May 8, 2007
UPCOMINGThe University of New Mexico men's and women's track and field teams travel to San Diego this week for the 2007 Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championship meet. San Diego State is hosting the MWC Championships for the first time since 2001 - retiring UNM coaches Matt and Mark Henry's first season at their alma mater. The meet opens on Wednesday, May 9 at the SDSU Sports Deck and concludes on Saturday, May 12. New Mexico is making its second trip in three weeks to San Diego after competing at the UCSD Triton Invitational April 20-21.
THE MWC OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS AT A GLANCEResults: Final meet results will be available online at the MWC Championships Headquarters page.
Schedule: The men's decathlon and women's heptathlon will be held on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, beginning at noon each day. Qualifying and finals for the remainder of the track & field events run from 12 - 6:25 p.m. on Friday, May 11 and 12- 4:05 on Saturday, May 12.
Recap Of The 2006 MWC Championships (Provo, Utah): The UNM women used a balanced attack on the track and in the field to move up to fifth (67.5 points) in the new nine-team Mountain West Conference Championships. It was the Lobos' highest conference finish outdoors since they were also fifth in a nine-team field at the 1996 Western Athletic Conference Championships. The addition of track power TCU, however, pushed UNM down to fifth (79 points) in the men's standings after five straight fourth place finishes at the MWC outdoor meet. Senior Jacquelyne Gallegos (5,000m), sophomore Ariel Burr (400m) and freshman Katie Coronado (javelin) earned all-MWC honors for the women. Senior Derek Mackel (pole vault), senior Mike Powdrell (long jump), sophomore Jarrin Solomon (400m), freshman Josh Cosio (high jump) and the 4x400m relay team of Solomon, Taylor Siemon, Randle McCain and Kurt Henry medaled on the men's side.
Last Time In San Diego: New Mexico competed at the UC San Diego Triton Invitational earlier in the season (April 20-21). Junior Tiyana Peters cleared 5' 10" in the high jump, the men's 4x400-meter relay team cruised to a wire-to-wire victory, freshman Brian Vallie clocked a time of 3:50.67 (7th) in the 1,500 and rookie Kelly McCabe broke her own school record in the 3,000 steeplechase with a time of 11:15.58 (4th) to lead the Lobo effort.
Last Time At The SDSU Sports Deck: New Mexico has not visited San Diego State since the 2001 MWC Championships. The UNM men were fourth out of six teams with 91 points, while the women were sixth in the eight-team field with 63 points. The Lobos captured four gold medals and earned eight all-conference awards in head coach Matt Henry and associate head coach Mark Henry's debut at the MWC Outdoor Championships. Freshman Ben Ortega snapped a four-year gold medal drought for the men by winning the 10,000-meter run, junior Monique Harris won the second of her three consecutive triple jump crowns and sophomore Arline Smith sweep the 200 and 400, becoming the first UNM woman since 1990 to win two conference events.
2006 MWC Outdoor Championships Points Returning/Lost:
Women: 47 (70%)/20.5 (30%)
The New Mexico women's prospects are promising on paper as the team returns athletes who scored 70 percent of its points last year, including all-MWC honorees Ariel Burr (400) and Katie Coronado (javelin). 5,000-meter runner Jacquelyne Gallegos (graduation) is the lone all-conference performer missing from the `06 squad. UNM returns its high point scorer from a year ago in junior sprinter Kristan Matison who was fourth in the 100 and fifth in the 200. Triple jumper Hagit Salamon (4th) and heptathlete Sandy Fortner are also back (5th) after combining for nine points in their respective events in `06.
Men: 33.5 (42%)/45.5 (58%)
The UNM men's team lost significant points in the field events from the `06 meet, including high point man Mike Powdrell, who combined for 13 in the long jump (2nd) and high jump (4th). The Lobos will also be without Derek Mackel (graduation), Robert Caldwell (redshirting) and Zach Graham (not traveling) who combined for 16 points in the pole vault, as well as all-MWC high jumper Josh Cosio (3rd), who left the team last month. However, all-MWC 400 runner Jarrin Solomon and the bronze medal 4x400 team (3rd) are back from a year ago. A healthy Jeremy Johnson also returns in the 5,000 (7th) along with Joseph Garcia in the 10,000 (5th). Javelin thrower Anthony Fairbanks (6th) and Domnick Meadows in the long jump (4th) and triple jump (7th) are also back after solid MWC performances last spring.
Final Chance To Qualify: The MWC Championships will likely be the final chance for most athletes to reach qualifying standards before the NCAA regional meets begin on May 25. UNM has already qualified four women and three men for the NCAA regional meet, while seniors Jeremy Johnson and Timmie Murphy have also reached national provisional qualifying standards in the 10,000. Sophomore Sandy Fortner is a strong candidate to surpass the NCAA provisional standard in the heptathlon this week after doing so twice in her rookie season. The men's 4x400 relay team of Taylor Siemon, Jarrin Solomon, Kurt Henry and Randle McCain, 800-meter man Brian Vallie, javelin thrower Vanessa Strobbe and jumpers Domnick Meadows, Hagit Salamon and Deanna Young are the Lobos' top candidates to join the NCAA regional field this week.
San Diego Weather Forecast: The weather will be ideal for track and field competition this week in San Diego. Sunny skies are forecast all four days of the meet with high temperatures starting at 75 degrees on Wednesday and cooling off to 64 on Saturday. There is virtually no chance of rain and wind speeds are not expected to exceed 10 miles per hour throughout the meet. As always in San Diego, humidity percentages in the high 60s during the week could have a slight impact on performances.
NEW MEXICO AT THE MWC OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPSSince head coach Matt Henry took over the program in 2001, the New Mexico men have enjoyed a remarkable turnaround at the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championships. UNM has averaged 98 points at the meet over the past six seasons, nearly three times their scoring average (37 points) in the 10 years (1991-2000) before Henry's arrival. The Lobo men scored an average of 12 points at the conference meet from 1992-2000.
In 2002, Henry was named Mountain West Conference Men's Outdoor Coach of the Year after New Mexico put up 125.5 points, its best performance since 1989. Hank Baskett (high jump - `04), Dan Feltman (decathlon - `05), Matt Gonzales (5,000 - `04), Mark Johnson (decathlon - `02), Matt Keeran (javelin - `05) and Ben Ortega (10,000 - `01) have each earned gold medals at the MWC Outdoor meet and have helped New Mexico earn all-MWC honors 39 times over the past six years. In 2006 however, UNM failed to win a men's event for just the second time under Henry.
The UNM women, meanwhile, turned in their highest MWC point total under Henry two years ago in Fort Collins, Colo. and have averaged 58 points since he took over the program in 2001. The Lobos averaged 35 points at the outdoor conference championship meets from 1994-2000.
The New Mexico women have captured seven MWC event titles, including six in the past six seasons under Henry. However, after winning at least one gold medal at the conference meet from 1999-2004, the Lobos have been shutout the past two seasons. Amanda Barnes won consecutive outdoor shot put crowns (2003-04), while Monique Harris won the triple jump three straight years (2000-02). Arline Smith swept the 200 and 400 in 2001 and Bridgid Isworth won the pole vault in 2004. New Mexico athletes have earned all-MWC honors 32 times with 25 awards coming during Henry's tenure.
ALL-CONFERENCE CANDIDATESThe all-Mountain West Conference team is comprised of the top-3 finishers in each event at the MWC Championship meet. Since Matt Henry took over the track and field program in 2001, UNM athletes have earned all-MWC honors 64 times outdoors. The following are the athletes currently in top contention for outdoor all-conference honors, ranking among the league's top-5 entering this week's conference championship meet:
Jr. Ariel Burr* - 400m (3rd - 54.19)
Sr. Timmie Murphy* - 5,000m (2nd - 16:28.03)
4x100 Relay (5th - 46.26)
4x400 Relay (5th - 3:45.71)
Jr. Tiyana Peters - High Jump (1st - 5-10.00)
So. Katie Coronado - Javelin (1st - 169-10)
Jr. Sandy Fortner - Heptathlon (4th - 5,011 pts.)
*Burr is also ranked 4th in the 200, but will only run the 400m this weekend. Murphy is also ranked 3rd in the 10,000, but will only run the 5,000.
Jr. Jarrin Solomon - 400m (1st - 46.42)
Fr. Brian Vallie - 800m (4th - 1:51.15)
Jr. Jeremy Johnson* - 5,000m (2nd - 13:50.85)
Jr. Joseph Garcia - 10,000m (4th - 30:43.71)
4x400m Relay Team (2nd - 3:10.72)
Jr. Domnick Meadows - Long Jump (3rd - 23-03.25) & Triple Jump (5th - 48-06.75)
So. Anthony Fairbanks - Javelin (1st - 217-10)
Sr. Dan Feltman - Javelin (4th - 198-01)
*Johnson is also ranked 2nd in the 10,000, but will run the 5,000 and 1,500 this weekend.
LAST TIME OUT: DON KIRBY MEMORIAL INVITATIONALALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico turned in a dominant performance in its lone outdoor home meet of the 2007 season, winning 15 events on April 28 at the 17th Don Kirby Memorial Invitational. Junior Ariel Burr led the way, flying to victory in the women's 200 meters with a NCAA regional qualifying time of 23.73 (altitude-adjusted). The meet was the final home event for seventh-year New Mexico coaches Matt and Mark Henry, who will retire at the end of the outdoor season.
Burr became the first UNM woman to qualify for the NCAA regional championships in the 200 and recorded the fastest time in the Henry's tenure. The Carrizozo, N.M. product was part of the three Lobo victories on the day. She helped the 4x100 relay team (Burr, Alesha Walker, KC Pritchard, Kristan Matison) cruise across the line in 46.51* and came back in the final event of the day to lead the 4x400 relay team to victory. Burr and teammates Matison, Sandy Fortner and Christina Zarrella combined to record the fastest time in the Henry Era - an altitude adjusted 3:45.71.
Lobo sophomore Hagit Salamon, meanwhile, led a sensational day by the women's jumpers. Salamon swept the long and triple jumps with collegiate best marks of 19' 2 1/2" (5.85m) and 40' 1 1/2" (12.23m), respectively. New Mexico finished 1-5 in the long jump and 1-4 in the triple jump. Freshman Deanna Young and junior Jai McBride-Collins also turned in personal bests in the triple jump with marks of 40' 1 1/4" (12.22m) and 38' 9" (11.81m), respectively.
Junior Tiyana Peters completed a UNM sweep of the jumping events with a victory in the high jump. Peters had no trouble in the event, besting the field with a mark of 5' 8 3/4" (1.75m).
Junior Jarrin Solomon defended his Don Kirby 400 title, finishing over a second ahead of sophomore teammate Taylor Siemon with a time of 47.00*. Siemon finished a strong second with a career-best time of 48.10*. Senior Randle McCain (48.65*) and Kurt Henry (49.21*) also ran the fastest 400 of their careers, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively.
The Lobo foursome later joined forces and made a valiant run at the NCAA regional qualifying standard in the 4x400 relay, but came up a bit short with a winning time of 3:11.62*. The New Mexico `A' team ran by itself the entire race, finishing nearly eight seconds ahead of the runner-up `B' squad on a breezy afternoon.
UNM opened the day with another sweep of the javelin as sophomore Anthony Fairbanks and Katie Coronado won the event for the second straight year. Fairbanks bested the field with a throw of 208' 9" (63.63m), while Coronado recorded her second-best mark of the year with a toss of 167' 6" (51.06m).
Sophomore Leslie Luna got the Lobos off on the right foot on the track, winning the 5,000 for the second straight season. Luna clocked a season-best time of 17:39.02 en route to her first victory of the year. Fellow sophomore Sheyenne Lewis clocked a career-best time of 17:56.13* to place second in a 1-2-3-4 UNM finish.
New Mexico also received a pair of strong performances in the men's 1,500 as freshman Brian Vallie and senior Jeremy Johnson finished 1-3. Vallie used a late kick down the final 100 meters to pass unattached runner Solomon Kandle at the line. The Hardin, Mont. Product finished in 3:51.06, while Johnson recorded a career-best time of 3:52.42*.
Junior Domnick Meadows turned in his best all-around meet of the spring, winning the triple jump with a leap of 48' 6" (14.78m) after finishing second in the long jump with a season-best mark of 23' 3 1/4" (7.09m). Meadows was the top collegiate finisher in the long jump, which was won by Kevin Dilworth (23' 10 1/4").
Elsewhere, Matison moved to a perfect 3-0 in the 100 meters at UNM Track Stadium, matching her season-best with a winning time of 12.05*. Later, senior Mark Lamb won the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.84* in his final home meet.
Other notable performances on Saturday included:
Sophomore Christina Zarrella recording a PR of 2.6 seconds in the 800, finishing second, behind UNM middle distance coach Mardea Hyman with a time of 2:13.50*. Teammates Katie Candelaria (PR 2:19.93*) and Lynn Brasher (2:20.13*) placed third and fourth, respectively.
Sophomore Briana Paxton surpassing her previous career best in the shot put by almost two feet with a mark of 44' 11 1/2" (13.70). Paxton finished third in the event.
Freshman Matthew Henry-Marshall placing second in the men's hammer with a season-best throw of 158' 3" (48.23m).
Rookie Matt Hull clearing an outdoor best 16' 3/4" (4.90m) to finish fifth in the pole vault.
Junior Whitney Johnson clearing an NCAA regional qualifying height of 12' 5 1/2" (3.80m) while competing unattached in the women's pole vault. Johnson, the UNM outdoor record holder in the event, is redshirting the 2007 season after undergoing knee surgery last summer to repair torn ligaments in her knee.
*Indicates an altitude adjusted time
QUALITY QUALIFIERSSeven UNM athletes have secured their spot in the field of the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships, May 25-26, in Des Moines, Iowa. Five of New Mexico's regional qualifiers are currently ranked in the top-10 in the region of their top event, including two listed among the top-5. Sophomore Katie Coronado own the third-best mark in the Midwest in the women's javelin (169-10), while sophomore Anthony Fairbanks has the No. 5 men's javelin mark (217-10).
The top five finishers in each event at the regional championship meets automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships in Sacramento (June 6-9). However, athletes who finish in the top-8 at the regional meets are eligible for an at-large bid the national championships. The non-automatic qualifiers are put into a pool and seeded according to their best mark or time during the 2007 season. The NCAA Championship Committee will then add the highest ranked athletes until the event field is filled.
The men's decathlon, women's heptathlon and men's and women's 10,000-meter run are not contested at the regional meets. NCAA participants in those events must either surpass the automatic qualifying standard during the season or be selected from the national pool of provisional qualifiers in order to compete at the NCAA Championships.
Johnson and senior Timmie Murphy have both recorded NCAA provisional qualifying times in the 10,000. Johnson has almost assured himself a spot at the national championship meet with a top time of 28:47.76 that is less than three seconds shy of the automatic qualifying standard and is currently ranked 13th in the country. Murphy, meanwhile, is on the qualifying bubble, ranked 28th nationally in the women's 10K with a top time of 34:17.47.
JAVELIN DOMINANCEThe top javelin throwers in the Mountain West Conference both hail from the state of New Mexico. Sophomores Katie Coronado (Ruidoso) and Anthony Fairbanks (Albuquerque Highland) have established themselves as the gold medal favorites at the MWC Championships (May 10-12) with their javelin performances this spring.
Coronado is ranked third in the NCAA Midwest Region and sixth in the nation with a top mark of 169-10, recorded on April 14 at UTEP. The throw also broke a 10-year-old UNM record in the event.
She finished second in the MWC last year behind two-time national champion Dana Pounds of Air Force and was one of the last javelin competitors left out of NCAA Championship field after finishing seventh at the regional meet.Coronado has surpassed the NCAA regional qualifying standard in all five meets this spring and has five top-5 finishes, including wins at Arizona State and USC.
Fairbanks, meanwhile, opened the 2007 season with a career-best throw of 217-10 at Arizona State that is currently ranked 24th nationally and fifth in the Midwest Region.He has also surpassed the NCAA regional qualifying standard in all five meets and notched three top-3 finishes.
No UNM woman has ever won a conference title in the javelin and the Lobos have never had a men's and women's javelin tandem qualify for the NCAA Championships in the same year.
BEST OF THE MOUNTAIN WESTThe New Mexico men have earned a record three Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track & Field Athlete of the Week awards this season, while the women have been honored once for a combined program record of four awards in 2007. The Lobos had two Outdoor Athlete of the Week winners the previous two years combined.
Sophomore Anthony Fairbanks earned his first career award on March 21 - the first for a Lobo outdoors since 2005. Fairbanks finished second in the javelin at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Ariz. with a career-best and NCAA regional qualifying throw of 217' 10" (66.39m), surpassing his previous personal best distance in the event by over four feet.
Junior Jarrin Solomon later earned his first Athlete of the Week award on April 3 for his performance at the Arizona International meet in Tucson, Ariz. Solomon ran an NCAA regional qualifying time of 46.42 - the fastest by a Lobo since 1991 and fourth-best in MWC history. To win the 400-meter race. He finished 0.13 seconds ahead of the runner-up, Arizona State All-American Domenik Peterson, as he shaved 0.39 seconds off of his previous career-best. Solomon is the only athlete among the league's top-5 in the men's 400 to record his time before the month of May.
Solomon was also a part of the second-place UNM 4x400 relay team that clocked a season-best time of 3:10.72 in Tucson. The time was New Mexico's fastest in the event since 2003 and just 0.72 seconds off the regional qualifying standard.
Senior Jeremy Johnson earned his first award on April 17 after recording the third-fastest time in MWC history in his first career 10,000-meter race at the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif. He crossed the finish line in a NCAA provisional qualifying time of 28:47.76, which was less than three seconds off the NCAA automatic qualifying mark. Johnson finished ninth overall and third among collegians in a field of 57 runners.
Sophomore Katie Coronado became the first UNM woman since `05 to win the weekly award after she broke an 11-year-old UNM javelin record with a throw of 169'-10.00" (51.77) in a second-place finish at the UTEP Invitational in El Paso, Texas. Coronado surpassed the previous Lobo school record by over four feet and moved up to third on the all-time MWC list for the event.
THESE ARE NEW MEXICO'S LOBOSOver the past six years UNM head coach Matt Henry has worked to rebuild the track and field program primarily using in-state and in-city athletes. Few D-I athletics programs in the state of New Mexico can match Lobo track and field when it comes to being a truly New Mexican product.Zia pride is what fuels the program, coaches and athletes alike.
The 2007 roster features 71 in-state products, including 38 from the Duke City. Thirty-one men and women are former New Mexico high school track & field champions. More and more, the elite athletes in the state are choosing to stay home at New Mexico, even declining offers from big name out-of-state schools with greater financial resources.
The New Mexico connection is just as strong with the coaching staff as Matt Henry (Albuquerque), Mark Henry (Albuquerque), Scott Steffan (Aztec, N.M.) and Keren Bentzur (Israel), as well as volunteer coaches Mark Johnson (Fontana, Wisc.), Matt Kraft (Albuquerque) and Derek Mackel (Albuquerque) all competed at and graduated from the University of New Mexico.
HENRY BROTHERS ANNOUNCE RETIREMENTUniversity of New Mexico head track and field coach Matt Henry and associate head coach Mark Henry announced on Feb. 19 that they will retire from UNM effective at the end of the 2007 outdoor season. A nation-wide search is underway to replace the twin brothers, who are in their seventh season with the Lobos.
"We just felt that it was time for us to step aside," said Matt Henry. "We've done some pretty nice things since we've been here. Cross country in particular - we've been pretty successful on both the men's and women's sides. We've also had some good track and field performances over the years, but I'm most proud of the fact that we've done it almost entirely with New Mexico kids."
Under Henry's tutelage, 13 UNM athletes have advanced to NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championship meets, giving the Lobos representation every year since 2002. New Mexico has also earned four All-America awards, two Academic All-America certificates, won 24 Mountain West Conference event titles and earned all-MWC honors 106 times. Twenty-five UNM indoor/outdoor records have been set during Henry's tenure.
In cross country, Henry's runners have earned a combined 17 all-MWC awards and 11 all-NCAA Mountain Region certificates. New Mexico has sent six individuals and one team to the NCAA Cross Country Championships, earning All-America honors three times.
Henry's fellow coaches named him MWC Coach of the Year for men's outdoor track in 2002 and again in 2005 for women's cross country.
Mark Henry has been the primary sprints and relays coach all seven years at UNM. Since 2001, Henry's sprinters have captured a four MWC titles and earned all-conference honors 26 times. Four individuals and two relay teams have advanced to the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship meet and seven school records have been set in the sprint and relay events under Henry's watch.
"The Henry name has been synonymous with track and field - locally and nationally - for many decades," said UNM athletics director Paul Krebs. "I'm disappointed that future Lobo student-athletes will not have the benefit of receiving guidance and coaching from Matt and Mark. They have worked tirelessly for the New Mexico track program and the sport of track and field. They will be missed."
Both Matt and Mark say they plan to stay in the Albuquerque area after finishing at UNM. Matt's sons Kurt (a junior) and Kyle (a freshman) will both remain with the program.
LOBO LEGACYThe University of New Mexico track and field program boasts an elite tradition of excellence that has included 11 national championship event victories, 70 All-America honors, 19 national top-25 team finishes, 205 conference championship event victories and five conference titles. Several current Lobos have grown up with a unique appreciation of the program's proud history. Six athletes on the 2007 roster are second generation members of the Lobo track and field program, many of whom can still see their surnames prominently displayed in the UNM record books.
Junior Kristan Matison is the daughter of one of New Mexico's finest sprinters, Rene Matison, who earned All-America honors in the 100-yard dash and as part of the 440-yard relay in 1966. Matison was also a member of four Western Athletic Conference champion relay teams and played a year of football for the Lobos before being drafted as a wide receiver by the Dallas Cowboys in 1969. Matison's name is also in the UNM record books as he anchored the record-setting 4x100y relay team and matched the fastest 100-yard time ever recorded at UNM. In 2006, he has continued to make an impact on the program with the founding the New Mexico Track & Field Club.
Fellow junior Jarrin Solomon can also find his family name featured throughout the history of New Mexico track and field thanks to the efforts of his father Michael Solomon. The elder Solomon was a two-time All-American and the 600-yard champion at the 1977 NCAA Indoor Championships. From 1974-77, Solomon claimed four-straight 600 titles, one 440 crown, was a member of the Lobos' three-time WAC champion mile relay team indoors and part of the outdoor record-setting 4x400m relay team. Solomon was also a two-time Olympian, competing at the 1976 Montreal games and 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Brothers Kurt and Kyle Henry have been in surrounded by UNM track and field tradition their entire life. Their dad, Matt Henry, is the seventh-year head coach at New Mexico, a former All-American for the Lobos and member of four WAC Champion relay teams. Mom, Lisa (formerly Lisa Chivario), competed at UNM in the early `70s and earned All-America honors in 1971 as the AIAW national runner-up in the long jump. Uncle Mark was also a letterwinner for UNM and is currently the associate head coach, while his grandfather Bub and great-grandfather Gwinn have a legacy of success in UNM athletics that goes back to the 1930s.
Sophomore Briana Paxton's mother, Laurie (formerly Laurie Gilliland), was a standout hurdler at UNM from 1975-78. Laurie was a three-time AIAW national qualifier in the 400 hurdles and won the event at the `77 WAC Championships. She is also a former school and conference record holder in the 100 hurdles. Briana's dad, Matt, played football for the Lobos in the late `70s.
Rookie Lynn Brasher's mom, Lucille, ran track for the Lobos from 1976-77. A second cousin, also named Lynn Brasher, ran track at UNM from 1979-80 and earned All-America honors in 1979 as part of the two-mile relay team.
Freshman Jeremy Newland's dad, Jef, is a former Lobo distance runner (1988-92) who helped UNM win the WAC cross country championship and advance to the NCAA Championship meet in 1988.
NEW MEXICO TRACK & FIELD CLUBChampionship track and field programs are not built overnight. They are constructed gradually, built upon a strong foundation of pride, tradition and a commitment to excellence. The University of New Mexico track and field program has built its legacy with the same championship formula.
Since 1930, New Mexico athletes have earned All-America honors 70 times, won 11 NCAA Championship events and claimed 205 conference events. Perhaps the most exceptional group of athletes ever to compete in any sport at UNM were on legendary coach Hugh Hackett's track and field teams of the 1960s.
A large group of Lobo legends from that era, including coach Hackett and former national champions Adolph Plummer and Art Baxter, reunited in Albuquerque on Jan. 20, 2006 for a memorable evening spent sharing memories and reaffirming a commitment to New Mexico track and field excellence. That night, reunion organizer Rene Matison, a two-time All-American at UNM, announced the founding of the New Mexico Track & Field/Cross Country Club.
The organization seeks to unite all the alumni, friends and supporters who have been part of New Mexico's proud track & field history and would like to help the program continue its ascent under head coach Matt Henry. The New Mexico Track & Field Club goals include celebrating and preserving the program's proud tradition while helping current and future generations of Lobo track and field athletes establish a championship legacy of their own through facility and equipment upgrades and donations to the track and field scholarship fund.
In its first year, the club raised funds to sponsor the UNM Men's and Women's Athlete of the Year awards, assist with team equipment needs and begin creating a New Mexico Track & Field Wall of Champions at the Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium. The group also helped secure funding for a Daktronics track & field scoreboard which is scheduled to be installed in the summer of `07.
More help is needed though and the New Mexico Track & Field/Cross Club is looking for members who want to see Lobo Track & Field once again take its place among the elite programs in the Mountain West Conference and eventually, the nation.
For more information contact Rene Matison via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Lobo Track & Field office at (505) 925-5735.