May 5, 2004
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of New Mexico junior Matt Gonzales was named Mountain West Conference Men's Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week the league announced Tuesday afternoon. Gonzales picked up his second career Athlete of the Week award after his performance in the 10,000 meters at the elite Cardinal Invitational last Friday, April 30, in Stanford, Calif. The Santa Fe native is the first repeat honoree for the UNM men's team, which has had an athlete selected for the award six times in the five-year history of the league.
Gonzales ran the third-fastest collegiate 10K of the year on Friday night at Stanford, crossing the line with a time of 28:22.77. He improved on his personal-best and Mountain West Conference record time, which he set in a third place finish at the 2003 NCAA Championship meet, by over four seconds and was 37.23 seconds under the NCAA automatic qualifying time in his first 10,000-meter race of the season. Gonzales also earned a "B" qualifying time for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for the second straight year and was just eight seconds off the automatic "A" standard for the event.
Gonzales earned his first career Athlete of the Week award last year on April 1 after clocking his first automatic qualifying time in the 10K at the Stanford Invitational. Senior decathlete Mark Johnson was the first Lobo honored by the league this season, picking up the award on April 7.
Gonzales and the rest of the UNM track & field team will take a break from competition this weekend before travelling to Las Vegas, Nev. for the 2004 MWC Outdoor Championships, May 12-15.