Eastern New Mexico Track and Field Preview
2013 Season – by Don Garrett
It was a terribly difficult off-season for ENMU and that turmoil will no doubt carry over into the 2013 track season. Former coach, Mike Harney, resigned the third week of August. The college school year was slated to begin in one week. The ENMU men’s cross country team was able to hold together well enough to successfully defend their LSC title. In the 2nd week of November, a new coach was hired, Mike Barbee, who is a good cross country coach, having been the XC/distance coach at D-I South Alabama, a school I am familiar with from working the Sun Belt Conf track meets the past 5 years. South Alabama’s only successful athletes were its distance runners (along with a couple of heptathletes). Coach Barbee will have his work cut out for him.
Athletes lost from last season – thrower Kassie Daugherty (4th discus, 7th hammer throw) and LaDawn Spiller, who was 12th in the long jump, but who did run on the 4x100 that scored 1 point for 8th place. The ENMU women only scored 25 points last year and they lost 7.25 of that – about 29.5%.
Key Returnees – ENMU did have some young kids come through last year
· Sabrina Huelga – So from Lancaster, CA, Paraclete HS – 6th 800
· Alesha Jones – Jr from Wilcox, AZ – 5th steeplechase and 11th 800
· Emily Lubbers – Sr from Yuma, AZ – 6th pole vault
· Breanna Pendleton – Jr from Bakersfield, CA, Centennial – 6th hammer throw
Other returnees – ENMU will need to see several of these current athletes take the next step – Beth Blind (10th 10K); Brittany Buchanan (12th 5K and 7th in the LSC XC meet last fall); Ashley Dahle (12th shot put); Shamprea Henderson (12th 400); Bree Anna Lucero (9th high jump in 2011 and 2012); Adrienne Montoya (15th 1500, but she was 9th in that event in 2011 and she was 13th in the LSC XC in 2011 – a kid that should be scoring points at conference); Leigh Anne Omarkhail (11th steeplechase); and Mika Willis (12th 400H)
Newcomers – have a few kids who could help
· Kris-Ann Walters – Jamaican Tr from Adams State – while at Adams she was 4th TJ and 6th LJ in the Rocky Mountain Conf indoor meet and 3rd TJ and 4th LJ outdoors – a quality addition
· Adrienne Trujillo – Fr from Clayton, NM – in the NM 2A meet she was 2nd SP, 3rd DT
· Clarissa Salazar – Fr from Tucson, AZ, Magnet – 11th AZ Division I shot put
· Amber Saiz – Fr from Belen, NM – she won the NM 4A 800 and was 6th in the 1600
· Jherica Rhodes – Fr from Hobbs, NM – 10th NM 5A 800
· Stephanie McCorkle – RS Fr from Albuquerque Volcano Vista – in the NM 5A meet in 2011, she was 7th long jump, 7th 200, 9th 100
· Farrah Hood – Fr from Gallup, NM – 11th NM 4A 3200 in 2009
· Laura Grube – Fr from Eugene, OR, Crow – in the OR 2A state meet she won the discus and javelin
· Candace Eckels – Fr from Westminster, CO – in the CO 5a meet, she was 10th HJ and 14th TJ
This team could possibly score as many as last year, with the addition of a few kids who will produce points immediately. The new coach will need to do some heavy recruiting for the 2014 season to make this team more conference competitive.
MEN – this team will have to largely start over this coming season. ENMU knew it was losing 3 outstanding performers from last year to graduation. They lost several more between the XC and track seasons. After this season, they lose their top scorer and only All-American (Isaiah Samoei). Coach Barbee will have a challenge to re-load an ENMU team that could drop 2-3 places in the standings this year.
Athletes lost from last season – already knew these three had finshed their eligibility: Daniel Draper (3rd JT, 7th SP); Tallam Kipruto (2nd steeple and 5K, 7th in the 1500); and Mohammed Noor (4th in the 5K and 6th 10K in 2012, but 1st in both events in 2011). That is 34 points right there. Now, the athletes who appeared on the roster in the fall, but no longer are on the roster this spring include: Jose Arias (8th-800); D’Omar Boyden (4th 110H); Jacob Lozano (3rd 10K, 8th 5K); Pedro Martinez (5th steeplechase); Dante Mosley (7th TJ); Marcus Oakley (7th HT, 8th DT); Tyler Saiz (4th 1500); and William Welch (4th decathlon and 8th Javelin). These losses represent another 33 points – a total of 67 points lost from the 2012 season or 66.3% - almost exactly 2/3rds of their total points.
Key Returnees – a very small list now:
· Eric Paz – Sr from El Paso Parkland – 6th 800
· Isaiah Samoei – Sr from Kenya – 1st 5K and 10K, plus 8th in the D-II 10K
Other returnees who could help – many of these kids are capable of scoring at conference and they will have to step up and do just that: Thomas Colvin (11th 400H); Matt Dominguez (22nd 800); Jake Espinoza (only 28th in the 200, but 14th in the 400 in 2011); Zach Fort (16th 1500 in 2011, RS in 2012); Patrick Lueras (24th 5K last spring, but 13th in the LSC XC meet this past fall); Trevor Merhege (21st 5K, but he was 11th in the XC meet this past fall); John Takeuchi (13th 400H in 2011, RS in 2012); Zerrick Vriseno (14th 5K, 15th 10K); Robert Wride (24th 400 and 26th 200).
Newcomers – a few that should show immediate dividends, but not enough to make up the loss of 67 points from last year’s team:
· Jonathan Bindues – Fr from Farmington Piedra Vista HS – 7th NM 4A 800
· Kaspars Briska – So Transfer from Latvia and Cloud County – 3rd JC steeplechase back in 2010 – was 4th in the LSC XC – a high-quality addition
· Zach Castro – Fr from Denver Westminster – 12th CO 5A High jump
· Daniel Forbush – Fr from Alamogordo, NM – 3rd NM 5A pole vault
· Richie Garban – Jr transfer from Hartnell Col in California – 4th in the JC Coast Conf 800 in 2011
· Ryan Herrera – Fr from Moriarty, NM – in the NM Dist 5-4A 3rd in the TJ and 200
· Marquez Hobson – Jr transfer from North Iowa Area CC – 23rd in the LSC XC this past fall
· Jaleel Jackson – Fr from Lancaster, CA, Eastside – 9th Golden League TJ-2012
· Chazz Mathes – Fr from Moriarty, NM – at the NM 4A state meet , he was 3rd LJ, 7th TJ
· Kamron McKnight – Fr from Albuquerque La Cueva – 4th NM 5A long jump
· Joseph Metcalf – Jr transfer from Butler County CC – 24th in the LSC XC meet last fall
· Ricky Milks – Fr from Las Cruces Mayfield – at the NM 5A state meet, 3rd 200 and 4th 100
· Michael Moore – Fr from Lancaster, CA, Eastside – 5th Golden League 200
· Kevin Roa – Jr transfer from Hartnell College in California – California JC championships 7th 10K, 12th 5K
· Justin Samaniego – Jr transfer from Riverside CC (CA) – steeplechaser