Mountain West Student-Athletes Shine On Day One Of Indoor Nationals

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (BroncoSports.com) – Boise State senior Emma Bates raced to a fourth-place finish in the first of her two races at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships at the Albuquerque Convention Center, Friday.

Bates notched her fourth USTFCCCA All-America first team honor after placing fourth in the women’s 5000 Meters. Her time of 16:25.66 was just 5.27-seconds out of first place, captured by 2013 champion Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth.

The Elk River, Minn., native’s fourth-place finish is her best finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships while earning her a sixth-career All-America honor. She now ties for the most All-America honors in Boise State track and field history, matching thrower Jarred Rome (1997-2000) and jumper Ryan Grinnell (2008-2009).

Bates continues her trek at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, Saturday, racing in the 3000 Meters at 7:55 p.m. (MT).

Follow live results at: http://www.flashresults.com/2014_Meets/indoor/3-14-NCAA/ or on ESPN3.com for live streaming beginning at 5:50 p.m. (MT).

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (GoLobos.com) — The Lobos, on their home track in front of a hometown crowd, know how to compete in Albuquerque.

Their results proved that.

Behind scoring efforts from Luke Caldwell and Kendall Spencer, the University of New Mexico registered a strong showing on the first day of the UNM- and Albuquerque-hosted 2014 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championships.

Adam Bitchell and Elmar Engholm also paced the Lobos with superb performances at the hometown national championships, as all four Lobos competing this weekend made their marks Friday at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

“It’s been a great day, not only for the Lobos, but the crowd’s been phenomenal,” UNM head coach Joe Franklin said. “It’s been electric in here. You’ve seen collegiate records. I’m super happy for everyone. It’s just good day.”

In front of an announced crowd of nearly a thousand people that grew during the day, New Mexico saw multiple record fall throughout the day, including Caldwell’s record-breaking run in the men’s 5,000 Meters.

The Betchworth, England, senior set a new personal and school record via his sixth-place effort in the 5000. His time, 13 minutes, 34.54 seconds converted for altitude, also earned him a sixth overall All-American plaudit between cross-country and track.

“I’m pleased I scored some points and got another All-American,” Caldwell said.

His time gave him the three fastest 5K times in school history.

Bitchell was right behind his teammate, finishing in ninth place with an altitude-converted time of  13:47.87. The senior out of Aberystwyth, Wales, challenged for a top-10 finish, crossing the line with the ninth-fastest time in New Mexico history.

“I pushed hard to try to get that All-American place, but just didn't quite happen in the end,” said Bitchell, who did earn second-team All-America honors. “Great race to be a part of, and I’m just really happy to be here representing the Lobos at the home track”

The race, featuring Oregon freshman Edward Cheserek and Arizona senior Lawi Lalang was expected to be a relatively slow race with Lalang — less than two hours off of racing in the preliminary round of the mile — vying for an unprecedented title sweep in the mile, 3000 and 5000.

However, the race ended up going faster than either Lobo anticipated, with Cheserek winning in 13:46.67.

“It was fast, which I wasn’t especially expecting,” Caldwell said. “… I’m glad I gave it a go.”

Nonetheless, Caldwell and Bitchell are the first pair of teammates in UNM and Mountain West history to place top-10 in the 5000 at the indoor national championship.

Spencer nabbed his own All-American honor in the long jump Friday evening, as he leaped to an eighth-place distance of 25'-1.75''.

“It’s great to be able to start my team off in a great direction and to be one of the first guys out there and finishing in the top-eight in the country,” Spencer said. “I’ll take it.”

The San Mateo, Calif., senior put together one of his most complete performances in the long jump since he won the NCAA indoor long jump title two years ago. After fouling all three attempts at last year’s championships, the three-time NCAA qualifier moved back into the All-American conversation.

He started off the event notching his eighth-place mark, which he duplicated on his first jump in the finals. His final mark was just two centimeters off that distance, as well.

“The first objective in any long-jump mark is to get a solid mark down, and I did that.” he said. “My goal coming in here was to make it to finals and just really take it from there and see what happens.”

At the end of day, he earned his second All-American nod, making him just the second UNM field athlete to accomplish that along with former teammate and triple jumper Floyd Ross.

The final Lobos result from the day (and the meet) came from Elmar Engholm, who ran his second sub-four-minute mile in the last month.

The Stockholm freshman clocked an altitude-converted time of  3:59.71 in the preliminary round of the men’s Mile, finishing eighth in the first heat and eighth overall.

Despite placing the top half of the 16-athlete prelims, Engholm wasn’t able to achieve the requisite standards to advance — a top-four heat finish or one of the next two fastest times — and subsequently didn’t advance.

“[He was just] kind of in the wrong spot in the wrong time and just couldn’t get there,” Franklin said. “[He] ran a great race.”

Still, Engholm joined two-time NCAA mile champion Lee Emanuel as the only Lobo to run two sub-four-minute miles, as his NCAA-qualifying mark was 3:58.90. He also garnered second-team All-America honors.

With the conclusion of Friday’s event, the Lobos have wrapped up their indoor season and will play NCAA Championships hosts Saturday. New Mexico returns to action with the outdoor season the last weekend of this month.

ALBEQUERQUE, N.M. (CSURams.com) – The three competing Rams kicked off the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships today. Justin Green will continue in events Saturday, while Kiah Hicks and Trevor Brown made their final attempts today.

Senior Trevor Brown finished 13th in the semifinals of the 60 Hurdles with a mark of 7.85 seconds, just 0.07 seconds behind his personal record.

Head Coach Brian Bedard had only good comments for Brown’s performance. “Trevor found out he was going to nationals a couple of days ago after starting his outdoor training. He had to shift gears, and he beat some people today. That’s a good meet for Trevor considering the situation.”

Ranked eighth in the start lists of the championships in the Weight Throw, Kiah Hicks was looking to top her personal best after the Mountain West Indoor Championships. She came in 15th after a day of trials and finals. Hicks finished with a heave of 63'-10.25''.

The first of the seven events he will look to compile a total score topping 5,575 points in, Justin Green completed four of the Heptathlon events. He finished 16th in the 60 Hurdles. In his three field events, Green placed 16th in the Long Jump with a mark of 22'-5.00'' and in the Shot Put with 38'–4.75''. In his final event of the day, he came in ninth in the High Jump reaching 6'–6.75''. Green will complete the Heptathlon events beginning at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday.

“It’s a great experience for Justin and Kiah in their first national meet. Competing at Nationals will help them in future NCAA meets. Justin had a solid day and is actually a better second day heptathlete, so Justin is looking forward to day two. Kiah was the smallest competitor in the weight throw and needs to be in great position to throw far. It was a lesson learned,” Bedard said of the two juniors.

Bedard was pleased with the results of day one, and is looking forward to tomorrow’s results. “We have two second team All-Americans so far, which is two more than we had this time last year!”