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Lobos Make Rare Climb To Wyoming For MWC Championships
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  05/12/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

May 12, 2009

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Joe Franklin Interview

UPCOMING

The University of New Mexico caps the 2009 regular season with a trip to Laramie, Wyo. for the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships (Wednesday - Saturday). It's New Mexico's first outdoor track meet at Wyoming since the Cowboys hosted the 1968 Western Athletic Conference Championships to help athletes prepare for the Mexico City Olympics that summer. Wyoming's Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex is the highest Division I track stadium in the nation, sitting at 7,163 feet above sea level.

The balanced Lobo men, who were second at the 2009 MWC Indoor Championships and fifth outdoors last year, will be looking for their first top-two outdoor conference finish since 1988 this weekend. UNM is No. 38 in the latest national rankings, second among the six MWC men's teams behind No. 20 BYU. The Lobos and Cougars have separated themselves from the pack on paper with No. 66 TCU the nearest MWC team in the national rankings. New Mexico athletes own the top time or mark in the Mountain West in six men's events (3 field, 3 track) and have the second-best results in six other events (5 track, 1 field).

The UNM women have been fifth in the MWC Outdoor standings each of the past three years, but will be looking for their first top-four finish at the conference meet since 1990. The Lobos lost a pair of 2008 MWC champions in heptathlete Sandy Fortner (redshirt) and high jumper Tiyana Peters (graduation), and 2009 indoor All-American triple jumper Deanna Young (redshirt), but return two-time defending javelin champion Katie Coronado and long jump runner-up Alesha Walker. New Mexico will also rely on its powerful distance group, which captured the 2008 MWC Cross Country title this past fall.

MWC CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS/INFORMATION/HISTORY

MWC Championships Central: Schedule, results, standings, photos, facility/lodging information, weather updates, etc. will be available on the official website of the Mountain West Conference

Live Results: Live event-by-event meet results will be available at RecordTiming.com

Live Blog: University of New Mexico media relations assistant Daniel Archuleta will be on hand to provide complete Lobo coverage of the MWC Championships exclusively on www.GoLobos.com. The live blog will start on Friday afternoon.

Schedule: The decathlon and heptathlon will get started on Wednesday at 12 p.m. and will conclude on Thursday afternoon. On Friday, the field events get underway with the women's hammer throw at noon, while the first running event - the men's steeplechase finals - begin at 1 p.m. On Saturday all the action begins at noon with three field event finals and the men's 4x100 finals. The championships will conclude at 4 p.m. with an awards ceremony.

Teams Competing: Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State (women only), Utah (women only), UNLV (women only), Wyoming.

Laramie Weather Report: As of Monday, May 11 the forecast for Laramie calls for favorable weather during the bulk of the meet. Wednesday, the first day of the heptathlon/decathlon, will be windy and chilly, but conditions are expected to improve starting on Thursday with partly cloudy skies, highs in the mid-60s, and moderate wind. Friday calls for much of the same with a high of 60. Saturday, the final day of competition, should feature the best weather with highs in the low 60s, partly cloudy skies, and mild winds.

Last Year at the Mountain West Championships: New Mexico earned 11 medals, including victories by junior Sandy Fortner (heptathlon), senior Robert Caldwell (pole vault), junior Katie Coronado (javelin), senior Tiyana Peters (high jump) and junior Lee Emanuel (1,500 meters), at the 2008 Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championships at TCU's Lowdon Track and Field Complex. The women finished fifth with 78 points - their highest since scoring 141 at the 1990 High Country Athletic Conference Championships - while the men's team was also fifth with 87 points - their best score since 2005.

Fortner staked her claim as the greatest female athlete in the MWC with a sensational victory in the heptathlon. She demolished Darcy Ahner's 18-year-old record in the seven-event competition and guaranteed her bid to the NCAA Outdoor Championship meet with a winning score of 5,641 points. She became the first Lobo to win the conference heptathlon since Ahner captured the Western Athletic Conference title in 1989.

Caldwell (Socorro) became the first Lobo since 1991 to win a conference pole vault title and Coronado (Ruidoso) captured her second straight javelin crown. The duo joined Fortner of Fort Sumner to give the Lobos three gold medalists from New Mexico class 3A high schools or smaller.

Peters cleared 5' 8 3/4" (1.75m), knocking off top-seeded Niomi Ridge of CSU (2nd - 5' 7") to become the first woman in MWC and UNM history to win back-to-back outdoor high jump titles. She completed the indoor/outdoor MWC high jump sweep for the second straight year, giving her four conference gold medals in her career.

Top-ranked Emanuel surged to a relatively comfortable victory in the 1,500 with a time of 3:47.63. He became the first Lobo to win a conference title in the event since 1986 and also snapped BYU's five-year winning streak in the event.

Caldwell and Coronado later made UNM just the second school to sweep the men's and women's MWC Outstanding Performer awards. Caldwell won the pole vault with a championship record clearance of 18' 1" (No. 2 all-time at UNM), following Coronado's victory in the javelin with a mark of 176' 1". They were the first Lobos to earn the awards at the Mountain West Championships.

2008 All-MWC Honorees:
Men (7)
Jr. Lee Emanuel (1,500); Sr. Jeremy Johnson (5,000); Jr. Josh Cosio (HJ); Sr. Robert Caldwell (PV); Jr. Anthony Fairbanks (Jav.)

Women (6)
Sr. Ariel Burr (400); Sr. Kara Henry (5,000); Jr. Katie Coronado (Jav.); So. Alesha Walker (LJ); Sr. Tiyana Peters (HJ); Jr. Sandy Fortner (Hep.)

Sr. Robert Caldwell (PV) - Men's Outdoor Outstanding Performer
Jr. Katie Coronado (Jav.) - Women's Outdoor Outstanding Performer

BOLD indicates MWC champion

New Mexico History At The MWC Outdoor Championships:
MEN
YEAR.....MWC Finish.....Events Won.....All-MWC Honors
2000.....5th (45 pts.).....---.....3
2001.....4th (91 pts.).....1.....5
2002.....4th (125.5 pts.).....1.....10
2003.....4th (91 pts.).....---.....8
2004.....4th (94.5 pts.).....2.....4
2005.....4th (107.5 pts.).....2.....7
2006.....5th (79 pts.).....---.....5
2007.....6th (75 pts.).....1.....7
2008.....5th (87 pts.).....2.....5
Total.....-----.....9.....54

WOMEN
YEAR.....MWC Finish.....Events.....Won.....All-MWC Honors
2000.....6th (71 pts.).....1.....7
2001.....6th (63 pts.).....3.....3
2002.....7th (57.5 pts.).....1.....5
2003.....7th (49.5 pts.).....1.....3
2004.....8th (46 pts.).....2.....4
2005.....6th (64.5 pts.).....---.....7
2006.....5th (67.5 pts.).....---.....3
2007.....5th (68 pts.).....2.....4
2008.....5th (78 pts.).....3.....6
Total.....-----.....13.....42

2009 ALL-MWC CANDIDATES

The Mountain West Conference awards all-conference medals to the top three individuals and relay teams in each event. The UNM men brought home five medals last year and a record 10 at the 2002 MWC Championships. The women's team earned six medals in 2008, one shy of the program record set in 2000 and 2005. The following are the Lobo athletes currently ranked among the top-five in their respective events:

Women
Jr. Ashley Gibson - 1,500m (No. 3) Jr. Michelle Corrigan* - 5,000m (No. 2) & 10,000m (No. 2) Jr. Nicky Archer - 10,000m (No. 3) Jr. Kim Perkins - 400m hurdles (No. 3) Sr. Whitney Johnson - pole vault (tied for No. 3) Jr. Alesha Walker - long jump (No. 3) Sr. Katie Coronado - javelin (No. 1)

Men
Sr. Jermaine McQueen - 100m (No. 1) & 200m (No. 2)
Sr. Jarrin Solomon - 400m (No. 1)
Sr. Lee Emanuel** - 1,500m (No. 1) & 800m (No. 2)
Jr. Rory Fraser - 5,000m (No. 2)
Jr. Chris Barnicle** - 5,000m (No. 4) & 10,000m (No. 3)
Jr. Mat Ashton - 5,000m (No. 5) & 10,000m (No. 2)
4x100m Relay Team (Trujillo, Reid, Roberts, McQueen) - No. 2
4x400m Relay Team (Clark/Reid, Roberts, Steadman, Solomon) - No. 3
Sr. Josh Cosio - high jump (tied for No. 1)
Sr. Domnick Meadows - long jump (No. 2)
Fr. Ty Kirk - triple jump (No. 1)
Sr. Anthony Fairbanks - javelin (No. 1)

*Corrigan will only compete in the 10,000m
**Emanuel will compete in the 800m & 5,000m...Barnicle will only compete in the 5,000m

RECORD NUMBER OF QUALIFIERS

New Mexico has already smashed its program record with 19 athletes qualified for the 2009 NCAA Midwest Regional Championships (in 14 different events). Last year, UNM tied the program record with 13 individuals qualified for the regional meet. The group of 19 includes 12 men and seven women.

An additional four athletes (two men, two women) have reached the NCAA provisional qualifying standard in the 10,000 meters. The 10K and multi-event competitions are the only events not contested at the regional meets.

LOBOS PILE UP ATHLETE OF THE WEEK AWARDS

New Mexico set another program record with four combined men's and women's Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track & Field Athlete of the Week awards this spring. The record haul came over four consecutive weeks from April 7-28, included a record three men's awards between April 14-28.

Senior sprinter Jermaine McQueen earned the award on April 28 after clocking the third-fastest 100m time in school history to win the event at Cal's Brutus Hamilton Invitational. Senior middle distance man Lee Emanuel captured league honors on April 14 after leading the Lobo men to the team title at the New Mexico Tailwind Invitational with a career-best run in the 800 and again on April 21 after shattering the school record and running what was then the nation's fastest 1,500 at the Mt. SAC Relays.

The New Mexico men have captured eight Outdoor Athlete of the Week awards over the past three years after winning just six times from 2000-06 and none in their first two seasons in the league.

Senior javelin thrower Katie Coronado brought home the first award for the Lobos on April 7. Coronado finished second at the Texas Relays with a school record-setting performance to become the first UNM woman honored by the league since she won for her first award in 2007.

LAST TIME OUT: Don Kirby Invitational (Albuquerque, N.M.)

It was a fitting finale for one of the University of New Mexico's finest homegrown track and field athletes. With the home crowd rocking at the Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium, senior Anthony Fairbanks unleashed a season-best throw of 219' 1" (66.78m) on his fifth attempt to knock off UTEP All-American Alex van der Merwe in the final collegiate event of the 19th Don Kirby Memorial Invitational. The Albuquerque Highland product was one of 14 UNM seniors who bid farewell in their final home meet on May 2.

Second-year Lobo head coach Joe Franklin and his staff put on one of the largest UNM home meets in recent history, merging the Rio Rancho High School Invitational with the Don Kirby Invitational for a field of over 1,000 athletes. Unfortunately, Mother Nature caused a few headaches once again as the athletes had to endure three mandatory 30-minute lighting delays midway through the meet. The weather in the Duke City had been virtually perfect for nearly two weeks leading up to the event.

The delays didn't phase Fairbanks, however, as he finished his final season undefeated at home (2-0) with a stirring upset of the Miners' outstanding thrower van der Merwe, who finished fifth in the even at the 2008 NCAA Championships. Fairbanks moved up to 24th on the current NCAA descending order list.

While Fairbanks excelled in his fifth home meet, UNM freshman Ty Kirk turned in a sensational collegiate debut. The Lobo wide receiver uncorked a Mountain West Conference-leading and NCAA regional qualifying leap of 50' 11" (15.52m) on his second attempt. It was the longest jump at UNM since 1984, sixth on the UNM all-time list and over a two-foot personal record for Kirk. The Arlington Heights, Ill. product recorded his previous best of 48' 6 ¾" in a seventh place finish at the 2007 U.S. Junior Olympics.

Kirk finished third in the event, which was won by South Plains' Kyron Blaise, who smashed the stadium record with a mark of 53' 1 ¾" (16.20m). New Mexico senior Domnick Meadows recorded a career-best 48' 7 ½" (14.82m) to place fifth in the stellar field.

Meadows punched his ticket to the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships earlier in the day in the long jump, qualifying for the first time with a career-best leap of 24' 1" (7.34m) - over six inches beyond his previous best and the second-best leap in the MWC this spring.

UTEP got an upset of its own in one of the marquee events on the track as sophomore Anderson Mutegi pulled away from New Mexico senior All-American Jarrin Solomon late in the men's 400 meters. Mutegi clocked with ninth-fastest time in the country - an altitude-adjusted 46.08 - to hold off Solomon by 0.29 seconds in the Albuquerque La Cueva product's final home meet. Solomon's adjusted time of 46.37 was his second-fastest of the season and came after an hour weather delay.

New Mexico won 10 events on the day with the senior class accounting for six of the victories.

Senior All-American Katie Coronado captured the javelin with a throw of 159' 6" (48.62m) despite being interrupted by the third lighting delay of the meet.

Junior Alesha Walker cruised to victory in the long jump with a mark of 20' 6 ¼" (6.25m). Senior teammate Brittany Smith and sophomore Asal Salehpoor tied for fourth with career-best leaps of 19' ¾" (5.81m).

Fifth-year senior Whitney Johnson capped an undefeated home season with a winning jump of 11' 11 ¾" (3.65m) in the pole vault. Junior teammate Aditi Majumdar was second with a lifetime best of 11' 5 ¾" (3.50m).

Junior Matthew Henry-Marshall captured the men's discus with a throw of 160' (48.76m).

On the oval, fifth-year senior Leslie Luna opened the day with a victory in the 5,000 (altitude adjusted 17:29.39) and another fifth-year senior Stasia Ploskonka followed with a win in the 3,000m steeplechase (adjusted 11:17.51). Sophomore Alex Willis gave the Lobos' a sweep of the steeplechase with an adjusted time of 9:15.20.

Senior transfer Andrea Wright took the 800 with an adjusted time of 2:13.20. Lobo redshirt freshman Alex Darling was second with a season-best adjusted time of 2:14.85.

Junior Kim Perkins was also a winner, capturing the 400 hurdles with an adjusted time of 1:01.33.

Lobo freshman Thomas Trujillo led the men's team in the short sprints with altitude-adjusted season-bests of 10.71 in the 100 and 21.72 in the 200 (fifth in both).

LAST TIME OUT: Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational (Stanford, Calif.)

Senior Lee Emanuel sliced nearly a second off his own school record in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:37.25 on May 2 at Stanford's Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. Emanuel's was one of several fine performance for the Lobos late Saturday evening, which saw four runners hit NCAA regional qualifying times and three more reach the NCAA provisional qualifying standard in the 10,000.

Emanuel appeared to be on his way to another dominant victory in the 1,500 as he led with about 300 meters to go in the elite section 1 race. However, he appeared to stumble slightly on the back straight, breaking his strong, fluid stride and falling back to fifth. The Hastings, England rallied back in the final 50 meters, however, to take third at the line.

Oregon's Matt Centrowitz became the first man to defeat Emanuel this spring as he clocked the fastest collegiate time in the country, winning the largely professional stacked race in 3:36.92.

The action heated up later in the night as junior Michelle Corrigan ran a career-best 16:29.26 to finish eighth in the section 2 5,000m. Corrigan became the 19th Lobo to qualify for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships and moved up to third on the UNM all-time performers list in the event.

Senior Mat Ashton moved closer to securing his second straight NCAA Championships appearance with a career-best time of 28:50.93 in the 10,000 (eighth, section 2). Junior teammate Chris Barnicle also moved closer to an NCAA berth in the 10K with a career-best time of 28:53.20 (10th). Both men improved on their previous NCAA provisional qualifying times in the event.

Elsewhere, junior Rory Fraser added an NCAA regional qualifying time in the 1,500 to his previous bid in the 5,000. Fraser won the section three race with a time of 3:46.09 - good for eighth on the UNM all-time performers list.

Junior Ashley Gibson got the evening started on the right foot with a career-best time of 4:23.23 (10th) in the 1,500, improving her previous regional qualifying time.

NATIONAL RANKINGS WATCH

The New Mexico men checked in at No. 38 while the women are ranked 50th in the week five USATFCCCA national team rankings. There are 209 teams currently ranked on the women's list and 195 on the men's side. The Lobos are fourth among the nine women's teams in the MWC and second among the six men's teams in the league.

TOP-10 PERFORMERS

The 2009 Lobos have put their name on the school's top-10 performers list in 16 events so far this spring, including school records for Lee Emanuel in the 1,500 and Katie Coronado in the javelin. Here's the rest of the top-10 performers this year:

Men's 100 Meters
3. Jermaine McQueen.....10.46.....2009

Men's 200 Meters
5. Jermaine McQueen.....21.11.....2009

Men's 400 Meters
5. Jarrin Solomon.....46.27.....2009

Men's 800 Meters
7. Lee Emanuel.....1:49.21*.....2009

Men's 1,500 Meters
1. Lee Emanuel.....3:37.25.....2009
7. Ross Millington.....3:45.04.....2009
8. Rory Fraser.....3:46.09.....2009

Men's 5,000 Meters
3. Rory Fraser.....13:39.85.....2009
8. Chris Barnicle.....14:00.16.....2009
10. Mat Ashton.....14:05.66.....2009

Men's 10,000 Meters
6. Mat Ashton.....28:50.93.....2009
7. Chris Barnicle.....28:53.20.....2009

Men's 4x100-Meter Relay
4. Trujillo, Reid, Roberts, McQueen.....40.81*.....2009

Men's Triple Jump
6. Ty Kirk.....50-11.00.....2009

Women's 1,500 Meters
4. Ashley Gibson.....4:23.23.....2009

Women's 5,000 Meters
3. Michelle Corrigan.....16:29.26.....2009
5. Nicky Archer.....16:47.38.....2009
9. Laura Bowerman.....16:52.16.....2009

Women's 10,000 Meters
3. Michelle Corrigan.....34:12.31.....2009
5. Nicky Archer.....34:32.21.....2009

Women's 400-Meter Hurdles
3. Kim Perkins.....59.88.....2009

Women's 3,000-Meter Steeplechase
3. Alex Darling.....11:06.09.....2009
4. Stasia Ploskonka.....11:13.79.....2009

Women's Pole Vault
7. Kelly Fortner.....11-07.75.....2009
8. Aditi Majumdar.....11-05.75.....2009
9. Amber Menke.....11-01.75.....2009

Women's Triple Jump
8. Asal Salehpoor.....38-08.25.....2009

Women's Hammer
5. Tami Williams.....145-04.....2009

Women's Javelin
1. Katie Coronado.....181-00.....2009

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