Sports in review, 2022: Month-by-month highlights, and some lowlights - Albuquerque Journal

Sports in review, 2022: Month-by-month highlights, and some lowlights

Albuquerque’s Mariah Duran, shown in action in 2021 and a 2021 Olympian, was named to the national team in 2022. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)


The UNM women’s basketball team beats San Jose State 87-57 for its ninth straight win … the Lobo men go 1-8 for the month.


New Mexico State suspends concession sales at the Pan American Center because of lax mask compliance … Spectators are allowed back into APS sporting events, with some limitations … Some 150 fans

Los Alamos product Chase Ealey, of the United States, celebrates a Gold medal after the women’s shot put final at the World Athletics Championships on Saturday, July 16, 2022, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

brave a blizzard to watch the Lobo women beat Colorado State, 81-73. The Lobos are 12-0 at home … Davian Bashir is sentenced to life in prison for the 2019 fatal shooting of UNM baseball player Jackson Weller … A $500,000 to $600,000 shortfall is projected for UNM men’s basketball revenue, largely due to COVID restrictions … The Lobo men upset 22nd-ranked Wyoming 75-66 as Jaelen House scores 34. But after losses at San Jose State and Utah State, have the Lobos quit? … Former Lobos Joe Furstinger, Drew Gordon find their way out of Ukraine after the Russians invade.


The Lobo men and women are both one-and-done in the Mountain West tournament, but the women advance to the Women’s NIT Sweet 16 before losing at Oregon State …. NMSU’s Teddy Allen scores 37 as the Aggies beat UConn 70-63 in the NCAA Tournament first round. The Aggies then lose a close one, 53-48, to Arkansas … NMSU coach Chris Jans takes the job at Mississippi State … La Cueva grad Andrea Howard breaks a UNM softball record with her 40th career home run … Junior college coach Greg Heiar is hired to replace Jans at NMSU.



The Isotopes unveil some new and creative food offerings … The Duff twins opt to return to Lobo women’s basketball for their super-senior seasons, as does Shaiquel McGruder later. … A December game at the Pit between Richard Pitino’s Lobos and his father Rick’s Iona Gaels is announced … Former UNM softball player Rachel Balkovec wins her first game as manager of the Tampa Tarpons, a Yankees farm club … Former Air Force coach Dave Pilopovic returns for a second stint as a UNM men’s basketball assistant. … Former Cibola basketball star Amaya Brown transfers to UNM from Florida State … Former Albuquerque Academy star James Borrego is fired as coach of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets … Milne, Wilson and Rio Rancho football stadiums are to get new turf.


Mariah Duran, a Manzano graduate and a 2021 Olympian, is named to the U.S. national skateboard team … Morris Udeze, a transfer from Wichita State, commits to play for UNM. But can he play? … Former Lobo Jaelyn De La Cerda signs to play professionally in Australia … Missouri-KC transfer Josiah Allick commits to Pitino’s Lobos. But can he play? … UNM does not renew the contract of softball coach Paula Congleton … Estevan Montoya found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2020 shooting of Santa Fe High basketball star and UNM signee J.B. White … Albuquerque MMA star Holly Holm loses a hotly disputed split decision to Brazil’s Ketlen Vieira … Former Albuquerque Thunderbirds coach Darrin Ham named as Los Angeles Lakers head coach.


Former Lobo great Terance Mathis gets a spot on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot … Holm is inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame … New Mexico United beats Oakland Roots 2-1 for NMU’s fifth straight win … The Journal begins its series on the 50th anniversary of Title IX … Montoya sentenced to life in prison for White’s murder. … Out of nowhere, the NMSU baseball team wins the WAC tournament and scares the daylights out of powerhouse Oregon State before bowing out.


Los Alamos’ Chase Ealey wins gold in the shot put at World Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon (67 feet, 2½ inches) … The Enchantment (consisting mostly of former New Mexico players beats the Panamaniacs (mostly Aggies) 89-82 in The Basketball Tournament at the Pit. The Enchantment then bows out to top-seeded Heartfire.


Former NMU star Kevaughn Frater returns to the fold (scored 17 goals in 2019) … Popular Isotopes outfielder Wynton Bernard is called up by the Colorado Rockies, his first call-up to the majors after 1,100 games in the minor leagues … The UNM first-team football defense allows no first downs in a preseason scrimmage. But what, exactly, does that say about the offense? …. NMU loses 2-0 to Memphis 901 FC, its third straight loss at home. … Bill Gracey, Herb Stinson, Lou Pierotti, Manny Smith and Gene Torres Sr. are the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame’s 2022 inductees, the latter three posthumously. … Jadyn Edwards gets a hat trick as the UNM women’s soccer team beats CSU-Bakersfield 4-2. … Kansas transfer Miles Kendrick named UNM’s starting quarterback … Las Cruces’ Samantha Ginithan becomes the first New Mexico woman to win a national Golden Gloves amateur boxing title … Longtime MMA star John Dodson and his younger brother Eric both win at the Rio Rancho Events Center, highlighting the first full bare-knuckle fighting card in New Mexico. … The iconic cottonwood tree in the southeast corner of University Stadium is no more, the victim of a storm.


New Mexico United officially breaks ground on its new training center at Mesa del Sol, though it’s already in use … Dos Equis rules as the top seller at University Stadium and the Pit in 2021-22 … Craig Thompson, the only commissioner the Mountain West Conference has ever had, announces his retirement at age 66 … The Lobos get seven turnovers in beating UTEP 27-10 at University Stadium, improving to 2-1. Surely, more victories are on their way … the Lobos lose safety Tavian Combs for the season with a torn ACL but get a commitment from prolific La Cueva QB Aidan Armenta … “The hill” is gone from center field at Isotopes Park.


Lobos football coach Danny Gonzales fires offensive coordinator Derek Warehime, but UNM fails to score a touchdown in losing 21-9 to New Mexico State in Las Cruces. Little remarked at the time was a fight on the concourse at Aggie Memorial Stadium involving an NMSU basketball player and a UNM student … Yhe Lobo men’s basketball team loses a controlled scrimmage to Northern Arizona. That doesn’t sound like a team that’s going to win their first 13 of the season, does it? … Albuquerque runners Corey Purcella and Sarah Jones win the signature event at the Duke City Marathon … Albuquerque Academy grad Alex Bregman’s three-run homer propels the Houston Astros past the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series … A scheduled football game between New Mexico State and San Jose State is canceled due to the death of a Spartans player … Sacramento Republic beats New Mexico United 2-0 in the USLC playoffs, ending NMU’s season … Bregman homers as the Astros even the World Series at one game apiece against the Phillies.

Colorado Rockies’ Wynton Bernard, left, jokes with Kelsey Wingert as Wingert interviews him after his first big league game on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, in Denver. Bernard’s call-up after years in the minors, including the last two with Albuquerque, was one of the feel-good stories locally in 2022. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)


San Jose State, shamelessly playing to get to penalty kicks, is outshot by the Lobos 30-2 in a Mountain West tournament match at UNM. But the Spartans’ strategy works, ending the Lobos season on PKs. … Isotopes manager Warren Schaeffer is hired by the Rockies as their third-base coach for 2023… The Lobo basketball men beat SMU in Dallas, are now 3-0. … A fatal shooting on the UNM campus, stemming from the aforementioned Oct. 15 fight and involving New Mexico State basketball player Mike Peake, prompts the cancellation of the two scheduled games between UNM and NMSU … The UNM women’s cross-country team finishes second at NCAA nationals, the sixth time in nine years that the Lobos have finished in the top 10 … True freshman Brooke Berry opts to leave the UNM women’s basketball program, fearing violence … Lobo men’s forward Jay Allen-Tovar, seeing his playing time diminished by the presence of Udeze and Allick (turns out they’re pretty good), enters the transfer portal … Lobo football ends the season at 2-10 and on a nine-game losing streak with a 17-0 loss at Colorado State … Udeze scores 33 and grabs 14 rebounds in a 98-74 win over Northern Colorado … Lobos true freshman safety A.J. Haulcy is named to the first of several freshman All-America teams … The Lobo men win at St. Mary’s, 69-65, are now 7-0.

Albuquerque native, La Cueva graduate and University of New Mexico softball player Andrea Howard, center, is shown with two Team Italy teammates in an undated photo. Howard will be playing for Team Italy in the softball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics. Howard was a dominant player for her hometown Lobos in 2022. (Courtesy of Andrea Howard)


New Mexico State basketball player Peake is suspended indefinitely after the fatal shooting of UNM student Brandon Travis … three of his teammates are suspended for one game … The District Attorney’s office announces it is investigating the conduct of New Mexico State staff members and players in light of the shooting and surrounding events … The Lobo women beat NMSU 65-64 at the Pit to gain a split of their home-and-home series … Former La Cueva and UNM football player Zach Arnett is named head coach at Mississippi State after the death of coach Mike Leach … The gym floor at Albuquerque High is dedicated to iconic Bulldogs coach Jim Hulsman, 92, who attends the ceremony. … BYU foils a go-for-broke SMU two-point conversion attempt, beats the Mustangs 24-23 in the 17th annual New Mexico Bowl … Richard Pitino’s Lobos beat his dad’s Iona Gaels at the Pit …. Haulcy and linebacker Cody Moon, two potential cornerstones of Gonzales’ program in 2023, instead enter the transfer portal … New Mexico State beats Bowling Green in the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, putting a cherry on top of a remarkable season for the Aggies under first-year coach Jerry Kill. Quarterback Diego Pavia, a former St. Pius X Sartan and Volcano Vista Hawk, is named the MVP.

Compiled by Rick Wright of the Journal

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