Rebels Win Program's First MW Indoor Title|
Feb. 24, 2018
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (UNLVRebels.com) - The UNLV track & field program claimed its first Mountain West Indoor Championships crown Saturday with a 14-point advantage over its closest competitor, Colorado State. The Rebels, who racked up 99 points at the three-day meet, picked up 82 points on day three with 13 top-eight finishes, including wins in both the 400m and 4x400m relay, at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
The indoor victory was the first for the program since it claimed the MPSF indoor title in 1993.
Yvonne Wade was tabbed the MW's Coach of the Year for the second straight indoor campaign; one year after her Rebel squad finished second overall, a mere 3.5 points behind Colorado State for the team title.
Najia Hudspeth was instrumental in both of the Rebel victories Saturday, as she won the 400m in a personal-best 54.07 -- fourth-best all-time performance in UNLV history -- and ran the final leg of the relay that clocked a time of 3:38.65 -- the third fastest in UNLV and MW Championships history and fourth fastest in MW history. She teamed up with her sister Nylia, who was fifth in the 400m (55.97), as well as Avi'Tal Perteete and Kaysha Love for the win.
Perteete took second in the 800m in 2:04.71 (2:04.01@) -- the 13th best in the nation. Not only was her time tops in UNLV lore for the event, but also the second-best time in MW Championships history and the third-best time in MW history. It was also the third-best time in the facility's collegiate history.
Love was second in the 200m with a personal-best time of 23.96 and fourth in the 60m in 7.42. Drea Austin also ran in the final of both races and finished fifth in both: 60m (7.46) and 200m (24.21). Destiny Smith-Barnett also ran the 60m and took third (7.41).
The Rebels had three place second through sixth in the 60m hurdles to bring in 15 points. Jasmyne Graham was second with a personal-best time of 8.33, while Jaela Williams and Amari Norris were fifth (8.50) and sixth (8.78), respectively.
The Rebels got eight points from MacKenna Howard and her second-pace finish in the shot put (52-11.50/16.14m PB).
THROUGH TWO DAYS: UNLV had registered 17 points after two days of competition with eight points from Stella Clemens' second-place finish in the pentathlon, five points from Graham's fourth-place finish in the long jump and four points from the Distance Medley Relays' fifth-place finish.
QUOTABLE: "I am extremely proud of our Rebels," said Wade. "They fought with everything they had for this championship. It was an emotional season and despite the chaos we encountered here they remained focused on what they came here to do and they did it! I couldn't have asked for anything more."
OVERCOMING ADVERSITY: The chaos coach Wade spoke of is in regards to the team having its vans broken into Thursday night, while the squad was at dinner. The team had many personal items swiped as well as competition gear.
FINAL STANDINGS: UNLV finished first with 99 points with Colorado State (85) and Boise State (82) coming in second and third, respectively. Fourth through 11th was filled out by San Diego State (70), New Mexico (60.5), Fresno State (59.33), Air Force (48), Utah State (44.67), Wyoming (41), UNR (38.5) and San Jose State (34).
GOVERNOR'S SERIES UPDATE: By virtue of their higher finish, the UNLV Rebels picked up three points for the sport of indoor track & field Saturday in the 2017-18 standings for the Governor's Series presented by NV Energy and Barrick Gold. The all-encompassing academic and athletic challenge between the Silver State's two NCAA Division I programs has been won four times by the Scarlet & Gray, while the two sides tied 24-all in 2016-17. To date, UNR leads UNLV by three points, 10.5 to 7.5