May 10, 2006
PROVO, Utah - Through the first four events of the Mountain West Conference heptathlon competition, University of New Mexico freshman Sandy Fortner is in third place and just 47 points off the lead with a score of 3,143. Fortner notched top-three finishes in each of her final three events to put herself within striking distance of the day one leader, San Diego State freshman Kristin Olafsdottir (3,190). The heptathlon concludes on Friday at Clarence F. Robison Track with the long jump, javelin and 800-meter run.
After a seventh place finish in the 100-meter hurdles (15.04*) to open the day, Fortner tied for second in the high jump with a leap of 5' 5 3/4" and placed third in the shot put with a mark of 37' 1". The Fort Sumner, N.M. product capped her day with one of her fastest 200-meter races of the year, finishing tied for second with a time of 25.28*.
With three events remaining on Friday, a mere 68 points separates the top four athletes in the competition. Buoyed by a big effort in the first event of the day, the 100-meter hurdles (14.15*), Olafsdottir holds a four-point lead over defending champion Katie Lloyd of Colorado State (3,186). CSU sophomore Emily Pearson (3,122) is in fourth place, trailing Fortner by 21 points.
Already over the NCAA provisional qualifying standard with a season-best score of 5,088, set in mid-April at the Mt. SAC Relays, Fortner likely needs to increase her qualifying score by at least 100 points to have a realistic chance to qualify for the national meet. Tomorrow's competition opens with Fortner's best event, the long jump, followed by the javelin and 800 meters. She is also looking to become the second Lobo ever to earn all-MWC honors in the heptathlon, joining her current coach Keren Bentzur, who placed third in 2002.
Live results will be available throughout the day on the official website of the Mountain West Conference (www.themwc.com). The first event begins at noon (MST) on Friday.
*indicates altitude adjusted time, recorded at an elevation of 4,627 feet.