The New Mexico State University track and field team is ready for the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championships, scheduled to take place in Albuquerque, N.M., at the Albuquerque Convention Center Feb. 21-23.
Last season, the track and field team finished third at the WAC Indoor Championships, including eight first team All-WAC honors. The team's finish at the conference championships was the best finish in program history.
The track and field team heads into the WAC Indoor Championships with great momentum provided by the sprinters and distance runners. These two areas have been an area of strength for NM State throughout the indoor season with both school and conference records being set by various Aggies.
"If we can go into the conference championships and maintain the level we have been competing at, we have a shot to battle for a championship," said head track and field coach Orin Richburg.
The NM State track and field team has competed in Albuquerque four times previously in the regular season.
"Going to Albuquerque for the WAC Championships is an advantage for us," said assistant track and field coach Christopher Huff. "It is a venue we are experienced with."
Overall, 38 school records were set or improved upon during the 2013 indoor track and field season. Of those 38 records, six of those records were overall school records.
Junior Alishia Perkins set the all-time record for the 200m at the Don Kirby Collegiate Open Feb. 9, when she finished third overall with a time of 24.05. Junior Brianna Cromartie set the all-time record in the 400m at the Don Kirby Collegiate Open as well when she finished first overall with a time of 54.28.
Sophomore Diana Hawk set the all-time school record in the 1-mile run at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic on Feb. 1 when she finished second overall with a time of 4:52.13. Senior Courtney Schultz set the all-time record in the 5,000m at the Husky Classic on Feb. 8, when she ran a time of 16:44.05. Sophomore Taylor Black set the school record in the pole vault at the New Mexico Collegiate Classic as well with a mark of 11'1.75" (3.40m). The Aggie squad of Perkins, Cromartie, sophomore Jenna Banegas and senior LaSasha Aldredge ran the 4x400m relay in a school-record time of 3:39.53 at the Don Kirby Elite on Feb. 8.
A handful of Aggies are also on the top of the conference leaderboards for various events. The Aggie squad that set the all-time record for the 4x400m relay also leads the conference for that event and ranks 21st in the nation as well. Perkin's school record in the 200m leads the WAC, and Cromartie sits at second in the conference with a time of 24.07 she ran at the Don Kirby Collegiate Open. Cromartie's school record time in the 400m leads the conference, and Aldredge sits at third in the conference with a time of 55.01 she set at the Don Kirby Collegiate Open.
Hawk currently sits at third in the conference in the 1-mile and second in the 3,000m. She ran a time of 9:47.30 at the New Mexico Collegiate Invitational back on Jan. 25. Schultz sits at third in the conference for the 3,000m when she ran a time of 9:50.18 at the same event. Schultz also leads the conference in the 5,000m from her time she ran at the Husky Classic. Fellow senior teammate Madelyn Stoltze sits at second in the conference for the 5,000m with a time of 17:12.52, a time she ran at the Husky Classic.
The WAC Indoor Championships will begin on Thursday, Feb. 21, with the heptathlon. Live results will be posted on www.wacsports.com . Follow NM State Aggies for live updates throughout the weekend.