March 20, 2008
The University of New Mexico track and field team will travel to Tempe, Ariz, this Friday and Saturday (March 22-23) for Baldy Castillo Classic hosted by Arizona State. The event will be the season opener for the Lobos and will be the first of three trips to Sun Angel Stadium. Also debuting for the first time this spring will be the men's and women's defending 400-meter champions, Jarrin Solomon and Ariel Burr. This will be the first outdoor season for head coach Joe Franklin and his staff in the cherry and silver. The lobos will return a wealth of seasoned vets fresh off an indoor season that saw several school records broken.
UNM HEAD COACH Joe Franklin's WEEKLY ADDRESSThe Baldy Castillo Classic is an early season meet that we hope to get a few regional qualifiers at. It will be an early season tune up for us and we hope that we are able to go in there and make progress to make the regional championships.
We will be looking for big performances by our javelin throwers, Katie Coronado, Vanessa Strobbe and Anthony Fairbanks. Katie has already qualified for the regional meet and will look to improve and Vanessa just missed it at UNLV. Anthony will see some competition this weekend that should help his progression. In the steeplechase Carolyn Boosey should have a great day. We will look for big things from our freshmen especially Matt Everett in the mile and Asal Salehpoor in the triple jump.
THROWERS GET EARLY STARTNew Mexico juniors Katie Coronado, Vanessa Strobbe and Anthony Fairbanks got an early jump on the season and competed in the UNLV track and field Classic on March 8. Coronado, New Mexico's record holder in the javelin wasted no time qualifying for the NCAA West Regional Championship with a winning throw of 151'10" (46.29m) a good eight feet above of the qualifying standard. This is the second consecutive year that the Ruidoso, N.M. native has qualified for the Regional Championships in her first attempt of the season. Last year at the Baldy Castillo Classic, Coronado only needed one attempt to eclipse the NCAA West Regional qualifying mark with a toss of 159' 9".
Teammate Strobbe took the silver in the event, with a toss of 135' 5" (41.28m).
On the men's side Fairbanks had a winning throw of 201' 9" (61.51m) only three inches off the Regional qualifying mark. Fairbanks has qualified for regional twice before in his New Mexico career.
RETURN TO ACTIONDefending MWC 400m champions, Jarrin Solomon and Ariel Burr will make their 2008 debuts at the Baldy Castillo Classic this weekend. Solomon will run the 4x100 and 4x400 relays and see his first action since traveling around the world and back this summer. As a part of the Trinidad and Tobago National team, Solomon ran a leg on the teams 4x400 relay team at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan. This will be the first collegiate competition for the La Cueva HS alum since the NCAA Outdoor Championships. (Jun. 6-9 2007).
Burr, the indoor and outdoor school record holder in the 400m last competed at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Carrizozo, N.M. native will open up the season in the 200m. In 2007 Burr clocked the Lobos' fastest 200m of the outdoor season with a time of 24.55 in her lone race at that distance.
LOBO INJURY REPORTThe Lobos also hope to get a huge boost during the outdoor season with the return of senior Jeremy Johnson, a two-time All-American. Johnson has petitioned the NCAA for a medical hardship waiver to replace his injury-plagued 2004 outdoor track season while he was at Arizona. Johnson sat out the '04 outdoor season due to a stress fracture in his leg before returning to UNM in 2005.
Junior thrower Sarah Swartwood had knee sugery in December. and will redshirt both the indoor and outdoor seasons.