the qualifying time in the 10K. At the second Stanford meet I ran a time that we were about 90 percent sure was going to make the national meet. I've still been training hard with the big show in mind. We were really disapointed not to make nationals in cross country, so that gave me the extra bit of drive to make sure that I got there for outdoors."

How He Qualified: Was selected from the provisional qualifying pool after clocking a time of 28:56.39 - less than 12 seconds off the automatic qualifying standard.

Two Lobos In The Same Event: Ashton will team with senior Jeremy Johnson to give the Lobos a pair of runners in the 10,000-meter race on Thursday...it marks the sixth time UNM has qualified two men in the same event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships...it's the first time the Lobos have ever had two qualifiers in the 10,000...the last time it happened in a distance race was 1967 when Web Loudat (3rd) and Adrian DeWindt (13th) competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

All-American Men's Distance Runners At UNM: Seven men (nine awards), including all three previous 10,000-meter qualifiers...Johnson finished seventh in the race at the 2007 NCAA meet in Sacramento, Matt Gonzales was 4th in Austin in 2004 and third the previous year in Sacramento...Ibrahim Kivina was the first to earn All-America honors in the 10,000, finishing 2nd in 1984...George Scott (3 miles) and Web Loudat (3,000 steeplechase) were the first distance All-Americans at UNM in 1967.

Road To Des Moines: Ran under the NCAA provisional qualifying standard in both 10,000-meter races...opened the outdoor season on April 4 at Stanford with a then-career best time of 29:12.81 (11th)...secured his place in the NCAA field with a career-best time of 28:56.39 (13th - 5th collegian) at Stanford on May 4...finished the year ranked 2nd in the Mountain West Conference, behind teammate Jeremy Johnson and 22nd nationally in the 10K...also qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in the 5,000 with a career-best time of 14:09.78, which ranked fifth in the Mountain West and 23rd in the region...scored at the MWC Championships with a seventh place finish in his first collegiate 1,500 (3:51.13).

Career Highlights: Was the top 10,000-meter runner in the British University system in 2006...made an immediate impact in his American cross country debut, earning second team all-MWC honors as the Lobos' No. 2 runner behind All-American Jeremy Johnson.

Other Notes: Helped St. Mary's University (London) win its first British University cross country title in 2004 and finish third in '05...has run for the Great Britain national team three times...working on his master's degree in Physical Education.

Robert Caldwell • Pole Vault (No. 2 seed)
6-0 • Sr-3L
Socorro, N.M. (Socorro HS)
Career Best: 18' 1" (May 16, 2008 - Fort Worth, Texas)

Qualifying Competition Scouting Report: Caldwell will begin qualifying on Wednesday afternoon where he will need a top-13 finish to advance to the finals on Friday afternoon...he has faced 11 of the 28 qualifiers head-to-head this season...four of the top-five ranked vaulters and six qualifiers overall are from the Midwest Region...Caldwell is one of four NCAA qualifiers from the Mountain West Conference...he defeated BYU's Bob Low (No. 9) and Matt Weirich (No. 19), and Air Force's Nick Frawley (No. 13) at the MWC Championships on May 16...Caldwell also finished ahead of Weirich and Arkansas' Spencer McCorkel (No. 20) Texas Relays Section A competition.

Quoting Caldwell: "My expectations for this meet is to go out there and give all I have to give. This is my last bout as a collegiate performer I'm going to go out there and lay it all out on the table. Every year there are a lot of highly ranked athletes that don't do so well and there are a lot of dark horses. I'm not taking any of the rankings into consideration because none of that really means anything in our sport. It's what you can do on that day."

How He Qualified: Earned an at-large bid after placing ninth at the Midwest Regional Championships in Lincoln, Neb. (May 31) and posting a season-best mark of 18' 1" (5.51m) that was tied for second nationally.

Lobo Pole Vaulters At the NCAA Championships: Four Lobos have qualified for the NCAA Championships in the pole vault...Caldwell and three-time outdoor All-American Simon Arkell are the only Lobo vaulters to make multiple appearances at the NCAA Championships...Caldwell did not clear the opening height in the qualifying round in his NCAA Outdoor Championships debut in 2006....Joe Powdrell (Albuquerque, N.M.) and Arkell (Adelaide, Australia) were the first two UNM vaulters to compete at the NCAA meet...Powdrell tied for 12th with a height of 15' at the 1967 NCAA Outdoor Championships - 20 years before Arkell made his debut on the national stage...Arkell qualified four times between 1987-91, earning All-America honors as a sophomore, junior and senior....after finishing with no height in `87, Arkell placed sixth in `89 (17' 10 1/4"), third in `90 (18' 1/2") and tied for fifth in `91 (18' 1/2").

Road To Des Moines: After redshirting all of 2007, Caldwell showed a little rust in his return to action during the 2008 indoor season...however, he rallied to turn in the best outdoor season of his career...opened the season on March 22 with a clearance of 17' 2 3/4" at Arizona State, finishing only behind former teammate and current UNM volunteer coach Derek Mackel...endured a mini-slump the first two weeks of April, finishing tied for ninth at the Texas Relays (sec. A) and recording his only no height of the season at ASU, but has been one of the hottest vaulters in the nation since then...five straight meets over the 17-foot mark, clearing 17' 6 1/2" or better three times during that span...enjoyed a breakthrough performance at the MWC Championships, defeating one of the most talented conference championship fields in the country with a vault of 18' 1"...mark tied for second on the UNM all-time list and earned him the MWC Outstanding Performer award...finished first or second in four straight meets leading into the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships (ninth).

Career Highlights: Has surpassed the B standard for 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials qualification...2006 Indoor All-American, tying for eighth place with a clearance of 17' 6 1/2"...three-time NCAA Championships qualifier...2008 MWC Outdoor Champion...2006 MWC Indoor runner-up (behind former NCAA Champion Robison Pratt of BYU)...four-time NCAA regional qualifier...has improved his PR each outdoor season, adding more than 2 1/2' feet to his lifetime best, during his UNM career...redshirted all of 2007.

Other Notes: Class 3A state champion as a senior at Socorro (N.M) High School (town population of 8,986).

Katie Coronado • Javelin (No. 5 seed)
5-11 • Jr-2L
Ruidoso, N.M. (Ruidoso HS)
Career Best: 178' 07" (May 31, 2008 - Lincoln, Neb.)

Qualifying Competition Scouting Report: Coronado will be the No. 5 seed when qualifying begins on Thursday afternoon...each athlete will get three throws and the top-12 marks will move on to finals competition on Saturday afternoon...the lone qualifier from the Mountain West Conference, Coronado has defeated all 13 women in the 2008 javelin field that she has faced head-to-head this spring, including No. 3 Ruby Radocaj of Minnesota and No. 4 Kayla Wilkinson of Nebraska...she has not faced the top two seeds, Kara Patterson of Purdue and Rachel Yurkovich of Oregon...Coronado leads an NCAA-best 10 javelin qualifiers from the powerhouse Midwest Region...the East Region has the next highest number of qualifiers with seven...four Midwest throwers rank among the top-10 in the field, while seven are among the top-15.

Quoting Coronado: "The competition is going to be really good. I'm feeling good about my chances because at regionals everything went well. We aren't the only good region, but I think that experience is going to help me at nationals. I expect to do really good because I always expect myself to do well."

How She Qualified: Earned an automatic bid after winning the Midwest Regional title in Lincoln, Neb. on May 31 with a career-best mark of 178' 07" (54.43m).

Previous UNM Woman To Qualify In The Javelin: Sarah Nicholson (Sr.) in 1997...Nicholson also qualified as a junior in 1995 and a sophomore in `96...Coronado is the first UNM women's javelin qualifier from the state of New Mexico.

All-American Women's Javelin Throwers At UNM: Nicholson finished 12th (150' 5") in the 1996 NCAA Outdoor Championships in her hometown of Eugene, Ore...she was awarded for being one of the top-8 U.S. citizens in the event.

Road To Des Moines: Became the first UNM woman to win a Midwest Region title, breaking her own school record with a mark of 178' 7" (54.43m)...throw was good for second on the Mountain West Conference all-time list and has likely sewed up a trip to the 2008 USA Olympic Trials (7 centimeters shy of the Trials automatic qualification standard)...is 8-1 in her nine meet appearances this year and undefeated against collegiate competition...former UTEP All-American Erma Gene Evans is the only woman to defeat her this year, handing Coronado her first career home loss on May 4 in Albuquerque...threw 176' 1" to capture her second straight MWC javelin title in Fort Worth...named MWC Outstanding Performer following the meet...broke her own school record three times this year as she became the first woman in UNM history to surpass 170 feet in the javelin...has thrown over the 170-foot mark three times and over 160 feet seven times this spring.

Career Highlights: Two-time NCAA qualifier...first Lobo - man or woman - to earn all-region honors three times in a career...two-time Mountain West Conference champion and three-time all-MWC honoree...conference runner-up in `06 behind two-time national champion Dana Pounds of Air Force...school record holder and first UNM woman over 170 feet in the javelin...ranks second in MWC history only behind Pounds.

Other Notes: Two-time class 3A javelin champion at Ruidoso HS (town population 7,698)...also won the discus crown as a junior...all-state selection in soccer and basketball as well...MVP of the state North-South basketball all-star game.

Lee Emanuel • 1,500 meters (No. 5 seed)
5-10 • Jr-Tr
Hastings, England (Sheffield Hallam)
Career Best: 3:40.77 (April 12, 2008 - Tempe, Ariz.)

Preliminary Race Scouting Report: Emanuel owns the fifth-fastest entry time among the 26 competitors in the 1,500, which begins with semifinal races on Thursday night...he is the lone runner from the Mountain West Conference in the field...Emanuel has faced 10 of the runners head-to-head this spring...he opened the season by defeating the Wisconsin trio of Evan Jager (No. 11), Craig Miller (No. 13) and Jack Bolas (No. 10) at Arizona State on April 12...Bolas, Miller and Kentucky's John Richardson (No. 17), however, took advantage of a collision in front of Emanuel to beat him at Stanford on May 4...needing just a top-12 finish at the Midwest Regionals to advance to the NCAA Championships, Emanuel cruised to a seventh place finish on May 31 at Nebraska, defeating Kyle Miller of Texas (No. 14), but placing behind fellow Longhorns Leonel Manzano (No. 1) and Darren Brown (No. 16), along with Northern Iowa's Dorian Ulrey (No. 12), Nebraska's Peter VanderWesthuizen (No. 18) and Tulsa's Mark Davidson (No. 23).

Quoting Emanuel: "This has always been my aim since the start of the season. I wanted to get to nationals and do well there. I'm very excited and I'm honored to run there. I think that I have a great chance of going out there and doing really well. Manzano will be the favorite for the most part, but the race should be really fast. He's a great runner, but he's not unbeatable. I'm going to go in there believing that. It's not set in stone that he is going to be the national champion."

How He Qualified: Earned an at-large bid after finishing seventh at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships and clocking the fifth-fastest time in the country (3:40.77) on April 12 in Tempe, Ariz.

Last UNM 1,500 Runner To Qualify: Kip Koskei, who finished third at the 1979 NCAA Outdoor Championships with a time of 3:39.64...Emanuel and Koskei are the only Lobos to advance to the NCAA Championships in the 1,500.

All-America Men's Middle Distance Runners At UNM: Two - Koskei and Sammy Kipkurgat...Kipkurgat was fifth in the 800 at the 1978 Outdoor Championships.

Road To Des Moines: Clocked the second fastest 1,500 in school history on April 12 at Arizona State...led all collegians and was fifth overall in the invitational section with a time of 3:40.77 - the fastest in the nation at that time...trailed only world-class runners Lopez Lamong (2007 NCAA 1,500 champion), Matt Tegenkamp (American two-mile record holder), Jonathon Riley (three-time U.S. champion) and Chris Solinsky (five-time NCAA champion) - all competing for Nike - and missed the 29-year-old UNM record by 2.17 seconds in his first collegiate 1,500 race...time was the fastest by a Mountain West Conference runner before the month of June and ranked third on the all-time conference list...a violent collision with 400 meters to go on May 4 at Stanford forced Emanuel off his stride, resulting in an eighth place finish (3:42.42)...came back to win the 1,500, as expected, at the MWC Championships in Fort Worth (3:47.62)...secured his NCAA Championships spot with a relatively easy seventh place finish (3:45.28) at the Midwest Regional Championships...also qualified for the regional meet in the 800 with a season-best time of 1:50.16 at California on April 16.

Career Highlights: Competed for the City of Sheffield (England) Athletics Club in 2006 and '07...graduate of Sheffield Hallam University and is pursuing his master's degree in Physical Education at UNM.

Sandy Fortner • Heptathlon (No. 7 seed)
5-9 • Jr-2L
Fort Sumner, N.M. (Fort Sumner HS)
Career Best: 5,641 points (May 14-15, 2008 - Fort Worth, Texas)

Competition Scouting Report: Fortner owns the seventh-best score in the 27-woman field...she is one of four women from the Mountain West Conference in the field, including rival Emily Pearson (No. 9) of Colorado State...Fortner defeated Pearson, CSU's Katie Lloyd (No. 24) and San Diego State's Kristin Olafsdottir (No. 26) at the MWC Championships (May 14-15), but finished behind Pearson and Lloyd on their home track, April 24-25...Fortner faced six members of the NCAA heptathlon field in her first multi of the spring on April 2-3 at the Texas Relays...she beat Lloyd, Boston College's Tiana Riel (No. 20) and USC's Shana Woods (No. 19), but finished behind Pearson, Indiana's Abbie Stechschulte (No. 4) and Boston College's Kasey Hill (No. 12).

Quoting Fortner: "My expectations are to get All-America status, plain and simple. I'm seeded seventh right now and I would love to stay where I'm at or even move up in the rankings. I want to improve my score so I can move up on the Olympic Trials list and compete in some more meets this summer. Coaches always talk about how you need to peak at the right time and it seems that every meet I peak, and hopefully I can contiune to do that. I'm mentally ready and physically ready this year. I know I can do this and get better."

How She Qualified: Recorded an automatic qualifying score of 5,641 en route to the Mountain West Conference title on May 15 in Fort Worth, Texas.

UNM NCAA Heptathlon Qualifiers: Fortner is the third UNM woman, but first New Mexican, to compete in the heptathlon at the NCAA Outdoor Championships...her former coach Keren Sari-Bentzur was the last to do so in 2003 (22nd)...Sari-Bentzur recorded the highest finish by a Lobo in the event, placing ninth - one spot shy of All-America honors - with a score of 5,285 as a junior in 2002...Darcy Ahner was the first Lobo to compete in the heptathlon, finishing 16th (5,189) as a junior in 1989...Ahner returned to the NCAA Championships in 1990, but was forced to pull out of the competition.

UNM Women At The NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships: Fortner and sprinter Barbara Bell (1984) are the only athletes in the history of the UNM women's program to qualify for both the NCAA Indoor and NCAA Outdoor Championships in the same year...Fortner became the first Lobo to compete in the pentathlon at the NCAA Indoor Championships during the winter....Bell competed in the indoor 55-meter dash and 100 meters outdoors at the '84 NCAA meets.

Road To Des Moines: Competed in 36 events during the spring, including three heptathlon competitions...also member of the Lobos' top 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams...surpassed the NCAA provisional qualifying standard in all three heptathlon competitions, including a school record an automatic qualifying score of 5,641 to win the competition at the MWC Championships...posted career-bests in four of the seven events (100m hurdles, shot, 200m, javelin) to become the Lobos' first conference heptathlon champ since 1989...smashed the previous school record by 222 points and her own personal record by 298 points as she moved up to second on the MWC all-time list...battled through a sore knee to knock off top-seeded Emily Pearson of CSU after finishing no higher than fourth in her first two MWC heptathlon competitions...qualified for the NCAA regional meet for the first time in the long jump with a career-best mark of 19-09.00 in Albuquerque and later at the same meet, helped UNM qualify its first 4x100 relay team to the regional meet (45.70)...finished seventh in the shot put at the MWC Championships...ranked among the top-15 in the MWC in the 100m hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot and javelin.

Career Highlights: 2008 NCAA Championships qualifier in the pentathlon (12th) and heptathlon...owns school records in both events...also helped the indoor 4x400 team set a school record in 2007...three-time all-MWC honoree in the pentathlon, indoor high jump and heptathlon...has competed in 165 events in her first three years, including nine heptathlons and seven pentathlons.

Other Notes: Another one of the Lobos' small-town stars...dominated the class 1A competition while at tiny Fort Sumner High School in eastern New Mexico (town population 1,060)...2005 Albuquerque Journal Female Athlete of the Year - the first competitor from a 1A program to win the award...4-time high point winner at the state meet, including her freshman and sophomore years at 2A Tucamcari High School...19 gold medals in her prep career...captured state titles in the high jump, long jump, 100-meter hurdles, 400 meters and 100 meters as a senior...set 8 class 1A records in her career...identical twin sister Kelly is a sophomore pole vaulter for the Lobos...dad, Brian, is the girl's basketball and track coach at Fort Sumner HS...majoring in Occupational Therapy with a minor in Sign Language.

Jeremy Johnson • 10,000 meters (No. 10 seed)
5-8 • Sr-2L
Albuquerque, N.M. (Manzano HS)
Career Best: 28:33.08 (May 4, 2008 - Stanford, Calif.)

Preliminary Race Scouting Report: Johnson owns the 10th-fastest entry time among the 26 competitors that will toe the line on Thursday night...it will be just the fourth 10,000-meter race of his career and second of the season...he faced seven of the runners in the field in his other 10K race this spring on May 4 at Stanford...Johnson defeated six of those runners - Iona's Mohamed Khadraoui (No. 12) and Andrew Ledwith (No. 20), Arkansas' Shawn Forrest (No. 6), Wisconsin's Christian Wagner (No. 21), Oregon's Diego Mercado (No. 25) and junior teammate Mat Ashton (No. 19)...Weber State's Seth Pilkington (No. 7) was the only runner in this year's 10K field to defeat him at Stanford.

Quoting Johnson: "This being my last UNM meet makes it really special for me. I'm going to go out there and give it a good run and cross my fingers and hope things go my way. The aim is always to do better and improve upon what I have already done. Last year, just trying to be All-American was a big goal and now this year the goal is to see how high I can finish. It isn't just trying to be All-American anymore. I want to run as hard as I can and try to win the whole thing."

How He Qualified: Ran almost 12 seconds under the automatic qualifying standard to secure his place in the NCAA Outdoor Championhip field for the second straight year...Johnson and former teammate Matt Gonzales (2003-04) are the only Lobos to run the 10,000 at the NCAA Championships in back-to-back years.

Two Lobos In The Same Event: Johnson will team with junior Mat Ashton to give the Lobos a pair of runners in the 10,000-meter race on Thursday...it marks the sixth time UNM has qualified two men in the same event at the NCAA Outdoor Championships...it's the first time the Lobos have ever had two qualifiers in the 10,000...the last time it happened in a distance race was 1967 when Web Loudat (3rd) and Adrian DeWindt (13th) competed in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

All-American Men's Distance Runners At UNM: Seven men (nine awards), including all three previous 10,000-meter qualifiers...Johnson finished seventh in the race at the 2007 NCAA meet in Sacramento, Matt Gonzales was fourth in Austin in 2004 and third the previous year in Sacramento...Ibrahim Kivina was the first to earn All-America honors in the 10,000, finishing second in 1984...George Scott (3 miles) and Web Loudat (3,000 steeplechase) were the first distance All-Americans at UNM in 1967.

Road To Des Moines: Secured his return to the NCAA Outdoor Championships with a career-best, NCAA automatic qualifying and Mountain West Conference leading time of 28:33.08 in the 10,000 at Stanford's Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational on May 4...finished seventh out of 34 runners in his lone 10K race of the year...his time was fourth among all collegians at the meet...Johnson ran over 14 seconds under his previous best in the 10,000 and was nearly 12 seconds under the NCAA automatic qualifying time...he was also 27 seconds under the Olympic Trials "B" standard and just 18 second shy of the automatic qualifying time for the Olympic Trials...also qualified for the NCAA regional meet in the 5,000 with a season-best and MWC leading time of 13:51.84 in his first long distance race of 2008 on April 25 at the Oregon Relays...was awarded a sixth-year of eligibility in late March, replacing his injury-ruined 2004 season when he was a redshirt freshman at the University of Arizona.

Career Highlights: Two-time All-American...finished 20th at the 2007 NCAA Cross Country Championships and was seventh in the 10,000 at the '07 NCAA Outdoor Track Championships...six-time indoor/outdoor all-MWC honoree on the track the past three years, including four medals in '07...ranks among the top-five in MWC history in both the 10,000 (28:33.08 - 3rd) and 5,000 (13:50.85 - 4th)...two-time first team all-MWC cross country runner...earned a wire-to-wire victory at the '07 MWC Cross Country Championships and owns the fastest 8K time in UNM and MWC cross country history...third team Academic All-America honoree in 2007.

Other Notes: Returned to UNM in `05 after transferring to Arizona for 1 1/2 years...sat out the `05 track and cross country seasons due to NCAA transfer rules...returned to competition during the `06 track seasons...originally signed with New Mexico out of high school and was one of the team's top cross country runners as a 17-year-old freshman in `02...redshirted the `03 track seasons before moving on to Tucson, where he competed in cross country and track during the `03-04 seasons...New Mexico 5A 3,200m champion as a senior...younger brother, Ben, was also a New Mexico prep standout and will attend Stanford next fall.

Tiyana Peters • High Jump (No. 23 seed)
5-8 • Sr-3L
Flanders, N.J. (Mount Olive HS)
Career Best: 5' 10 1/2" (May 31, 2008 - Lincoln, Neb.)

Qualifying Competition Scouting Report: Peters will be the No. 23 seed in the field of 27 when qualifying begins on Wednesday afternoon...she and Colorado State junior Niomi Ridge (No. 18) are the lone qualifiers from the Mountain West Conference...Peters has faced six of the national competitors head-to-head this spring...she defeated Ridge and Nebraska's Kim Shubert (No. 19) at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on May 31 and defeated Ridge again at the Mountain West Championships on May 17.

Quoting Peters: "I expect to go out and maintain. I know that I can go out and jump 5-10 or 5-11. I just have to go out and jump as well as I know I can. At these bigger meets it's not about what you can do because clearly I can jump or else I wouldn't be here. It's just about focusing on what the goal is and that is to do well. I'm not thinking about the fact that it's nationals. I'm just thinking about that I want to go out there and jump well."

How She Qualified: Won a jump-off with a career-best leap of 5' 10 1/2" to place fifth at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships in Lincoln, Neb. (May 31) and earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships...tied for 13th (5' 7 1/4") in her first trip to the regional meet in 2007.

UNM Women's High Jumpers At The NCAA Championships: Peters is the second UNM woman to compete in the high jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet...freshman Kelli Myers was the first to do so in 2002...Myers, who entered with a top mark of 5' 10 3/4", failed to clear the opening height in the qualifying round.

Road To Des Moines: Earned all-region honors for the first time with a dramatic fifth place finish in Lincoln...on the bubble for an NCAA bid entering the week, she locked up her first trip to the Outdoor Championships with a clutch jump-off victory over Nebraska's Kim Shubert...both women cleared 5' 9 1/4" (1.76m) on their second attempt but missed all three at 5' 11 1/4" (1.81m) to finish in a tie for the fifth and final automatic qualifying spot...Peters, however, cleared a career-best 5' 10 1/2" (1.79m) on her first attempt in the jump-off and Shubert was unable to match...finished in the top five in all 6 meets, including three victories...swept the MWC Indoor/Outdoor high jump titles for the second straight season with a jump of 5' 8 3/4" in Fort Worth...cleared 5' 10" to win the event at the UTEP Invitational and 5' 8 3/4" in a season-opening win at Arizona State.

Career Highlights: Four-time indoor/outdoor MWC high jump champion, sweeping the event in 2007 and 2008, and five-time all-MWC honoree...four MWC gold medals are the second-highest total by a Lobo...also a three-time Academic All-MWC honoree (double major in Psychology and Pre-Law) and New Mexico's NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee...has one season of indoor eligibility remaining.

Other Notes: Indoor prep All-American at Mount Olive High School in Flanders, N.J...went undefeated as a senior in 2004...set school records at both West Orange (N.J.) High School and Mount Olive with jumps of 5' 8" as a sophomore and senior, respectively.

UNM HEAD COACH Joe Franklin's WEEKLY ADDRESS

"This is what we have talked about since the beginning of the year. We wanted to see how many student athletes we could put in position to be in the national championship. We have seven quality athletes that have qualified and five of the seven are ranked in the top ten in the nation. That shows that New Mexico is a player in the track and field world"

"We are providing our student athletes with great opportunities that will enable them to get to the national championship. It's all about opportunities with out them you can't make the national championship. We want to see how many All-Americans we can get. I think the sky is the limit."

BEIJING CALLING

Five Lobos have either ran, jumped or thrown marks good enough to earn themselves a shot at the Olympic Trials beginning June 27th at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Each of the five have achieved the Olympic "B" standard that makes them eligible for an invitation to the trials. Led by Junior Katie Coronado, who is only seven centimeters from the Olympic "A" standard, and sophomore Alesha Walker, who is only 1 ¼" from the "A" standard, the Lobos could be well represented at the Olympic Trials.

Other Lobos that have reached the Olympic Trials "B" standard.
Senior Rober Caldwell - Pole Vault
Junior Sandy Fortner - Heptathlon
Senior Jeremy Johnson - 10,000 meters

SMALL TOWN HEROES GET BIG RESULTS AT MWC CHAMPIONSHIPS

Three of New Mexico individual champions at the MWC Championships come from towns with New Mexico class 3A high schools or smaller. Robert Caldwell (Socorro, N.M.) in the pole vault, Katie Coronado (Ruidoso, N.M.) in the javelin and Sandy Fortner (Fort Sumner, N.M.) in the heptathlon each brought home the gold medal. Coronado and Fortner are also school record holders in there respective events.

LAST TIME OUT (NCAA MIDWEST REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS)

After a tough opening day of competition the University of New Mexico reversed its fortunes on May 31 at the NCAA Midwest Regional Track and Field Championships at Nebraska. Junior Katie Coronado broke her own school record with a winning throw of 178' 7" (54.43m) in the women's javelin, while senior Tiyana Peters secured her place in the NCAA Championship field with a dramatic fifth place finish in the high jump. Senior Robert Caldwell and junior Lee Emanuel, meanwhile, wrapped up at-large bids in the pole vault and 1,500 meters, respectively.

Coronado was the story of the day for the Lobos as the Ruidoso, N.M. product improved to a remarkable 9-0 versus collegiate competition this season. Her only loss in 2008 came at home against former UTEP All-American Erma Jean Evans. Top-ranked Ruby Radocaj of Minnesota was second with a mark of 177' 11" (54.22m).

On the bubble for an NCAA bid entering the week, Peters locked up her first trip to the Outdoor Championships with a clutch jump-off victory over Nebraska's Kim Shubert. Both women cleared 5' 9 ¼" (1.76m) on their second attempt but missed all three at 5' 11 ¼" (1.81m) to finish in a tie for the fifth and final automatic qualifying spot.

Caldwell capped the day with a strategic ninth place finish in the men's pole vault. Ranked second in the country entering the day, the Socorro, N.M. product needed just a top-12 finish to secure an at-large bid to the NCAA meet.

On the track, junior transfer Lee Emanuel became the first Lobo since 1979 to advance to the NCAA Championships in the 1,500 with a seventh place finish (3:45.28). Ranked eighth in the nation entering the meet, Emanuel also needed just a top-12 finish to secure his place in the NCAA field.

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