April 7, 2004
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of New Mexico senior Mark Johnson was named Mountain West Conference Men's Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week the league announced this afternoon. Johnson earned the award for the first time in his career after his performance in the decathlon at the prestigious Texas Relays last week. The Fontana, Wisc. native is the fifth member of the UNM men's team to win the weekly award. Distance runner Matt Gonzales was the lone Lobo to be honored last spring.
Johnson set personal records in his final four events of the decathlon to move up six places on the second day of competition to finish seventh in a field featuring many of the nation's top competitors at the 77th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Johnson posted a personal best and NCAA provisional qualifying score of 7,141 in his first appearance at the meet. It is also the highest point total in the MWC this season.
After finishing the first day in 13th place, Johnson notched a personal record in the discus (127-01) before notching 16-04.75 in the pole vault (tied for third), nearly eight inches above his previous best. Johnson capped his afternoon with two more personal records in the javelin (144-04) and 1,500-meter run (4:44.46). Overall, he collected personal bests in five events, including the 100 (11.30), during the 10-event competition to eclipse the provisional qualifying score (by 141 points) for the first time in his career.
Johnson, the 2004 MWC indoor heptathlon champion and 2002 MWC decathlon champ, was one of 11 in the 16-man field to surpass the provisional standard, while three athletes secured automatic bids to the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships. The defending league decathlon champion, Curtis Pugsley (7,044 pts.), and runner-up, Devin Scoresby (6,854 pts.), both of BYU, finished tied for ninth and 12th, respectively.