New Mexico Track and Field Heads to Arizona State
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/10/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 10, 2008


The New Mexico track and field team will send a select few to Tempe, Ariz. for the Sun Angel Classic this Friday and Saturday (April 11-12). This is the second trip to the Joe Selleh Track at Sun Angel Stadium for the Lobos this year. Seniors Jarrin Solomon and Ariel Burr - who won Mountain West Conference outdoor and indoor 400-meter titles, respectively, last year - will set their sights on a regional qualifying time in their first 400 races of the year. Junior transfer Lee Emanuel will also look to punch his ticket to the regional meet in a fast 1,500 field.

The rest of the team will head down south to El Paso, Texas for the UTEP Invitational on Saturday. Many of the Lobos' nationally ranked athletes will be in action at Kidd Field, including javelin throwers Katie Coronado and Anthony Fairbanks, long jumper Alesha Walker, triple jumper Deanna Young and high jumper Tiyana Peters. Heptathlete Sandy Fortner will also compete in a handful of events.





Weather conditions in the Tempe area are nearly perfect with no wind to speak of and temperatures in the mid to upper 80s. With little to no chance of precipitation the conditions should be perfect for a day of track and field competition.


Temperatures in the mid to upper 70s with mild wind gusts ranging from 10-15 miles per hour shouldn't affect athletes' performances.


"This weekend the 400 and 1,500 will be the best races of the weekend at ASU. We look to get Lee, Jarrin and Ariel qualified in their primary events. Our pole vaulters keep getting better and better. With a good tail wind at ASU, Robert Caldwell could have a lifetime best. Kyle Walker may jump a regional qualifying mark, which would be outstanding for a freshman. Whitney continues to get better and continues to get better in practice. Once it translates in to a meet she is going to have an outstanding experience."

"We are sending virtually everyone down to El Paso. Deanna Young and Alesha Walker are very fortunate that UTEP is a great place to jump. They should have a very good experience down there. Javelin throwers should compete against the best in the country this weekend. The high jumpers should also have a great meet. Sandy Fortner will do a multitude of events to prepare her for her next multi in three weeks."


At Clyde Little Field Texas Relays:
After finishing third a year ago, University of New Mexico junior Katie Coronado left no doubt, dominating the elite section A field to win the javelin on April 5 at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Coronado added 19 inches to her own school record in the event with a mark of 171' 5" (52.25m) on her opening throw.

The defending Mountain West Conference champion was over three feet better than her nearest competitor in a field that included Texas A&M All-American Jessica Wingfield, Conference USA champion Andrea Kvetova of SMU, Mid-American champ Vanessa Roelofson of Buffalo and the top ranked javelin thrower in Division II, Abilene Christian's Linda Brivule.

The University of New Mexico tallied two more regional qualifying marks on a windy and rainy third day of competition on April 4 at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Sophomores Alesha Walker and Deanna Young punched their ticket to NCAA regional championships in the long and triple jump, respectively, as each woman recorded the best mark by a Lobo in their event since 1990.

Walker opened the day in the field by winning the section B competition with a career-best leap of 20' 6 1/2" (6.26m) in her outdoor season long jump debut. The Killeen, Texas product used her sixth and final run to record the best mark by a UNM woman since Laverne Clark set the school record of 20' 11 3/4" in 1990.

Young capped the day with a stellar performance in her first triple jump competition of the spring, becoming the first UNM woman to qualify for regionals in the event. The former Albuquerque Highland High School standout recorded a mark of 42' 5 1/2" (12.94m) - the best at New Mexico since Clark's record of 43' 1 1/2" 18 years ago and almost 2 1/2 feet beyond her previous personal record. Young finished fourth in a field that saw 10 women surpass the NCAA regional standard.

Junior Sandy Fortner scored a career-high 5,343 points - just 157 shy of the NCAA automatic qualifying standard - to finish sixth in her first heptathlon of the season on April 3 at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Fortner smashed her previous best score in the seven-even competition by 153 points and came within 76 of the 18-year-old UNM record.

Fortner defeated 13 competitors, including three All-Americans: Colorado State's Katie Lloyd, Tiana Riel of Boston College and Texas Tech's Julianne Kennedy.

At Stanford Invitational:
Senior transfer Kara Henry broke her own school record and became the first University of New Mexico runner to qualify for the NCAA Regional meet in the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 10:41.16 on Saturday night at the Stanford Invitational.

The Lobos also received a strong performance by junior transfer Mat Ashton who clocked an NCAA provisional qualifying and personal record time of 29:12.81 in the 10,000 in his outdoor debut. Ashton shaved 32 seconds of his previous best in an 11th place finish, running 17 seconds under the provisional qualifying standard to put himself in consideration for an NCAA Championship bid.