University of New Mexico junior Weini Kelati has been recognized by the Mountain West coaches as the MW Indoor Track & Field Women’s Student-Athlete of the Year, as announced by the conference on Monday.
Kelati is the first UNM female to win since Sandy Fortner was named the indoor student-athlete of the year in 2010 and the first Lobo to win since Adam Bitchell won in 2015. Overall, UNM has now won eight student-athlete of the year honors, with two occurring the women’s side.
The honor comes after an indoor season in which the Lobo distance runner was named the conference female track athlete of the week three times. In addition, Kelati earned the distinction of being selected to The Bowerman Preseason Watch List, Mid-Indoor Watch List and Pre-NCAA Indoor Championships Watch List. Kelati was one of four women that have maintained their position since the preseason watch list.
Kelati started the indoor season at the Boston University Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener back on Dec. 7, setting the school record as well as the MW record in the 5000-meter with a time of 15:14.71. Her time stood as the second-fastest time run this season in the NCAA and historically was the fourth-fastest time recorded.
She won the mile at the UNM Team Open on Feb. 1 in 4:32.66 (altitude converted) and a week later ran the 3000-meter at the prestigious NYRR Millrose Games in 8:54.66 as one of only two collegiate runners in the field. Her 3000-meter time was the third-fastest time posted in the NCAA this season.
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