Feb. 27, 2009
USAF Academy, Colo. - Senior Domnick Meadows' silver medal performance in the long jump led the University of New Mexico today on the second afternoon of competition at the Mountain West Conference Indoor Track & Field Championships. The Albuquerque Del Norte product recorded the highest finish ever by a Lobo in the MWC men's long jump to earn one of four medals for the UNM men and women today at Air Force's Cadet Field House.
New Mexico is currently fifth (27 points) in the early men's standings, but just 20 points behind second place Wyoming. The UNM women are sixth with 19 points - 5 out of third place.
An all-MWC performer in the triple jump last winter, Meadows smashed his previous best in the long jump with a leap of 23' 4 3/4" (7.13m) - just two inches behind Wyoming's Jeremiah James. It was the first time a Lobo had earned all-MWC honors in the event.
Senior Michelle Corrigan opened the day with a third place finish in the women's 5,000 meters after missing last year's conference championship meet with an illness. Corrigan recorded an altitude-adjusted time of 17:46.28 - six seconds behind the winner, Cecily Lemmon of BYU.
New Mexico's indoor record holder turned in the highest finish ever by a UNM woman in the 5K. The Lobos hadn't scored in the event since 2004.
The New Mexico men's and women's distances medley relay teams both finished second behind BYU in the final running event of the day.
The Lobo men finished second behind the Cougars for the fourth time in six years, this time in the closest DMR race in conference history. The New Mexico foursome of Rory Fraser, Kyle Henry, Lee Emanuel, and David Bishop clocked an altitude-adjusted time of 10:05.78 - a mere 0.26 seconds behind BYU.
UNM trailed BYU by 1.11 seconds last year, 2.05 seconds in 2005, and 1.88 seconds in 2004. It was the Cougar's sixth-straight men's DMR crown.
The women's race was less dramatic as the Lobo group of Alex Darling, Kim Perkins, Andrea Wright, and Ashley Gibson finished nearly seven seconds behind the Cougars with an altitude-adjusted time of 12:11.98.
New Mexico earned all-MWC honors in the event for the fourth time, but first since 2006. It was the Lobos' best finish in the DMR since 2004.
In other finals action, Albuquerque products Brandon Simpson (Cibola HS) and Josh Cosio (Manzano HS) combined for nine points in the men's high jump. Simpson, a true freshman, finished fourth with a jump of 6' 6 3/4" (2.00m), while the senior Cosio was fifth with a clearance of 6' 4 3/4" (1.95m).
Fifth-year senior Whitney Johnson notched her best MWC pole vault finish in four years, placing fifth with a jump of 12' 5 1/2" (3.80m). Johnson was third in the event as a true freshman in 2005.
UNM also received an eighth place point from sophomore Brian Wilson (heptathlon - 4,405), junior Jacob Kirwa (5,000m - 14:43.81*), and junior Deanna Young (long jump - 18' 9 3/4" (5.73m)). Wilson scored the first points for the Lobos in the men's heptathlon since 2006.
While New Mexico had a few hiccups in the event finals today, the qualifying rounds were a success across the board with all of the Lobos' key athletes moving on to Saturday's finals in their respective events.
Senior Lee Emanuel was one of three Lobos to advance in the men's 800, finishing well ahead of the pack with an altitude-adjusted time of 1:52.17. Junior Brian Vallie recorded a season-best 1:53.99* (6th) and sophomore Ryan Steadman recorded an adjusted 1:54.39 (9th) to join Emanuel in the finals.
New Mexico's sprint duo of senior Jermaine McQueen and true freshman Thomas Trujillo also did their job well, qualifying in both the 60 and 200 meters. McQueen ran the second-fastest 200 of the day with a time of 21.77, while Trujillo was the seventh qualifier at 22.15. The Rio Rancho, N.M. product matched his season best with an altitude-adjusted 7.00 in the 60 (5th), followed by McQueen's 7.02* (7th).
It's the first UNM has had two men qualify for the finals of the 60 and first time a pair has advanced in the 200 since 2003.
On the women's side, senior Ariel Burr won her heat and ran the third-fastest 400 time at 55.88. Burr, who redshirted last winter after winning the 2007 MWC Indoor 400, will look to become the first UNM woman to win multiple indoor titles on the track in her final conference meet.
The Lobos positioned themselves well in the middle distance events with two runners qualifying for Saturday's finals in both the mile and 800.
Gibson turned in the fastest qualifying time of the day with an altitude-adjusted 5:10.33, while fifth-year senior Stasia Ploskonka smashed her previous best and advanced to the MWC finals for the first time in her indoor career with an adjusted time of 5:11.98 (9th). UNM hadn't had a finalist in the mile since 2002.
Wright recorded an adjusted time of 2:14.88 (3rd) and Darling clocked a 2:16.64* (9th) to give UNM an 800 finalist for the first time in three years.
* Indicates altitude-adjusted time