March 27, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico men's track and field team received a big boost today as head coach Joe Franklin announced that the NCAA has accepted senior distance runner Jeremy Johnson's medical hardship petition, allowing the two-time All-American a sixth-year of eligibility to compete outdoors in 2008. Johnson was granted the extension of his eligibility clock to replace his 2004 outdoor track season that was ruined by a stress fracture injury when he was a redshirt freshman at the University of Arizona.
"Jeremy is a potential national champion in the 10,000 or 5,000 and obviously his return will give our team a tremendous boost," said Franklin. "He is an unbelievable leader, he works his tail off and he's virtually a straight A student. You come across very few men or women that are a total package like that."
The Albuquerque Mazano product earned All-America honors for the first time with a seventh place finish in the 10,000-meter run at the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championships. Johnson capped a remarkable 2007 cross country season with a wire-to-wire Mountain West Conference title and an All-America performance (20th) at the NCAA Championships.
A five-time indoor/outdoor all-MWC honoree on the track, Johnson ranks among the top-five in MWC history in both the 10,000 (28:47.76 - 3rd) and 5,000 (13:50.85 - 4th). He earned his degree in Mathematics last summer and is currently taking graduate courses in the field.
Johnson is scheduled to make his 2008 debut at the Stanford Invitational on April 5.