Indoor track & field returns: Lobos host meet at new track inside Albuquerque Convention Center

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – UNM track and field teams are back and hosted a big indoor meet for the first time in nearly two years. COVID kept canceling events, including the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2020 — which were supposed to be in Albuquerque.

Not only was this the kick-off meet for the Lobos, this was also one of the first times the state-of-the-art indoor track has been used. It was supposed to make its debut during the NCAA Championships in 2020 but that was canceled due to the pandemic.

Athletes, coaches, parents were all so excited to be back – and the runners said you can feel that energy on the track.

“I love the fact that there is again energy back in the stands again and we haven’t had that in a couple of years," said Rick Sleeter, a Lobo parent.

Saturday’s meet kicked off the indoor track and field season, something the Lobos have been looking forward to for a long time.

“We have been chomping at the bit to get out here and you know since day one of training back in September, just working with those guys and talking about being on that track, and defending our home and just chasing obnoxious dreams,” said Bob Thurnhoffer, UNM sprints and jumps coach.

And few of those dreams became a reality Saturday— in his first race of the season, Jevon O’Bryant finished the 600 meters in record time.

“They told me it was a school record, I was like ‘ok’,” said O’Bryant.

It’s a strong start to the season for this team and they have even stronger support from the stands.

“As a parent you get to feel the joy they have when they are out there competing and he hasn’t been able to share that with us in years now. So just having the emotions of all his friends and family in the stands as he is going out there and running and doing his best, its an amazing experience,” said Sleeter.

Saturday was a combo event, with high school athletes competing in the evening – and there will be a few more like this one coming up.