Emanuel and Fortner Sweep MWC Indoor Athlete of the Year Awards
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/18/2010
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

March 18, 2010

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of New Mexico seniors Lee Emanuel and Sandy Fortner have been selected as the Mountain West Conference Men's and Women's Indoor Track & Field Student-Athletes of the Year, respectively. The Student-Athlete of the Year award recognizes the outstanding male and female athletes in the sport of indoor track and field. Student-athletes are nominated and selected by the head coaches at each member institution.

Hailing from Hastings, England, Emanuel holds the country's season-best time in the mile (3:57.62) and the league's season-best time in the 3,000-meter (7:51.20) race. He became the first Lobo ever to win back-to-back NCAA crowns, recording his second straight NCAA mile victory at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships at Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Ark. on March 13.

Emanuel, who won an individual NCAA title in the mile with a time of 4:03.36 at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, earned first place in the event once again by recording a sub four-minute mile time of 3:59.26. That time, which was 2.37 seconds ahead of runner-up Mac Fleet of Oregon (4:01.63), earned him All-American honors and helped New Mexico to a share of eighth place with a school-record 18 points.

A product of Fort Sumner, N.M., Fortner finished her senior campaign with All-American honors after earning the bronze medal in the pentathlon at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. Fortner broke her own school record at the NCAA Championships with a score of 4,156 over the five events.

After running a time of 8.70 in the 60-meter hurdles, Fortner cleared 5-07.25 (1.71m) to finish tied for fifth in the high jump, then finished second in the shot put with a mark of 42-10.75 (13.07m). Later in the event, she flew a season-best 19-06.00 (5.94m) on her opening long jump attempt, which was good for fifth, and then proceeded to clock a career-best time of 2:25.41 in the 800-meter dash.

At the MWC Championships, Fortner won the women's pentathlon for the second time in her career after tallying 4,147 points at the Albuquerque Convention Center in New Mexico.