Jan. 19, 2008
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The University of New Mexico got off to a solid start in the first meet of the 2008 indoor track and field season, winning three events and notching nine top-three finishes today at the Northern Arizona Lumberjack Invitational. The meet also marked the first track and field competition for the Lobos under first year head coach Joe Franklin and his staff.
Junior transfer Lee Emanuel turned the highlight of the day for New Mexico on the track, clocking an altitude adjusted time of 1:52.15 to lead all collegians (third overall) in the 800-meter run. Emanuel's time was just 1.05 seconds off the NCAA provisional qualifying standard and the best by a Lobo in over a decade.
Sophomore Alesha Walker, meanwhile, led the women's team with a tremendous all-around performance. Walker placed second in the invitational long jump competition - just half an inch behind the winner - with an indoor-best leap of 19' 2 3/4" (5.86m) and clocked a career-best time of 7.70 (altitude adjusted) to finish fourth in the 60-meter finals.
The UNM women won three events on Saturday with junior transfer Carolyn Boosey capturing the mile (5:17.93 - altitude adjusted), sophomore Deanna Young taking the triple jump (indoor-best 39' 6" (12.04m)) and junior Sandy Fortner winning the open long jump competition (18' 3" (5.56m)).
New Mexico continued its strong performances in the field as junior Tiyana Peters, the Mountain West Conference indoor and outdoor high jump champion, finished third in the event with a mark of 5' 7 3/4" (1.72m), while fellow junior Briana Paxton smashed her indoor best in the shot put with a fourth place toss of 43' 9 1/4" (13.34m).
Back on the oval, sophomore Alex Willis was third in the mile with a career-best altitude adjusted time of 4:22.13, while redshirt freshman Ryan Steadman was fifth in the 400 (49.53) in his collegiate debut. UNM volunteer sprint coach Lamont Johnson, meanwhile, won the men's 60 with a time of 6.67. A former standout at Iowa State, Johnson is currently training for the 2008 U.S. Indoor Championships (Feb. 23-24).