May 11, 2006
PROVO, Utah - University of New Mexico freshman Sandy Fortner ran her fastest 800-meter race of the year in the seventh and final event of the Mountain West Conference women's heptathlon championship, finishing fifth with a career-best score of 5,190 this afternoon at BYU's Clarence F. Robison Track. Fortner clocked a time of 2:22.48*, over six seconds under her previous best, in the 800 to record the highest heptathlon score ever by a Lobo at the MWC Championship meet.
The Fort Sumner, N.M. product improved her NCAA provisional qualifying score in the heptathlon by 102 points and will be a strong candidate for an NCAA Championship berth when the committee makes its decisions later in the month. Current coach Keren Bentzur was the last Lobo to compete in the heptathlon at the NCAA meet, making the trip in 2003. No UNM freshman has ever qualified for nationals in the grueling two-day competition.
Fortner got off to a solid start on day two, finishing fourth in the long jump with a mark of 18' 4 1/2". She slipped to fourth after placing sixth in the javelin (108' 8") and finally to fifth, despite her tremendous performance in the 800 (4th).
Colorado State junior Katie Lloyd won her second straight MWC heptathlon title, holding off day one leader, freshman Kristin Olafsdottir of San Diego State, 5,418-5,402 to match the closest finish in league history. Third through fifth place was separated by a mere five points with Utah junior Amanda Feigt (5,195) edging CSU sophomore Emily Pearson (5,194) and Fortner (5,190).
Qualifying and finals for the rest of the track and field events begins tomorrow at 11 a.m. and concludes on Saturday. Live event-by-event results are available on the official website of the Mountain West Conference (www.themwc.com).