April 12, 2005
by Andrea Winter
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Univeristy of New Mexico junior Derek Mackel was named Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week, the league announced Tuesday afternoon. Mackel's third-place finish in the Section A pole vault at the Texas Relays, Saturday, April 9, earned him his first Athlete of the Week award.
The Albuquerque native's personal-best mark of 17-08.50 was the second-best mark in Lobo history, behind three-time All-American Simon Arkell's 1991 mark of 18-02.00. It is also the third-best collegiate mark all season and fifth all-time in MWC history. Mackel surpassed his personal-best mark by almost eight inches as he defeated two of the nation's top-ten pole vaulters.
This is the first Athlete of Week awarded to a UNM track athlete this season, and it marks the seventh time in the sixth-year history of the league that a Lobo has been selected for the award. Mackel qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships last weekend at the UTEP Springtime Invitational, and is now 8th in the Trackwire Dandy Dozen pole vault rankings.