2014 Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships Begin Thursday

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2014 Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships begin Thursday, Feb. 27 at the Cadet Field House, located on the grounds of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Real-time scoring and results, along with post-race interviews, event highlights and photo galleries from the 2014 MW Indoor Track & Field Championships, which run Thursday, Feb. 27 through Saturday, March 1, are available on the Championship Central page of TheMW.com at http://www.themw.com/#!/page/championship_c-itrack.

New Mexico is the defending champion on the men’s side, while San Diego State’s women’s team will look to capture its third MW indoor championship. Conference newcomers Utah State and San José State will compete in their first MW Indoor Track & Field Championships. Their participation brings the total number of teams to 17 (six men, 11 women).

San Diego State senior Allison Reaser looks to become the first female competitor in Conference history to win four straight Pentathlon titles. Last year, Reaser edged out teammate Nicole Oudenaarden by two points. In addition to fending off her teammate, look for Utah State’s Chari Hawkins to also compete for the title. Hawkins, who has the highest Pentathlon score in the MW this season at 3,965 points, and also leads in the High Jump with a clearance of 6’-0.00’’ (1.83m). Wyoming’s Jenna Mann and New Mexico’s Samantha Bowe will also be in the mix for a top-three spot.

In the Triple Jump, San Diego State’s Shanieka Thomas, is on track to claim her third consecutive title. Thomas, who finished runner-up at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships (she won the Outdoor national title), owns the top mark in the nation this season at 45’-3.00’’ (13.79m) and possesses the longest Triple Jump in MW history at 46’-2.50’’ (14.08m), which she set last year.

Aztec junior Kristen Brown is back to defend her Pole Vault championship. She currently leads the MW with a clearance of 13’-5.75’’ (4.11m). New Mexico’s Margo Tucker, a three-time top-six finisher in the event, holds the second-best clearance of the 2013-14 season at 13’-1.75’’ (4.01m).

Boise State junior Emma Bates, who won the 3000 Meters and finished second in the Mile in 2013, leads the Conference in both events this season, with times of 9:19.08 and 15:52.61, respectively. She also possesses the third-best time in the Mile, behind New Mexico seniors Charlotte Arter (4:38.20; second-best time in MW history) and Chloe Anderson (4:44.01).

Arter and Anderson rank second and third in the 800 Meters, trailing Air Force senior Annette Eichenberger. Eichenberger posted a 2:06.53 on Feb. 14 in Ames, Iowa at the Iowa State Classic.

With the two of the top-three finishers in the 60 Meters and 200 Meters graduated (including champion Emily Blok of UNLV), the sprints appear to be up for grabs. Nevada’s Kashae Knox holds a slim edge over Boise State’s Mackenzie Flannigan in the 60 Meters, 7.51 to 7.52, with Fresno State’s Shakira Lewis just back at 7.56.

Reaser possesses the top 200 Meters time at present time at 24.26, while Flannigan is second at 24.34 and Wyoming’s Kereston Thomas is third at 24.59.

UNLV’s Monay Meggs leads the way in the 400 Meters. The sophomore posted a time of 54.99 at the Husky Classic on Feb. 14. Erin Kirby of Wyoming and Kyra Johnson of Fresno State are the next-closest competitors in the event.

Fresno State’s Je’Nia Sears is the defending champion in the Long Jump, and the Bulldog junior currently holds the top leap in the Conference at 20’-2.50’’ (6.16m). New Mexico juniors Yeshemabet Turner (19’-8.00’’) and Aasha Marler (19’-6.75’’) currently rank second and third in the league.

Colorado State freshman Aaliyah Pete leads in the Shot Put with a throw of 52’-6.00’’ (16.00m), with San Diego State junior Jasmine Burrell in second at 51’-7.25’’ (15.73m). Burrell leads in the Weight Throw with a distance of 68’-1.00’’ (20.75m).

Another potential four-time champion looms on the men’s side, as Colorado State senior Trevor Brown sets his sights on a fourth straight 60 Hurdles title. Brown set a MW all-time and championship record at last year’s meet in Nampa, Idaho, running a 7.77 in the final. He leads the MW this season with a time of 7.81, good for 19th nationally.

New Mexico’s Kendall Spencer, the 2012 NCAA Indoor National Champion in the Long Jump, is in search of his third-consecutive MW Long Jump title. The senior currently leads the Conference in the event and is 17th nationally with a distance of 25’-1.25’’ (7.65m).

Wyoming senior Mason Finley, the Men’s Outstanding Performer at the 2013 MW Indoor Track & Field Championships, broke his own school record and hurled the second-best Shot Put throw in league history at 66’-3.25’’ (20.20m) at the Cowboy-hosted Rocky Mountain Classic. The throw ranks fourth in the nation this season. Finley won the Shot Put at last year’s MW Indoor Championship with a distance of 65’-1.50’’ (19.85m).

Colorado State junior Alec Pott, currently holds the top spot in the MW in the Weight Throw at 66’-5.00’’ (20.24m). Pott won the event last year with a throw of 61’-3.00’’ (18.67m), just ahead of Finley’s toss of 60’-5.75’’ (18.43m).

Another defending champion from 2013 returns, as Air Force’s Joey Uhle looks to make it three-straight victories in the Pole Vault for the Falcons. Uhle won the Pole Vault in 2013 and currently holds the top clearance in the Conference at 17’-10.25’’ (5.44m). Teammates Dylan Bell (17’-6.50’’) and Cort Rogers (17’2.75’’) are second and third entering the championship.

New champions will be crowned in the Triple Jump and Heptathlon. New Mexico junior Warrick Campbell currently leads the field in the Triple Jump with a leap of 52’-0.00’’ (15.85m), while Colorado State holds down the top two spots in the Heptathlon, with junior Justin Green (5,262 points) ahead of sophomore Josh Cogdill (4,960 points).

In the High Jump, the 2012 champion, Kobi Rex of Air Force, and 2013 champion, Django Lovett of New Mexico, will each be looking for their second MW title. Rex currently holds a slim lead over Lovett (both are juniors), 7’-0.50’’ (2.15m) to 7’-0.25’’ (2.14m) in the event.

New Mexico’s Luke Caldwell, last year’s winner of the 3000 and 5000 Meters (also finished third in the Mile), narrowly missed out on breaking his own MW all-time record in the 5000 Meters earlier this season at the Husky Classic in Seattle, Wash. The senior posted a time of 13:42.50 (fifth-best in the nation), just two seconds off his 13:40.49 mark set at the same meet in 2013.

Caldwell’s teammate, Adam Bitchell, leads in the 3000 Meters with a time of 8:00.86, followed by Boise State’s Allan Schroeder at 8:06.89.

The Lobos own the top five spots in the Mile, with freshman Elmar Engholm leading the pack with a sub-four minute time of 3:58.90. Wyoming junior Harry Fisher, Boise State’s Gabe Aragon and Utah State’s Briton Page are packed tightly in the 800 Meters. Fisher has clocked in at 1:49.29, Aragon at 1:49.96 and Page at 1:50.62.

In the sprints, Utah State sophomore Cole Lambourne enters the championship with a narrow lead over Boise State junior Jordin Andrade, 47.53 to 47.94. Aggie teammates Nic Bowens (junior) and Silas Pimentel (senior) are one-two in the 200 Meters, with Bowens clocking a league-best 21.18 this season.

Finally, in the 60 Meters, Bowens and New Mexico sophomore Ridge Jones have each posted a time of 6.70, with Utah State sophomore Parker Bluth in third at 6.77.