June 20, 2007
UPDATE - Three track and field athletes with University of New Mexico ties will be in action at a pair of national championship meets this week. New Mexico All-American Jeremy Johnson was recently added to the 10,000-meter field at the AT&T USA Outdoor Championships in Indianapolis, which includes another former Lobo All-American in Matt Gonzales. Jarrin Solomon, the Mountain West Conference 400 champion, will then take part in the Trinidad and Tobago national championships this weekend.
Johnson and Santa Fe native Gonzales are part of a field of 25 collegiate and professional athletes in the 10K, which starts at 7:20 p.m. (mountain) on Thursday. The pair were teammates during the 2002-03 track and cross country seasons before Johnson transferred briefly to the University of Arizona. Gonzales, now running professionally for Nike, was a two-time All-American in the 10,000 at UNM, finishing third in 2003 and fourth in 2004 at the NCAA Championships.
Johnson capped his collegiate track career with a seventh place finish and All-America recognition in the 10,000 two weeks ago at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, but still has one season of cross country eligibility remaining at UNM. The Albuquerque Manzano product is making his first appearance at the USA Championships, but wasn't notified of his acceptance into the meet until late Tuesday, leaving him one day to travel to Indianapolis.
Solomon, meanwhile, arrived in Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday, accompanied by retiring New Mexico head coach Matt Henry. Solomon's father Michael was a two-time Olympian for Trinidad and Tobago in 1976 and 1980. Michael was a two-time All-American and won an NCAA title in the 600-yard run for the Lobos.
Jarrin Solomon, an Albuquerque La Cueva product, recently finished 17th in the 400 at the 2007 NCAA Championships and owns the third-fastest time (46.42) in the event this year by a Trinidad and Tobago athlete. He will compete in the 400 and 4x400 relay over the weekend at Hasley Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain. Solomon was an alternate for the Trinidad and Tobago national team at last summer's Central American and Caribbean Games.
All three athletes will be looking to earn a spot on their respective national teams at the 2007 Pan American Games, July 13-29 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.