Lobos Open 2004 Indoor Season In Familiar Territory
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  01/22/2004
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Jan. 22, 2004


The University of New Mexico men's and women's track and field teams open the 2004 indoor season at the Cadet Field House for the fourth straight year when they join the field of the 14th annual Air Force Invitational on Friday and Saturday. The competition begins with the men's weight throw at 1 p.m. (MST), on Friday. The women's pentathlon will also be contested on Friday, as well as part of the men's heptathlon. Saturday's events begin at 10 a.m., with the women's weight throw.

The two-day competition will be one of the Lobos' few scored meets of the indoor or outdoor regular seasons and will feature 12 teams vying for the meet title. The field will include Mountain West Conference foes, Air Force, BYU, Colorado State and Wyoming, as well as regional opponents Colorado, Utah State and Wichita State. CSU has swept the men's and women's meet titles six of the past seven years.

This weekend's meet marks the first of four regular season competitions for the Lobos this indoor season. UNM will also travel to Texas Tech, Houston and Northern Arizona before returning to the Cadet Field House for the 2004 Mountain West Conference Championships.

New Mexico enjoyed a stellar performance in last year's Air Force Invite, setting five indoor school records and winning six events. The Lobo men's team turned in a well-rounded performance to finish a strong third in the 12-team field a year ago. UNM scored 90 points, which was just 2.5 behind Air Force and 19 shy of first place Colorado State. The UNM women, meanwhile, finished in the middle fo the pack, placing sixth with 41 points.


Complete information and results from the 14th annual Air Force Invitational will be available at the official athletic department website of the U.S. Air Force Academy:

Air Force Invitational Meet Information

Air Force Invitational Meet Results


Junior Matt Gonzales will pull double duty during the 2004 indoor season as he prepares to compete against the top American distance runners for a spot on the USA national cross country team. Gonzales will travel to Indianapolis on Feb. 7 for the cross country team trials, where he will compete in a 4,000-meter race. The top six finishers in the 4K will be selected for the national team, which will compete at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Brussels, Belgium in late March.

This will be the second national team trials competition for the Santa Fe native. Gonzales finished 11th in the 10,000 meters at the 2003 USA Track and Field Championships, just one week after earning All-America honors with his third place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.


After establishing four indoor school records in 2002, the New Mexico men and women barely let the ink dry before resuming their assault on the record book. Six new standards were established in 2003, including a remarkable five school records set at the 2003 indoor season-opener, the Air Force Invitational.

On the women's side, senior Keren Sari-Bentzur bettered her own pentathlon record twice, scoring 3,771 at the Air Force Invite, then 3,845 at the MWC Championships. Her conference meet score was 118 points higher than her 2002 record and 151 above her first record-setting score in 2001. Sophomore transfer Bridgid Isworth eclipsed teammate Amber Nolte's 2002 record in the pole vault in every meet this season, setting the new standard with a vault of 13-02.50 at the MWC Championships, over a foot above Nolte's mark. Sophomore Amanda Barnes bettered Myra Smith's 13-year-old record in the shot put by 0.75 inches, recording a throw of 47-00.25 at the MWC Championships. Barnes and fellow sophomore Jamie Fishencord also traded weight throw records with Barnes, the first woman ever to compete in the event at UNM, finally recording the top throw of 49-09.25 at the conference meet.

For the men, junior Chris Garofola smashed Justin Massey's 2001 record in the 60-meter hurdles, clocking a new standard of 8.22 in the finals of the Air Force Invite. The men's distance medley relay team of sophomores Cameron Clarke, Matt Gonzales, Ben Ortega and senior transfer Mike Pestorich also surpassed the Lobos' 2002 record time by over four seconds, clocking a time of 10:11.60 at the meet. Garofola etched his name on the record books once again, eclipsing Larry Davis' two-year old mark in the 60m dash with a time of 6.96 in the finals of the Husker Invitational.