New Mexico heads to TCU for MWC Track Championships.
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  05/13/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

May 13, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader


The University of New Mexico track and field team will travel to Fort Worth, Texas for the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships (May 14-17). This will be the first MWC Outdoor Championships meet for first year head coach Joe Franklin and his staff who have six top-seeded athletes and 17 total athletes, plus all four relay teams, ranked in the top five in their respective events. This marks the first time TCU has hosted the MWC Track and Field Championships.

While the MWC Championships get the top billing this weekend, New Mexico is also looking forward to the NCAA Midwest Regional meet (May 30-31) in Lincoln, Neb. where it will send the biggest group of qualifiers in program history. Eleven Lobo athletes and one relay team have combined for 16 NCAA regional qualifying marks this year - matching the best total at UNM since the regional meet format began in 2003.


Results: For Live Meet Results please click: HERE

Live Blog: University of New Mexico media relations assistant Daniel Archuleta will be on hand to provide complete Lobo coverage of the MWC Championships exclusively on www.GoLobos.com. The live blog will start on Thursday during the final events of the decathlon and heptathlon, as well as the men's hammer throw.

Schedule: The decathlon and heptathlon will get started on Wednesday at 12 p.m. and will conclude on Thursday afternoon. Also on Thursday, the men's hammer throw will be in action. On Friday, the running events will kick off bright and early at 7:30 a.m. with the women's 10,000 meters. On Friday the field events will start with the men's high jump at 10:30 a.m. On Saturday the women's 4 x 100-meter relays will start at 12 p.m. and the championships will conclude at 4 p.m. with an awards ceremony.

For a complete list of all events and times please visit: COMPLETE SCHEDULE

Teams Competing: Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, (women only), Utah (women only), Wyoming.

Fort Worth Weather Report: On Wednesday there will be and 80 percent chance of thunder storms with a high of 76 degrees. On Thursday it will be partly cloudy with a high of 74 degrees and only a 20 percent chance of precipitation. The weekend will be more like Texas weather with highs in the mid 70s to mid 80s with only a few clouds and a 20 percent chance of precipitation.

Last Year at the Mountain West Championships: New Mexico brought home 11 all-MWC medals including three individual titles last year at the San Diego State Sports Deck. Junior Jarrin Solomon won his first 400-meter title, defeating Colorado State's Drew Morano by 0.24 seconds with a time of 46.50. Junior Tiyana Peters brought home the gold in the women's high jump by out-jumping defending champion Mindy Neely of BYU with a height of 5' 8 3/4" (1.75m). Sophomore Katie Coronado finished a full six feet ahead of the next competitor with winning throw of 162' 2" (49.44m).

Overall the women finished fifth with a a score of 68 points - their highest since 2000. The men finished sixth with 75 points.

2007 All-MWC conference list:
Men (7):

Jarrin Solomon (400)
Brian Vallie (800)
Jeremy Johnson (1,500 & 5,000)
Joseph Garcia (10,000)
Dan Feltman (Jav.)
Siemon, Solomon, Ku. Henry, McCain (4x400)

Women (4):
Ariel Burr (400)
Katie Coronado (Javelin)
Timmie Murphy (5,000)
Tiyana Peters (High Jump)


Already a beautiful facility the home of UNM track and field received a touch-up that has made the best track in New Mexico even better. A Daktronics scoreboard was recently installed in the southeast area of the stadium thanks to a generous gift by Lucille Fallen and O.D. McDonald. The scoreboard will indicate times, lane assignments and complete event results.

The scenery off the track has also changed to suit the level of class on the track. The landscaping has been improved as well as the additions of lettering, wind screens and painting to let visitors know that they are in fact at the University of New Mexico. The press box has also been expanded for the working media.

Future improvements include the John Baker Memorial Track Offices to be renovated giving New Mexico a first class administrative facility and lounge at the stadium. A Wall of Honor, sponsored by the New Mexico Track & Field Club is also being developed to permanently recognize the greatest teams and athletes in Lobo history.


"I think it's going to be a very competitive meet. The Mountain West Conference is interesting because we don't have a lot of schools, but in some events we have some of the best athletes in the country. If you look at events like the pole vault, some of the distance races and the women's long jump and triple jump, we are right up there with the big boys. The MWC can compete with the BCS schools in any event. We want to compete well, enjoy Texas and hopefully qualify more people for the NCAA regional championships."

"On the women's side there are numerous women that have a chance to do some big things. Sandy Fortner, Alesha Walker, Ariel Burr, Katie Coronado, Deanna Young, Tiyana Peters and the 4x100 and 4x400 relays are where our big points are going to come from. We have a large number of women that could place. The goal is to score over 72 points. For some of these women it will be the last time they put on a Lobo uniform in a conference championship so the goal is to improve on our finish. We can have some great performances and have a good experience."

"On the men's side the usual cast of characters will contribute in big ways. Robert Caldwell, Anthony Fairbanks, Mat Asthon, Lee Emanuel, Josh Cosio and Jeremy Johnson will be where we get our big points from. In other areas we will look to nickel and dime them. We should score in the vault, 5,000, 10,000, 1,500, 800, javelin, and in the relays. There should be no reason why we don't have three placers in the vault. Jermaine McQueen from the football team is going to run the 100 for us. For him to make the MWC finals against TCU's sprinters would be a great thing for him."


New Mexico senior Jarrin Solomon will apply for a medical redshirt for the 2008 outdoor season. Solomon had been severely limited by pneumonia much of the spring that has prevented him from competing and limited him to only three races this year. He also suffered a hamstring injury this week that made the decision to shut him down a logical one.

Solomon, who redshirted the 2008 indoor season, also had a redshirt year available outdoors and his three competitions in the first half of the season was within the NCAA limits to petition for a medical redshirt. The defending MWC outdoor 400-meter champion and 2007 NCAA Championships qualifier plans to resume training as soon as he gets healthy to prepare for the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Trials in late June. Solomon competed with the T&T 4x400 team last summer at the 2007 World Championships in Japan.


Senior Jeremy Johnson secured his spot in the NCAA outdoor track and field championships (June 11-14) in the 10,000 meters when he ran an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 28:33.08 at the Peyton Jordan Invitational in Stanford Calif. May 5. Johnson's time was also the fastest in the MWC and his second top time in two weeks.

Johnson took full advantage of running at one of the premier distance destinations in the country on April 26 as he posted the MWC's top time in the 5,000 meters at Oregon's historic Hayward Field. In his first long distance race of the year, Johnson posted a time of 13:51.84, which is almost four seconds ahead of BYU's Kyle Perry.


While the MWC championships will be the final meet of the season for some, 14 Lobos have qualified in 16 events for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on May 30-31.

Eight women, including four-time regional qualifier Ariel Burr (200 and 400) and two-time regional qualifiers Katie Coronado (javelin), Tiyana Peters (high jump) and Kara Henry (3,000 steeplechase) have punched their tickets to Lincoln, Neb. First timers Deanna Young (long jump and triple jump) Alesha Walker (long jump) Sandy Fortner (long jump) as well as the 4x100-meter team of Fortner Walker, Burr and Kristan Matison round out the Lobo women qualifiers.

On the men's side, four-time qualifier Robert Caldwell (pole vault) three-time qualifier Anthony Fairbanks (javelin) and two-time qualifier Jeremy Johnson (5,000) have secured their spots. British transfers Lee Emanuel (800 and 1,500) and Mat Ashton (5,000), meanwhile, earned their first trips to the regional meet.

Burr and Caldwell are the first four-time regional qualifiers in UNM history. This is the first year the Lobos have had a regional qualifier in the 3,000 steeplechase, long jump, triple jump, 800 and women's 4x100 team.


Sophomore skiing sensation Polina Ermoshina made her track in field debut this past Saturday at the Mt. SAC Relays in the 5,000 meters. The product of Moscow, Russia ran an MWC top-15 time of 17:41.04 in her first collegiate race. A three-time All-American Nordic skier for the Lobos, Ermoshina looks to make an immediate impact on the Lobos' distance program. She also helped the UNM women's cross country team to a 3rd place MWC finish this past fall.


Franklin has built his team using some good old home grown talent. Of the 72 student-athletes on the track and field roster 65 are from the Land of Enchantment. Most of the talent pool comes from right here in the Duke City, with 20 men and 13 women calling Albuquerque their home. The state is well represented though. From Gallup to Clovis and Carlsbad to Aztec there is an athlete that has chosen UNM as their home away from home.


Sophomore sensations Alesha Walker and Deanna Young have helped put the Lobo women's track and field team on the national map. The women's team spent two weeks ranked 24th in the nation thanks to some key performances by Walker and Young.

Walker's school record-breaking jump of 21' 4" at the UTEP Invitational on April 12 is the sixth best leap in the nation. Walker's jump is still top 30 in the world as of May 12 according to www.iaaf.org. Young whose forte is the triple jump has the 17th best mark in the nation at 42' 10 ¾" and also owns the nations 28th best long jump with a mark of 20' 6 ¼" (March 29).

Other Lobo Women Contributing to National Ranking:
Jr. Katie Coronado - Javelin (171' 5") - Ranked 8th Nationally
Sr. Tiyana Peters - High Jump (5' 10") - Ranked 20th Nationally
Jr. Sandy Fortner - Heptathlon (5,343) - Ranked 16th Nationally


Junior Transfer Lee Emanuel missed the 19-year-old school record in the 1,500 by 2.17 seconds when he clocked a 3:40.77 on April 12 at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe Ariz. Emanuel's time is current ranked sixth nationally and is the best in the Mountain West Conference - almost four seconds ahead of BYU's Kyle Perry. The Hastings, England product holds the UNM indoor school record in the mile at 4:04.27.

Other Lobo Men with a National Ranking:
Sr. Jeremy Johnson - 10,000 (28:33.08) / 5,000 (13:51.84) - Ranked 8th Nationally / Ranked 20th Nationally
Sr. Robert Caldwell - Pole Vault (17' 6 ½") - Ranked 9th Nationally
Jr. Anthony Fairbanks - Javelin (224' 11") - Ranked 16th Nationally
Jr. Mat Ashton - 10,000 (29:12.81) - Ranked 22nd Nationally


At the 18th Annual Don Kirby Invitational
On a perfect day for track and field the University of New Mexico gave its fans plenty to cheer about at its lone home meet of 2008, the 18th Don Kirby Memorial Invitational. The Lobos won 10 events and the women's team clinched the Rio Grande Rivalry title for UNM with a 204-143 victory over New Mexico State. New Mexico won the 2007-08 Rio Grande Rivalry by a cumulative score of 16.25-6.75.

Senior Ariel Burr left a lasting impression in the final outdoor home meet of her great career. Burr teamed with Sandy Fortner, Alesha Walker and fellow senior Kristan Matison to record an NCAA regional qualifying time of 45.70* en route to an easy victory in the first running event of the day. Running their first relay race of the year, the group became the first New Mexico foursome to advance to the regional meet in the event.

Fortner, meanwhile, punched her first ticket the NCAA Midwest Region Championships with a second place leap of 19' 9" (6.02m) in the long jump. Already one of the nation's top heptathletes, was over five inches beyond her previous career-best in the event.

It wasn't all women's highlights, however. Senior Robert Caldwell matched his career-high, recorded two weeks ago at TCU, with a clearance of 17' 6 1/2" (5.35m) in the pole vault. Caldwell was the top collegiate finisher (T-2nd overall) in an elite field of vaulters.

At Peyton Jordan Invitational
University of New Mexico senior Jeremy Johnson secured his return to the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet with a sensational performance in the 10,000-meter run May 4 at Stanford's elite Payton Jordan Invitational. Johnson clocked a career-best and NCAA automatic qualifying time of 28:33.08 - fourth among collegians at the meet - in his first 10K race of the year.

Junior teammate Mat Ashton, meanwhile, took a big step toward locking up his first NCAA Championship bid with a time of 28:56.39 - 12 seconds shy of the automatic standard - in his second 10,000 of the season. It was the first sub 29-minute 10K of his career.


Several Lobos are highly ranked in the Mountain West Conference and have a shot of bringing home All-Conference honors. New Mexico has seven athletes currently ranked No. 1 in the conference in their respective events with seven other marks ranked among the top-3 in the MWC. In each event the top three places will be awarded All-MWC honors.

Junior transfer Lee Emanuel leads the MWC in the 1,500 with a time of 3:40.77. Senior Jeremy Johnson holds the top spot in both the 10,000 meters (28:33.08) and the 5,000 meters (13:51.84). Junior transfer Mat Ashton has the second best spot in the 10,000 with a time of 28:56.39. Junior javelin thrower Anthony Fairbanks leads the MWC by over nine feet with a top mark of 224' 11" (68.55m).

Junior high jumper Josh Cosio cleared 6' 8 ¾" (2.05m) - the second best mark in the conference. Senior pole vaulter Robert Caldwell's mark of 17' 6 ½" (5.35m) is the top spot in the MWC.

On the women's side, juniors Tiyana Peters and Sandy Fortner hold the second and third best marks in the MWC in the high jump. Peters has tied a career best with a 5' 10" (1.78m) leap while Fortner cleared 5' 7" (1.70m). Fortner also holds the 2nd best mark in the heptathlon with 3,434 points. Junior Katie Coronado has the MWC top throw in the javelin of 171' 5" (52.25m), which is 14 feet ahead of the next competitor.

Sophomores Alesha Walker and Deanna Young have the first and third best leaps in the long jump. Walker smashed the 18 years old New Mexico school record as she flew into the MWC lead with a jump of 21' 4" (6.50m). Young made her season debut a quality outing at the when she just missed the UNM school record with a jump 20' 6 ¼" (6.25m). Young also owns the MWC second best triple jump spot with a mark of 42' 10 ¾" (12.94m).

Other Lobos Ranked in the Top 10 in the MWC include:

200 Meters
Ariel Burr - 4th (23.74*)

400 Meters
Ariel Burr - 4th (54.55)

5,000 Meters
Kara Henry - 8th (17:00.97)
Carolyn Boosey - 9th (17:01.42)

400 Meter Hurdles
Kim Perkins - 8th (1:01.41)

3,000 Meter Steeplechase
Kara Henry - 5th (10:38.20)
Carolyn Boosey - 7th (10:56.74)
Stasia Ploskonka 10th (11:32.80)

4 x 100 Meter Relay
S. Fortner, Walker, Burr, Matison - 4th (45.70*)

4 x 400 Meter Relay
Zarrella, Perkins, Burr, S. Fortner - 5th (3:48.08*)

Long Jump
Sandy Fortner - 6th (19' 9")

Triple Jump
Hagit Salamon - 7th (39' 10")
Brittany Smith - 9th (37' 10 ½")

Shot Put
Briana Paxton - 7th (44' 8 ¾")
Sandy Fortner - 8th (44' 6 ¼")

Vanessa Strobbe - 8th (135' 5")

100 Meters
Chirs Keeling - 9th (10.87*)

400 Meters
Philip Reid - 7th (48.02)

800 Meters
Lee Emanuel - 4th (1:50.16)
Ryan Steadman - 7th (1:51.81)

1,500 Meters
Jeremy Johnson - 8th (3:50.00)

5,000 Meters
Mat Ashton - 5th (14.09.78)

Pole Vault
Kyle Walker - 7th (16' 0 ¾")
Adam Martinez - 8th (15' 7")

Triple Jump
Josh Cosio - 7th (46' 3 ½")

Hammer Throw
Matthew Henry-Marshall 8th (171' 1")