All-Americans Ross and Caldwell Pace Lobos at NCAA Championships
March 9, 2013
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — New Mexico head coach Joe Franklin knew his Lobos were capable of All-American performances.
Two of his athletes made sure he got them.
University of New Mexico track and field athletes Floyd Ross and Luke Caldwell both earned All-American status with their eighth-place performances in the at the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships.
Ross leaped to eighth place in the men's triple jump on Saturday, while Caldwell took took eighth in the men's 5,000-meter run on Friday. It is the fifth straight year the Lobos registered multiple All-American selections at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
“Great weekend,” Franklin said after the meet. “Very proud of the four students that represented the University if New Mexico. Sometimes days don't go as planned or hoped for. Sometimes they go great.”
Ross, a senior from Memphis, Tenn., was something great on Saturday, as he launched a 52-foot mark in the triple jump that placed hime third in his heat. That mark, his second-longest this season, remained his best distance through the finals.
He placed eighth overall, behind winner Bryce Lamb of Texas Tech (55-7 ¾). Florida's Omar Craddock (55-1 ½) and Arkansas' Tarik Batchelor (53-11 ¼) rounded out the medalists.
Ross earned one team point for New Mexico and is slated to earn First-Team All-America honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for the second-straight year.
He finished eighth at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Championships with a 51-10 ½ mark.
Caldwell was the other Lobo to gain All-American status at Randal Tyson Track Center over the weekend. The Betchworth, England, product raced to a 13-minute, 46.44-second time in the men's 5K on Friday, earning one team point for the Lobos in his fifth lifetime 5K.
Together, Ross and Caldwell combined for two points, placing New Mexico 49th.
Said Franklin: “Luke and Floyd scoring for UNM is an amazing accomplishment, to do so in the best indoor track meet the world.”
New Mexico has scored at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the last five years, just one year short of the program record (1975-80). Last year, New Mexico tied for 15th with 11 team points, including 10 from defending NCAA long jump champion Kendall Spencer.
Spencer made a return trip this year, but did not place in the men's long jump. He fouled each of his three attempts and did not register a mark, the first time that has happened to a New Mexico athlete since 2006, when Derek Mackel did the same in the pole vault.
On the women's side, Josephine Moultrie put together a valiant effort in the women's 3000, finishing 10th with a 9:14.84 clocking.
The senior from Glasgow, Scotland, was in the top five throughout most of the race, including with 600 meter remaining. She eventually fell behind in the last few laps, finishing 10th. She is in position to earn Second-Team All-American status from the USTFCCCA.
Moultrie did finish less than 10 seconds off her personal record of 9:06.35, set in February at the UW Invitational in Seattle. Moultrie, the first woman in UNM history to compete at the national championships in the 3000, was competing in just her second 3K in three years.
“Josephine and Kendall didn't have the weekend they hoped for,” Franklin said. “I have no doubt they will put themselves in a good spot for the outdoor season. We always have to remember a day at the track is always a great day regardless of the outcome.”
Final All-American selections will be announced by Monday. Ross and Caldwell are all but guaranteed First-Team honors, while Moultrie should earn Second-Team honors.
The Lobos have concluded the indoor season and will return to action in two weeks with their outdoor-season opener, the UTEP Springtime Invitational on March 23 in El Paso, Texas.