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New hurdles coach has high hopes for athletes

The UNM track and field program named volunteer Doug Schneebeck, a local attorney with the Modrall-Sperling firm, hurdlers coach this week.

“I’m really excited about this year,” Schneebeck said. “All the athletes are pumped up about the way the program is shaping up this year.”

Schneebeck competed in track and field for James Madison University in Virginia. He is familiar with the UNM track program, having trained at UNM since 1988. He formerly coached at Albuquerque’s Manzano High School.

Sophomore Justin Massey and freshman Matt Bishop are hurdlers whoq Schneebeck said have legitimate shots at meeting the qualifying standards for the NCAA Championships at the end of the season. But he said he would stress to the duo that winning isn’t everything.

“There’s a lot to be gained from college athletics besides NCAAs,” Schneebeck said. “Part of coaching is helping the athletes feel like they’ve accomplished great things.”

The Lobos are headed to Flagstaff, Ariz., this weekend to compete in the Flagstaff Invitational at Northern Arizona University. The University of Arizona and Arizona State University also will compete, but UNM head coach Matt Henry said the strongest team will be Northern Arizona.

“With their depth, they could win it,” Henry said.

Although NAU is an NCAA Division-II school for football and basketball, its track sports compete at the Division-I level. NAU’s cross-country team qualified for the NCAA Championships last fall.

Henry pointed to junior Monique Harris and senior Larry Davis as UNM’s outstanding performers from last week’s meet at the University of Oklahoma.

Harris’ 12.35-meter triple jump height was good enough for second-place last week and was the best in the Mountain West Conference this season. She was named the Mountain West women’s indoor track and field athlete of the week for that effort.

Davis, a sprinter, finished second in the 200-meter run in Norman, Okla.

Also at the meetw, senior Ian Stewart finished second overall in the 400-meters and junior Keren Sari finished third in both the 60-meter hurdles and the long jump. Team scores were not tabulated for the Oklahoma meet.

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