LAS CRUCES, N.M.-The New Mexico State University track and field team will open up the indoor season this Saturday in Lubbock, Texas, for the Texas Tech Open.
The meet will be the first of six regular season meets before the Aggies travel to Albuquerque, N.M., for the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championships on Feb. 21-23.
NM State will spend a majority of the indoor track and field season in Albuquerque, with four of the six regular season meets taking place up north. This will give the Aggies experience and exposure to the UNM track and all of its facilities, which will prove to be particularly beneficial since the WAC Indoor Championships will take place in Albuquerque.
"The advantage to having the WAC Championships in Albuquerque is that we all know the track very well," said assistant track and field coach Christopher Huff.
The Aggies are coming off a season where the team finished third overall in the 2012 WAC Indoor Championships. The 2012 WAC Indoor Championships also included an individual championship by senior Courtney Schultz in the 5,000m.
"Most of the girls realize how hard it was to get third, and they are aware of the challenge heading into this season," Huff said.
During the course of the regular season and the WAC Indoor Championships, the NM State track and cross country team broke a total of 35 records among different events. Top school records were set by junior Alishia Perkins in the 200m with a record time of 24.30, senior LaSasha Aldredge in the 400m with a time of 54.82, senior Courtney Schultz in the 1,000m with a time of 2:55.39 and in the 5,000m with a time of 16:44.33, Jndia Cleveland in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.56, Bellosie Frazier in the weight throw with a mark of 18.10m, and junior Zoe Meade in the heptathlon with 3,612 points. Meade, Aldredge, Cleveland and Melanie Clay also set the school record in the 4x400m relay with a time of 3:46.22.
The 2012 NM State track and field roster will feature many freshman athletes ready to begin their collegiate careers. The roster has a variety of young athletes and senior leadership, with seven seniors on roster to lead the Aggies.
"We have a strong veteran squad, particularly in distance," Huff said.
Huff said that in order for the team to improve upon their conference record last season and make strides towards a WAC championship, each athlete must take each event race-by-race, and they must become students of their events in order to improve in every way possible.
The Aggies will kick off the 2012 indoor track and field season on Saturday, Jan. 12, in Lubbock, Texas, for the Texas Tech Open.