Lobos Return To Arizona For Third Week of Outdoor Competition
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/29/2007
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

March 29, 2007

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The University of New Mexico will make a return trip to the Grand Canyon State this Saturday to compete in the Arizona International meet in Tucson. New Mexico, which opened the outdoor season at Arizona State, will be looking to add to its list of NCAA regional qualifiers in its third outdoor competition of the year. Distance runners Jeremy Johnson and Timmie Murphy, meanwhile, will take part in the elite Stanford Invitational on Saturday night, when they will run their first 5,000-meter races of the spring.


Results: Meet results will be available online at www.arizonaathletics.com.

Schedule: The meet will be held all day on Saturday, March 31. Field events get underway at 11 a.m. (Mountain Time) and the first event on the track is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. The meet should conclude by 4:15 p.m.

Weather: Saturday's forecast in Tucson calls for abundant sunshine and highs in the low 80s. The winds will be light and there is virtually no chance of rain.

Last Meet In Tucson: UNM opened the 2006 outdoor season at Arizona's Jim Click Shootout. Senior Matt Keeran finished second in the javelin with a mark of 218' 8" - the best by a Lobo in 15 years - and was one of four UNM men to turn in NCAA regional qualifying performances at the meet. Senior Derek Mackel won the pole vault with a regional qualifying clearance of 17' 3/4", while freshman Josh Cosio cleared a career-best and regional qualifying bar of 6' 10 3/4" to finish third in the high jump. Sophomore Jarrin Solomon paced the Lobos on the track, clocking a time of 47.18 in a runner-up finish in the 400-meter dash to qualify for the Midwest Regional meet as well. UNM's powerful javelin crew came home with seven top-5 finishes, including freshman Katie Coronado's victory (138' 5") in her collegiate debut.


Results: Meet results will be available online at www.gostanford.com.

Schedule: Timmie Murphy will compete in the section 2 women's 5,000-meter race at 8:47 p.m. (Mountain Time). Jeremy Johnson will run the section 1 men's 5,000 at 9:40 p.m.

Weather: The weather on Saturday night should be favorable for distance running with temperatures expected to be in the high 50s or low 60s and virtually no chance of rain. The winds wil be light, though a humidity ratio near 60 percent could be a factor.

Last Appearance In Stanford: Jeremy Johnson clocked the Lobos' fastest 5,000 time of the 2006 season on April 29 at Stanford's Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational, crossing the line in 14:21.23. Johnson's effort was good for 11th in the event and was 11.23 seconds off the NCAA regional qualifying standard.

LAST TIME OUT (USC Trojan Invitational - March 24)

LOS ANGLES - New Mexico qualified two more athletes to the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship meet in a solid performance at the USC Trojan Invitational. Junior Ariel Burr clocked a regional qualifying time of 54.19 in a third place finish in the 400 meters, while fellow junior Tiyana Peters qualified for the regional meet for the first time with an outdoor best height of 5' 8 3/4" (1.75) in the high jump (fifth).

Burr, the Mountain West Conference indoor 400 champion, turned in a strong early-season performance to secure her spot in the NCAA Regional Championship field for the third straight year. The Carrizozo, N.M. product finished 0.73 seconds behind Texas A&M All-American Clora Williams (53.46).

Peters, meanwhile, surpassed her previous outdoor best in the high jump by 1 3/4 inches in her first outdoor competition of the season. The MWC indoor champion had been bothered by a sore Achilles since clearing a lifetime best 5' 10" at the conference meet in late February.

Elsewhere, sophomore Katie Coronado picked up her second javelin victory in as many meets this season with a winning throw of 156' 2" (47.60m). Coronado finished over a foot ahead of the runner-up, Texas A&M All-American Jessica Wingfield (155').

On the men's side, freshman Brian Vallie clocked a lifetime best time of 1:52.54 to finish third in the first outdoor 800-meter race of his career. Junior Jarrin Solomon, meanwhile, was fourth in his first outdoor 400 of the season with a time of 47.53.

Solomon came back to help the 4x400 relay teammates Taylor Siemon, Randle McCain and Kurt Henry finish fourth with a time of 3:12.58. The Lobos finished behind USC (3:05.88), Texas A&M (3:05.98) and the Texas A&M B team (3:11.37), but defeated seven teams, including Michigan (3:13.03), Long Beach State (3:14.51) and Washington State (3:16.20).

Sophomore Anthony Fairbanks led the UNM men in the field once again, finishing third in the javelin with a throw of 205' 8" (62.68m). Fellow sophomore Josh Cosio cleared 6' 6 3/4" (2.00m) to finish sixth in the high jump.

Other New Mexico highlights on Saturday included: -Freshman Alesha Walker finishing seventh in the long jump with a season best mark of 19' 5 1/2" (5.93m). Walker's mark was less than 3 inches short of the NCAA regional qualifying standard.

-Sophomore Christina Zarrella clocking a career-best time of 2:16.10 to finish sixth in the 800.

-Senior Dylan Rose-Coss finishing eighth in the 1,500 with a career-best time of 3:58.32.

-The women's 4x400 relay team of Ariel Burr, Kristan Matison, Kim Perkins and Christina Zarrella placing fifth with a time of 3:56.48.

Fortner Injured In First Heptathlon of the Year
Tucson, Ariz. -- Sophomore Sandy Fortner's first heptathlon competition ended early on Friday at Arizona. Fortner pulled out after suffering a hamstring injury during the long jump - the first event on day two. She used a career-best performance in the shot put to move into fourth place after the first four events on Thursday. Fortner's injury is not believed to be serious.


Katie Coronado will look to extend her javelin winning streak to three in a row on Saturday in Tucson. The sophomore from Ruidoso, N.M. (which means "noisy" in Spanish) has wasted no time in setting the tone for her 2007 season. Coronado opened the spring with a season-best and NCAA regional qualifying throw of 159-09 at Arizona State where she finished over 13 feet ahead of her nearest competitor. The following week at USC, Coronado edged Texas A&M All-American Jessica Wingfield (155') with a winning mark of 156' 2".

Coronado currently owns the top javelin mark in the Mountain West Conference and is ranked No. 12 in the nation. She has four victories and eight top-3 finishes in her 10 collegiate javelin competitions.


Sophomore Anthony Fairbanks was named Mountain West Conference Men's Outdoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week on March 21. It was the first career weekly honor for Fairbanks and the first for a Lobo outdoors since 2005.

Fairbanks, an Albuquerque Highland High School product, 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). Fairbanks surpassed his previous personal best distance in the event by over four feet. The mark continues to lead the MWC and is ranked 14th in the nation.


University 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."

Matt, 54, graduated from UNM in 1975. He was a four-year letterwinner for the Lobo track team from 1971-74, earning All-America honors in 1972 as a member of the two-mile relay team that placed third at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Henry also helped the two-mile relay team set the school indoor record in the event in 1974.

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.

In 2004, Santa Fe native Matt Gonzales finished a program-best second to lead the men's cross country team to a ninth place finish overall at the NCAA Championship meet. It's still the highest finish by a Lobo team in the program's 46-year history.

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, 54, graduated from UNM in 1974 and was a four-year member of the Lobo track team from 1970-73. He 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.