2016 Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships Preview
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2016 Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships begin Thursday, February 25 at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and are hosted by the University of New Mexico.
Real-time scoring and results, along with post-race interviews, event highlights and photo galleries from the 2016 MW Indoor Track & Field Championships, which runs through Saturday, February 27, will be available on the Championship Central page of TheMW.com. In addition, Friday and Saturday’s track events will be broadcast live on the Mountain West Network.
New Mexico has won three consecutive Mountain West titles on the men’s side, while the Lobos’ women’s squad has captured back-to-back MW championships. A total of 17 teams (six men, 11 women) will compete in the meet.
Three teams enter the league championships ranked in the latest USTFCCCA Top-25. The Air Force men’s squad is No. 21, marking the program’s highest-ever ranking. On the women’s side, Boise State is ranked 19th, while New Mexico is slotted a program-best 23rd.
Men’s Event Notes
60 Meters: New Mexico senior Ridge Jones returns to defend his 2015 Mountain West title. Jones set the MW all-time and Championships record a year ago with a time of 6.60. Colorado State senior Josh DeLoach enters the meet as the top performer in the league this season with a time of 6.65.
200 Meters: Parker Bluth (Sr.) of Utah State looks to follow in the footsteps of former teammate and two-time defending champion Nic Bowens. Bluth returns to the Albuquerque Convention Center track where he set the all-time Conference record earlier this season on January 30 with a time of 20.73.
400 Meters: Utah State's Cole Lambourne seeks his third consecutive first-place finish in the 400 Meters. Lambourne holds the MW Championship fastest time with a mark of 46.55 set in 2015. The senior has the top time in the league this season at 47.05, and is followed by fellow Aggie Brady Martin (So.) at 47.07.
800 Meters: Cole Lambourne's younger brother Clay Lambourne returns to defend his title from a year ago. The sophomore sits on top of the Conference this season with a clocking of 1:50.81.
Mile: New Mexico senior Elmar Engholm enters the Championships having won the event in 2015. Engholm holds the fourth-fastest time in the MW in 2015-16 (4:05.39). The Conference's top miler this season, David Elliott (Sr.) of Boise State, clocked the third-best time in the history of the league on February 12 at 3:57.38.
3000 Meters: With defending winner Adam Bitchell of New Mexico graduated, the door is open for last year's second- and third-place finishers Jefferson Abbey (Jr., Colorado State) and Elliott to take the crown. Joining Abbey and Elliott as a contender for the title is Air Force senior Patrick Corona. Corona clocked the fastest time in the league this season as well as the second-best mark in the Conference all-time on February 12 at 7:50.60.
5000 Meters: Elliott ranks second in the MW this season, while Colorado State junior Jerrell Mock tops the Conference with times of 13:49.82 and 13:46.22, respectively. Elliott finished second a year ago. Mock came in fifth in 2015.
60 Hurdles: Reigning champion Jordan Charles of Wyoming returns to defend his title. The junior enters the Championships with the best time in the MW in 2015-16 with a converted time of 7.72.
4x400 Relay: Utah State won the title in 2015 and enters this year’s Championships with the league’s top mark at 3:08.89.
Distance Medley Relay: Colorado State is the defending champion, however Air Force owns the best mark this year at 9:32.19
High Jump: Junior Taylor Smith of Air Force, the 2015 runner-up, cleared the second-best height in MW history on February 13 at 7’-2.25”.
Pole Vault: Senior Dylan Bell of Air Force tied for first at the 2014 MW Championships and came in second a year ago. This season, Bell cleared 18’-2.75” to lead the Conference and rank second all-time in the MW record book.
Long Jump: New Mexico senior Allan Hamilton returns to defend his title. Hamilton has the second-best leap in the league this season at 24’-9.25”. Last year’s runner-up Yannick Roggatz (Sr., New Mexico) enters the championship meet first in 2015-16 with a mark of 24’-11.75”.
Triple Jump: Scott Carter (Jr.) of Wyoming finished fifth at last year’s Championships, but enters this week’s meet with a MW-best jump of 51’-0.25” in 2015-16.
Shot Put: Air Force senior Grant Hamilton won in 2015 and has the second-best toss this season at 59’-6.25”. Sophomore Mostafa Hassan holds the top mark in the MW in 2015-16 at 62’-7.75”.
Weight Throw: Tyler Anderson, a senior from Wyoming, placed second at last year’s Championship meet, and enters the 2016 installment with the league’s best throw at 64’-1.75”.
Heptathlon: Hunter Price (So., Colorado State) recorded the MW’s top score this season with a tally of 5,484 on February 5. Price finished third at the 2015 Championships.
Women’s Event Notes
60 Meters: Freshman Jerayah Davis of Wyoming holds the top time in the MW in 2015-16 at 7.36, while 2015’s fourth-place finisher Leah Fair (Jr.) of Colorado State has the second-fastest time at 7.38.
200 Meters: Reigning champion Fair clocked the MW’s fastest mark in 2015-16 with a time of 23.71 on February 12. Ashley Henderson (So., San Diego State) finished second a year ago and also holds the second-best time in the league this season at 23.77.
400 Meters: Defending first-place finisher Holly VanGrinsven (Sr., New Mexico) ranks fifth this season with a time of 55.46. Emily Romo (Jr., Colorado State) leads the field in 2015-16 at 54.71.
800 Meters: Auzsane Crowe-Carter (Sr., UNLV) placed seventh in 2015, but enters this week’s Championships with the Mountain West’s best time at 2:09.13. Last season’s second-place finisher, Mandy Chitwood (Jr., UNLV) has the fourth-fastest time in 2015-16 at 2:11.84.
Mile: Sophie Connor (Sr., New Mexico) looks to improve upon last season’s third-place time. Connor is the Conference’s fastest miler in 2015-16 at 4:42.53.
3000 Meters: Boise State freshman Allie Ostrander burst onto the scene this season with a MW all-time record mark of 8:54.27 on February 12.
5000 Meters: Ostrander also holds the Conference’s all-time record in the 5000 Meters with a clocking of 15:21.85 on February 29.
60 Hurdles: San Diego State junior Micha Auzenne returns to defend her 2015 title. Auzenne leads the league this season with a time of 8.28.
4x400 Relay and Distance Medley Relay: Fresno State claims the top time in the 4x400 Relay at 3:40.75, while defending champion New Mexico leads the Distance Medley Relay field at 11:08.95.
High Jump: Kaysee Pilgrim (Jr., UNLV) headlines this year’s field after posting the MW’s fourth-best all-time jump of 6’-0” on February 5. Last year’s second-place finisher Jordan Ward (Jr., Boise State) is fifth in 2015-16 at 5’-8.75”.
Pole Vault: Bonnie Draxler (So., San Diego State) returns to defend her crown in 2016. Draxler enters this week’s Championship with the MW’s top vault at 13’-8.25”.
Long Jump: Ayana Gales (Jr., UNLV) has the top jump in the MW this season at 19’-10.25”. Wyoming freshman Ja’la Henderson ranks second at 19’-9.5”.
Triple Jump: Jannell Hadnot (Jr., New Mexico) posted the second-best leap a year ago in the Championship meet and enters this week with the Conference’s top mark 43’-2.5”.
Shot Put: Aaliyah Pete (Jr., Colorado State) returns to defend her crown from the 2015 Championship. Pete paces this year’s field by more than five feet with a toss of 54’-2.5”.
Weight Throw: Wyoming freshman Emelda Malm-Annan looks to claim the title in her first Championship appearance. She holds the league’s top heave this season 64’-3.25”.
Pentathlon: Nicole Wadden (Sr., Nevada) currently leads the MW with a mark of 3,873 points. Wadden placed third in 2015. Jessica Green (Sr., Colorado State) finished third in 2015 and ranks second this season in MW with 3,759-point performance.