New Mexico Track and Field Heads to Cal for Brutus Hamilton Invitational
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/23/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 23, 2008


The New Mexico track and field team will visit sunny California for the University of California's Brutus Hamilton Invitational on Friday and Saturday (April 25-26). This weekend will also mark the first long distance race of 2008 for Lobo All-American Jeremy Johnson, who will run the 5,000 meters at the Oregon Relays in Eugene on Friday night. Junior Sandy Fortner, meanwhile will look to boost her national ranking in her second heptathlon competition at Colorado State, beginning on Thursday.


In Fort Collins, Colo. Sandy Fortner will look to get even with Mountain West Conference rival Emily Pearson of Colorado State at the Glenn Morris Decathlon/Heptathlon on Thursday and Friday (April 24-25). At the 2008 MWC Indoor Championships, Fortner upset the top ranked Pearson and brought home not only the gold medal with a UNM school record performance, but also an invitation to the NCAA Indoor Championships. On April 5th Pearson escaped the Clyde Littlefield Relays with a narrow 71-point victory over Fortner. Pearson is currently ranked first in the MWC and 10th nationally while Fortner is second in the MWC and 13th nationally in the heptathlon.


Senior Jeremy Johnson will lead a trio of Lobos to historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. for the Oregon Relays this Friday (April 25). An All-American in the 10,000 meters in 2007, Johnson will look to run a national qualifying mark in the 5,000 meters in preparation for a 10,000 race in 10 days at Stanford. Also joining Johnson will be senior Kara Henry. Henry will look to lower her regional qualifying time of 10:41.16 in hopes of improving her chances to earn an NCAA Championship berth.

LIVE STATS: California Brutus Hamilton Invitational: Click Here




Typical California conditions await the Lobos this weekend. With temperatures in the mid to high 70s with little wind, the weather should be ideal for track and field. A few clouds on Saturday will provide some shade and little to no precipitation.


Cool crisp temperatures in the high 60s as well as isolated thunderstorms on Thursday with winds blowing at 15 miles per hour from the west. On Friday the moisture will cease but the winds and the clouds stay the same.


With temperatures in the mid 50s to high 60s and cloudy to partly cloudy the weather looks more like winter than spring. The winds should not be a factor however as they will blow at 5-8 miles per hour.


"Cal-Berkeley is a great meet. Cal's director of track operations and former UNM women's coach Tony Sandoval is an Albuquerque native. He puts on a good meet and we look forward to competing well. Ariel Burr is looking great and improving everyday. We want to get improvement out of our Olympic development people. Our field event people should have a good meet as well. Lee Emanuel will run an 800 to help him prepare for a fast 1,500 in a few weeks."

"We are sending Sandy (Fortner) to make sure improves on her national ranking and make sure she is assured a spot in the NCAA championships. We need her to get 150-200 points more and contend for an Olympic trials berth."

"This will be Jeremy Johnson's first real race coming off getting eligibility. He'll get to run at the Mecca of distance running at historic Hayward Field. He'll run the 5K this week to put himself in position to run a great 10K in 10 days. The sky is the limit for him. I think that it's the right time for him right now. He's healthy and he's ready. We are also hoping to get in the 10:20s for Kara Henry to improve her chances of getting a berth to the national championship meet."


Five weeks into the outdoor season the Lobos have 11 athletes that are qualified for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on May 30-31.

Seven women, including four-time regional qualifier Ariel Burr (400 meters) and two-time regional qualifiers Katie Coronado (javelin), Tiyana Peters (high jump) and Kara Henry (3,000-meter steeplechase) have punched their tickets to Lincoln, Neb. First timers Deanna Young (long jump and triple jump) and Alesha Walker (long jump) round out the Lobo women qualifiers.

On the men's side four-time qualifier Robert Caldwell (pole vault) and three-time qualifier Anthony Fairbanks (javelin) have secured their spots. British transfers Lee Emanuel (1,500 meters) and Mat Ashton (5,000 meters), meanwhile, earned their first trips to the regional meet.


Sophomore skiing sensation Polina Ermoshina made her track in field debut this past Saturday at the Mt. SAC Relays in the 5,000 meters. The product of Moscow, Russia ran an MWC top-15 time of 17:41.04 in her first collegiate race. A three-time All-American Nordic skier for the Lobos, Ermoshina looks to make an immediate impact on the Lobos' distance program. She also helped the UNM women's cross country team to a 3rd place MWC finish this past fall.


Sophomore sensations Alesha Walker and Deanna Young have helped put the Lobo women's track and field team on the national map. The women's team spent two weeks ranked 24th in the nation thanks to some key performances by Walker and Young.

Walker's school record-breaking jump of 21' 4" at the UTEP Invitational on April 12 is the sixth best leap in the nation. Walker's jump is still top 20 in the world as of April 22 according to www.iaaf.org. Young whose forte is the triple jump has the 27th best mark in the nation at 42' 5 ¼" and also owns the nations 20th best long jump with a mark of 20" 6 ¼" (March 29).

Other Lobo Women Contributing to National Ranking:
Jr. Katie Coronado - Javelin (171' 5") - Ranked 8th Nationally
Sr. Tiyana Peters - High Jump (5' 10") - Ranked 12th Nationally
Jr. Sandy Fortner - Heptathlon (5,343) - Ranked 15th Nationally
Sr. Kara Henry - 3,000m Steeplechase (10:41.16) - Ranked 44th Nationally


Junior Transfer Lee Emanuel just missed a twenty year old school record by 2.17 seconds on his way to posting the fourth-fastest 1,500m time in the nation with a 3:40.77 on April 12 at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe Ariz. Emanuel holds the top time in the Mountain West Conference - almost a full four seconds ahead of BYU's Kyle Perry. The Hastings, England product holds the UNM indoor school record in the mile at 4:04.27 and was a little over two seconds shy of breaking Kip Koskei's 1979 record of 3:38.60 in the 1,500.

Other Lobo Men with a National Ranking:
Sr. Robert Caldwell - Pole Vault (17' 6 ½") - Ranked 8th Nationally
Jr. Anthony Fairbanks - Javelin (224' 11") - Ranked 16th Nationally
Jr. Mat Ashton - 10,000 (29:12.81)/5,000 (14:09:78) - Ranked 21st/44th Nationally


50th Mt. SAC Relays:
University of New Mexico senior Ariel Burr clocked a season-best and NCAA regional qualifying time of 54.55 to finish fourth in the Olympic development section of the 400-meter dash April 20, on the final day of the Mt. SAC Relays. This past Saturday was just the second 400 race of the year for Burr, who has advanced to the regional championships all four years of her career.

University of New Mexico junior transfer Mat Ashton clocked a NCAA regional qualifying time of 14:09.78 in his first 5,000-meter race of the outdoor season April 19 at the Mt. SAC Relays. Ashton, who was 15th in the Olympic Development section, turned in the 10th regional qualifying mark of the season for the Lobos.

In other action at Mt. SAC, sophomore Deanna Young was an easy winner in the university triple jump competition with a top mark of 40' 10 1/4" (12.45m). Back on the track, true freshman Chris Keeling clocked a season-best time of 10.96 - the best by a Lobo in two years - in his heat of the university 100 and redshirt freshman Ryan Steadman was sixth in the university 800 race with a season-best time of 1:51.81.

TCU Invitational:
New Mexico also had a contingent of field event athletes competing at the TCU Invitational in Fort Worth on April 20. Fifth-year senior Robert Caldwell turned in his best performance since redshirting all of 2007, clearing an outdoor best of 17' 6 1/2" (5.35m) to lead all collegians in the men's pole vault. Caldwell's mark is tied for the best in the MWC this spring and was 1 1/2 inches above his previous best outdoors.

Elsewhere on Saturday, junior Katie Coronado improved to a perfect 5-0 in the women's javelin this year. Coronado coasted to a 29-foot victory with a throw of 163' 1" (49.72m).


Several Lobos are highly ranked in the Mountain West Conference and with four weeks left until the MWC Outdoor Championships in Fort Worth (May 14-17), the Lobos will look to improve in the conference standings. New Mexico has eight athletes currently ranked No. 1 in the conference in their respective events with six other marks ranked among the top-3 in the MWC.

Junior transfer Lee Emanuel leads the MWC in the 1,500 with a time of 3:40.77, while British mate and fellow junior transfer Mat Ashton has the best spot in the 10,000 with a time of 29:12.81 as well as the third best time in the 5,000 meters at 14:09.78. Junior javelin thrower Anthony Fairbanks leads the MWC by over nine feet with a top mark of 224' 11" (68.55m).

Junior high jumper Josh Cosio cleared 6' 8 ¾" (2.05m) - the second best mark in the conference. Senior pole vaulter Robert Caldwell's mark of 17' 6 ½" (5.35m) is the top spot in the MWC. The men's 4x100 relay team of freshman Chris Keeling, seniors Jarrin Solomon and Kurt Henry, and sophomore Philip Reid owns the third-fastest time in the league at 41.82.

On the women's side, Senior 400m ace Ariel Burr holds to top spot in the event with a time of 54.90. In the high jump juniors Tiyana Peters and Sandy Fortner hold the first and second best marks in the MWC. Peters has tied a career best with a 5' 10" (1.78m) leap while Fortner cleared 5' 7" (1.70m). Fortner also holds the 2nd best mark in the heptathlon with 3,434 points. Junior Katie Coronado has the MWC top throw in the javelin of 171' 5" (52.25m), which is 14 feet ahead of the next competitor.

Sophomores Alesha Walker and Deanna Young have the first and third best leaps in the long jump. Walker smashed the 18 years old New Mexico school record as she flew into the MWC lead with a jump of 21' 4" (6.50m). Young made her season debut a quality outing at the when she just missed the UNM school record with a jump 20' 6 ¼" (6.25m). Young also owns the MWC third best triple jump spot with a mark of 42' 5 ½" (12.94m).

Other Lobos Ranked in the Top 10 in the MWC include:

200 Meters
Ariel Burr - 6th (24.36*)

100 Meter Hurdles
Sandy Fortner - 8th (14.38*)

5,000 Meters
Kara Henry - 7th (17:00.97)
Carolyn Boosey - 8th (17:01.42)

400 Meter Hurdles
Kim Perkins - 6th (1:01.41)

3,000 Meter Steeplechase
Kara Henry - 4th (10:41.16)
Carolyn Boosey - 7th (10:56.74)
Stasia Ploskonka 10th (11:32.80)

Long Jump
Sandy Fortner - 10th (19' 4 ¾")

Triple Jump
Brittany Smith - 6th (37' 10 ½")

Shot Put
Briana Paxton - 7th (44' 3 ¼")
Sandy Fortner - 9th (43" 0 ¼")

Javelin Vanessa Strobbe - 8th (135' 5")

100 Meters
Chris Keeling - 10th (10:96)

400 Meters
Philip Reid - 7th (48.02)
Jarrin Solomon - 8th (48.07)

800 Meters
Lee Emanuel - 5th (1:50.91)
Ryan Steadman - 7th (1:51.81)

1,500 Meters
Jeremy Johnson - 7th (3:50.00)

3,000 Meter Steeplechase
Alex Willis - 10th (9:30.17)

4 x 400 Meter Relay
Reid, Solomon, Ku. Henry, Steadman - 4th (3:12.41)

Pole Vault
Kyle Walker - 6th (16' 0 ¾")
Adam Martinez - 7th (15' 7")

Hammer Throw
Matthew Henry-Marshall 6th (171' 1")