The University of New Mexico’s Track & Field team has run far and fast. During the 2023 National Collegiate Athletic Association track and field championships, 12 UNM athletes earned All-American marks under coach Joe Franklin. The event took place over June 7-10; more than 50 teams competed head to head. Five of the athletes make up the two All-American teams that will compete in the United States of America Track and Field Outdoor Championships on July 6-9. One athlete, Amelia Mazza-Downie, earned two nominations in both the 10k and 5k. “It depends on the 8k or the 10k, but usually I try to just look at the girls in front of me – not thinking about anything in particular. I want to just stay in the moment,” Mazza-Downie said.
The Isotopes continue to push through the middle of the season with a home series against the Sugar Land Space Cowboys. The team played competitively, but ultimately lost the final three games of the series. The game on June 9 started off in favor of the Space Cowboys – hitting a home run with the second batter up. The isotopes came back in the second inning. Cole Tucker hit a ball into the far right that sent Aaron Schunk home. Schunk is one of the Isotopes most prominent hitters as of late – hitting .323 on 186 at bats. On June 11, Schunk said he will continue on to work on all parts of his game.
Aaron Katsuma will be joining the men’s basketball team as an assistant coach. He previously worked for head coach, Richard Pitino, in Minnesota and spent the last five seasons at Colorado State. Katsuma comes to the University of New Mexico with over a decade of experience. Katsuma began his career in 2010 at his alma mater, the University of Minnesota, as a student manager, according to a UNM press release. It was during this time that Katsuma met Pintino. Four of his seasons at Minnesota were spent working for the Lobos' current head coach.
New Mexico United's head coach and technical director, Zach Prince, left his position on June 3 to pursue a different position. The news broke, following a 1-0 loss to rival El Paso Locomotive FC. A statement from team owner, Peter Trevisani, was released Saturday night that thanked Prince for his time with the team.
The Atomic Sisters – a local Women’s Rugby Club – qualified for the Division II final four of the US Rugby Club Nationals in St. Louis. The Atomic Sisters will play their first game on June 3 Gabriella Rivera, team captain, said. The team has spent the past couple of weeks holding fundraisers to offset travel costs for their players. The team hasn’t qualified for the final four in 12 years, Rivera said, and they are excited to represent their community.
Jessie Truitt, the head coach of the University of New Mexico Spirit program, has been working on tryouts to fill the dance team, the co-ed cheer team and the all-girl cheer team. Over this past weekend, April 28 to 30, tryouts started. They included Spirit Squad veterans and rookies who made it through the video submission phase to compete to fill around 70 to 90 spots, Truitt said. Truitt will also be looking for new people to fill the Lobo Lucy and Lobo Louie costumes on May 4 to 5 in the SUB. “I like to say on the prowl … to build a mascot team. I'm hoping to expand because, like our athletes, they're required to go to almost all of the sporting events. It's a different beast putting on a 10-pound fur suit (and) to be in there and in that long,” Truitt said.
The Lobos swept the California State University, Fresno Bulldogs culminating in a Kyle Smith walk-off in the third game. In a critical series, the Lobos took control and passed Fresno in the standings and took the season tiebreaker over them. They are now 10-10 in conference play. UNM won by doing what they do best: hitting. Going into Sunday, April 30 the team had a batting average of .332, the third best in the nation. The team scored 39 runs on 49 hits in the series. Lobo, Reed Spenrath talked about the team's ability on offense. In the second game the Lobos went full offense getting as many hitters in the lineup as possible. This led to Spenrath playing his first collegiate game at right field and was proud his coaches trusted him to play both in the infield and outfield. After the interview his teammates were eager to debut his new nickname "The Tarp" because he covers the whole field.
The men’s tennis team defeated the University of Nevada, Las Vegas 4-1 to go 6-0 in conference play. The Lobos had clinched the first seed in their previous match against San Diego State University. They will now advance to the semifinals in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team hopes to win the conference tournament for the first time since 2009. The last time the Lobos were both tournament and regular season champions was 2004.
The New Mexico Blade Runners recently became national champions in Sled Hockey. They dominated in Division 6 during the Disabled Hockey Festival in St. Louis, Missouri. During the tournament, the team had 45 unanswered goals. Forward and UNM student Deavon Tabish-Moran said that communication and speed were key for the team to come back to the competition and take first after being third last year. “We went back and we competed in the same division. We wanted to do well in it before moving up, and we came out and (were) much more dominant, showing that we were anticipating,” Tabish-Moran said.
How much does a fan owe their team? Unconditional love and support? Buying concessions at a game? $10 a month until the end of time? University of New Mexico head football coach Danny Gonzalez recently announced a partnership with 505 Sports Venture Foundation — a local nonprofit dedicated to getting student-athletes endorsements and name, image and likeness deals — to create a new name, image and likeness collective with a subscription-based model. An NIL collective is a pool of money made up of smaller donations from fans and boosters. The money is then distributed to the players with the use of a third party to work around the fact that universities can’t pay their players directly.
The men’s tennis team dismantled the San Diego State University Aztecs 4-1 to remain undefeated in conference play and clinch the regular season championship. The Lobos had their trophy waiting for them after the match and will move on as the one seed in the conference tournament. On Thursday, April 20 everything went in the Lobos favor. With two matches left in the season, both the University of Las Vegas and Boise State University were upset, and fell to two losses on the season which left the Lobos in control of their destiny. The win moves the Lobos to 5-0 in conference play.
New Mexico United tied 1-1 against San Diego Loyal in their first match in Albuquerque on Saturday, April 15. The two teams have now tied in their past four matchups. Through four matches this season, United has a record of 1-1-2. Fans had to wait six weeks into the season for the team to come back home. They showed up to support the team in droves with 11,233 in attendance Saturday night. Head coach Zach Prince praised the team's effort and credited Sam Hamilton's bounce-back performance after an uncharacteristic game against Monterey Bay.
UNM's softball team faced the Colorado State University Rams in a two-game series over the weekend. Both games were called early with the Lobos losing the first game 10-1 in five innings, but rallying back the next game to win 12-4 in six innings. Each game was defined by a 7-run inning that allowed the team to take over. The Lobos had a balanced offense, but Rachel Hathoot and Ashley Archuleta each had four hits and one walk in the series. Hathoot had 5 runs batted in during the second game to help secure the victory.
The Albuquerque Isotopes had their first home series of the season against the Salt Lake Bees. The first three games of the series were competitive, but the Isotopes only came back to win one. The home opener on Tuesday, April 4 had a crowd of over 6,639 despite it being 43 degrees at the start of the game: the coldest first-pitch temperature at home in Isotopes history. They won their home opener 7-5, rallying late to secure the win. Isotopes gave up four hits but three of them were home runs, which led to the Bees getting an early lead.
The Lobos fell to a 6-8 record in conference play after a tough series loss to San José State. They won the first game in the series, but then came up short in the following days. Reed Spenrath had an excellent series, getting nine hits on his 12 at bats. Brian McBroom pitched the last four innings of the first game, giving up two hits and one run. Isaac Gallegos pitched the third game and went 5.2 innings, giving up two earned runs over the course of 121 pitches.
The Albuquerque Isotopes unveiled their new concessions items for the upcoming 2023 season on Friday, March 24. Hungry fans can rest easy: almost everything sampled was a homerun. The executive chef of the ballpark, Jim Griego, crafted these new food creations; his inspiration came from wanting to give fans variety. “I wanted fans to feel like when they came to the park, there was choices. There were not just, a hot dog or a hamburger,” Griego said. “I wanted them to feel like they could come here and have a food destination.”
The most dangerous 8 seconds in sports came to Albuquerque with the Ty Murray Invitational as part of the Professional Bull Riding "Unleash The Beast" tour. It was a near sold out crowd all three days of the event. In PBR riders have to stay on their bull for 8 seconds to receive a score. If the rider is able to do so he receives a score for how well he rode out of 50. The bull also receives a score out of 50 depending on how hard they bucked. These scores are added together for the ride's total score.
On March 21 the University of New Mexico baseball team faced rival New Mexico State University and lost 2-0. The Lobos will face the Aggies four times this season; the series will resume in Las Cruces in April. Through March 20, the Lobos led the nation in batting average with a team average of .349, but had an uncharacteristic offensive performance Tuseday night despite being just a few hits away from stealing the game. Overall, the team had five hits: Kyle Smith led the team with two.
19-year-old competitive rock climber and University of New Mexico Lobo Isis Rothfork will represent New Mexico in Chicago at the Youth National Championships, hosted by USA Climbing, in July. With two landmark seasons under her harness, Rothfork remarked that she has a different mentality going into competition. “It’s like a different game, going in when you're not really chasing. You're kind of being chased.” Rothfork said.
Curling since 2015, James Brickey brought the sport to the desert in 2017 with the formation of the Roadrunner Curling Club, aiming to introduce more people to the sport while forming a community in the process. The club meets at least three times per week, which includes lessons on Thursday nights and opportunities to compete. However, learning is a crucial principle of the club even when competing, according to Brandon Wichman, a club member.