FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Four University of New Mexico track and field athletes will compete at the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships today and Saturday.
Three All-Americans from 2012 — Floyd Ross (triple jump), Kendall Spencer (long jump) and Josephine Moultrie (3,000 meters) — are returning to the NCAA Championships, while Luke Caldwell (5,000) will make his debut.
Spencer is the defending NCAA indoor long jump champ, but just made the 2013 field after closing the regular season with a 25-foot, 1 1/4-inch effort. Spencer was the last accepted competitor.
Ross’ personal best of 52-4 3/4 ranks 12th in the nation. He finished eighth at last year’s NCAA meet.
Caldwell, ranks eighth in Division I in the 5,000. His 13-minute, 40.39-second time is a school and conference record.
Moultrie is the first woman in UNM history to compete at the NCAAs in the 3,000. She has the nation’s ninth-best 3K time (9:06.35).
The Lobos are led by Joe Franklin, who was named Mountain Region Women’s Coach of the Year.
Albuquerque will host the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships.
This year’s host, Arkansas, will be looking to win its first national title since 2006.
The Razorbacks, who have won an NCAA-best 19 indoor national championships, enter as the top-ranked team ahead of No. 2 Florida and No. 3 Texas A&M, coached by Albuquerque’s Pat Henry.
Arkansas qualified four in the 800 meters, including top-ranked Leoman Momoh and third-ranked Tomas Squella. The Razorbacks also have triple-jumper Tarik Batchelor.
The Gators will be looking for their fourth-straight NCAA Indoor title. They had a strong second-place showing at the SEC championships.
Besides Spencer, the other 2012 indoor champion who is back is senior Ameer Webb of Texas A&M (200). Indiana senior Andrew Bayer won the 2012 outdoor 1,500 meters.
LSU is No. 1 in the women’s rankings, followed by Kansas and Arkansas.
— This article appeared on page D6 of the Albuquerque Journal