Jan. 29, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - There were personal records aplenty for the University of New Mexico at tonight's Lobo Challenge meet - the first of back-to-back meets being held at the Albuquerque Convention Center this weekend. The action continues with the New Mexico Invitational, which begins at 9 a.m. tomorrow morning.
Freshman Precious Selmon led a rewriting of the school's indoor top-10 performers list, matching her own school record with a winning time of 8.47 (8.49 altitude adjusted) in the 60-meter hurdles. It was Selmon's first raw time under 8.50 in the event since breaking the school record with an 8.47 in her collegiate debut back on Dec. 3, 2009 at Northern Arizona.
Fellow freshman De'Vron Walker nearly secured a record of his own in the 60 hurdles, finishing a close second with a raw time of 8.11 (8.13 altitude adjusted). Walker missed Chris Garofola's 2004 record by just two-hundredths of a second and improved on his previous best this winter by 0.14 seconds.
Kirwa came up just short in a tremendous race with TCU's Festus Kigen, but his altitude adjusted time of 4:06.05 was good for sixth on the UNM all-time list. Kigen edged Kirwa by 0.13 seconds at the finish line.
Darling, meanwhile, finished a close third with an altitude adjusted time of 4:58.00, which was good for fifth all-time. The Albuquerque La Cueva product was just over a second behind the winner, Adams State's Alicia Nelson.
Later, Lobo senior Ashley Gibson cruised to victory in the 800 with an altitude adjusted time of 2:13.28, moving her up to fifth all-time at UNM. Gibson won the race by over four seconds.
In the men's 800, surprising freshman Raffi Cote continued his stellar debut season. For the second time in the last three weeks Cote used a late surge over the final 150 meters to close hard in the race. After reeling in former Oregon legend Galen Rupp on Jan. 16, Cote this time finished 1.21 seconds behind TCU's Sean Zurko, a Mountain West Conference champion in the event.
The Grand Junction, Colo. product smashed his previous best, however, finishing with an altitude adjusted time of 1:51.78, which catapulted him into sixth on the all-time list. Senior teammate David Bishop was third with an altitude adjusted 1:52.31.
Freshman Shirley Pitts paced New Mexico in the sprints with a season-best time of 57.67 to finish third in the 400. Pitts' time was good for eighth on the all-time performers list. Freshman teammate Tawsha Brazley also recorded a season-best of 58.35 (sixth).
There were plenty of highlights in the field events as well for the Lobos.
Senior Kelly Fortner and junior transfer Lauren Jaramillo turned in huge performances in the pole vault, tying for first with career-best jumps of 12-01.50 (3.70m). Fortner surpassed her previous best indoors by nearly a foot as she and Jaramillo moved into fourth on the school's all-time list.
Kelly's twin sister Sandy, meanwhile, enjoyed a solid night of her own. She opened with a season-best 8.75 in the prelims of the 60m hurdles and capped her evening with a season-best mark of 5-06.00 (1.68m) in the high jump (fourth).
Junior Asal Salehpoor led the way in the horizontal jumps, recording a career best leap of 18-05.75 (5.63m) to finish third in the event.