Jan. 5, 2010
NEW ORLEANS - The University of New Mexico men's track & field team debuted at No. 23, leading all Mountain West Conference teams, this afternoon when the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released its 2010 preseason indoor team rankings. The Lobo men finished tied for 16th at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.
The return of senior middle distance star Lee Emanuel for 2010 gave New Mexico a huge boost in the power rankings. Emanuel was the 2009 NCAA mile champion and a bronze medalist in the 1,500 meters outdoors, but also led a sensational UNM distance medley relay team and had national qualifying times in the 800 and 3,000 as well.
Fellow senior and 2009 NCAA qualifier Rory Fraser also returns as one of the top-ranked 5,000 runners in the country. Seniors David Bishop (mile) and Jacob Kirwa (5,000m) also factored into the Lobos' preseason rank.
Third-year UNM head coach Joe Franklin has added more power to his elite distance corps and a bevy of young talent to the sprint and field event groups that should make New Mexico a factor in the MWC race on both the men's and women's sides in 2010.
The Lobos begin the bulk of the indoor season on Jan. 16 with the first of five home meets at the Albuquerque Convention Center. New Mexico hosts the Mountain West Championships, Feb. 25-27.