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ENMU announces mid-year grid signees

Jan. 30—The Eastern New Mexico University football program is welcoming 12 players at mid-year, transfers from NCAA Division I and II or junior college programs.

The most familiar one is senior place-kicker Cooper Hamilton, who is returning to ENMU after spending last fall at the University of Houston.

Hamilton, who has also played baseball for the Greyhounds, went 17-for-17 on extra points in 2021 and is also tied for the school's third-longest field goal since 2000 with a 50-yarder against Tarleton State in 2022.

Others with previous schools include junior safeties Derek Pauaea (Diablo Valley College), Ronald Williams (Chaffey College) and Tyler Martin (San Jacinto College); sophomore cornerback Jarrion Patton (Virginia-Lynchburg); junior linebacker C.J. Tuliloa (New Mexico Military); redshirt freshman quarterback Jarius Stewart (Air Force); senior running back Ron Craten (Mississippi College); junior return specialist Jeremiah Moore (Sierra College); junior running backs Jackson Smith (Santa Ana College) and Elvis Vakapuna (Fullerton College), and junior offensive lineman Josaiah Loia (Foothill College).

"Mid-year transfers are very important because they add needed experience and depth to your team as your seniors transition out of the program," ENMU coach Kelley Lee said. "They get to learn your culture and schemes, and that affords them the opportunity to have an impact on your program in the fall."

The Greyhounds are coming off a 5-6 campaign under Lee in 2023, including 2-6 in the Lone Star Conference. ENMU opens at New Mexico Highlands on either Aug. 29 or 31.

Indoor track — Senior Tamia Smith finished ninth in shot put and ninth in her flight of weight throw over the weekend in the University of New Mexico's Team Open indoor track meet at Albuquerque.

In a meet featuring a lot of Division I competition, Smith improved her NCAA Division II provisional qualifying mark in shot with a throw of 46 feet, 2 inches. She has the second-best mark this season in the Lone Star Conference.

Her effort of 50-2 1/2 in weight throw competition is fourth overall in the LSC.

"It's pretty cool," Smith said. "It lets me know that my training is correlating in both events and I'm not sacrificing one event for another. I can do well in both."

Also for the women, sophomore Alisha Hayde ran the 200 for the first time in college and posted a time of 26.80, followed by teammates Mariana Marquez (27.75), Malia Sanchez (28.28) and Savannah Romero (28.64). Freshman Minerva Cerda Hernandez notched a season-best 1:02.76 in the 400.

Notable performances for the men included times of 23.32 and 23.55 seconds, respectively, by juniors Hernon Joseph and Malachi Torres in the 200, and an indoor personal-best of 13-1 3/4 in pole vault by sophomore Luis Holguin.

ENMU tracksters return to Albuquerque for Saturday's Collegiate Classic, also hosted by UNM.