Marler Sets Record, Milers Roll at Don Kirby Elite Invitational
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  02/15/2014

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — In the last home indoor meet of 2014, the Lobos were looking for good times.

And, like all season, they were able to deliver.

Aasha Marler set a school record and the Lobos milers broke into the record books Saturday as the University of New Mexico’s track and field team wrapped up its indoor campaign at the Don Kirby Elite Invitational.

The Lobos set over 20 new personal records and registered a number of potential postseason-worthy performances at the Albuquerque Convention Center against another nationally competitive field.

“Again, across the board, it just keeps getting better and better and better,” UNM head coach Joe Franklin said.

Marler set the tone on Saturday when she broke the school record in the 60-meter dash. She cruised to a raw time of 7.57 seconds in both the preliminary round and the finals to set the new standard, finishing third in the B section.

“Definitely a lot of fun,” Marler said. “Good to see some improvements. … This is the best I’ve felt all season — really in my career — but I’m not sure I expected it to go this well.”

The rest of the sprinters also had fast showings, with Ridge Jones taking seventh in the A section (time of 6.74 seconds) and Jhurell Pressley taking third in the C section (6.89).

For Pressley, he moved up to seventh all-time at New Mexico with his personal-record time.

The Lobos’ group of milers had outstanding performances of their own, too, with Elmar Engholm’s sub-four minute mile leading the pack.

Engholm raced to the second-best mile time in UNM history, winning the event in 4:04.22. He was followed by Jake Shelley (second place, 4:05.83), who moved to sixth all-time, and Alex Cornwell (fourth, 4:08.80), who climbed to 10th all-time.

“I’ve had incredible workouts lately,” Engholm said. “... I was just really happy that I was able to convert all that training into that performance.”

Graham Thomas (seventh, 4:10.41) and Ross Matheson (4:23.64) also notched strong times.

In the women’s mile, Nicole Roberts (third, 5:01.91) paced four top-10 Lobos to season bests, including Kirsten Follett (fourth, 5:02.21), Tamara Armoush (fifth, 5:04.93) and Nicola Hood (eighth, 5:12.45).

The Lobos’ distance runners also performed well in the 800. Gabe Aragon took third (1:50.58) and Cornwell seventh (1:54.21) for the men, while Amber Zimmerman claimed fifth (2:13.92) and Suzi Boast sixth (2:14.18) for the women.

Rounding out Saturday’s strong track result  were Holly Van Grinsven (first, 8.70) and Samantha Bowe (seventh, 8.95) in the C section of the women’s 60 hurdles and the women’s 4x400 relay team of Zoe Howell, Haley Sanner, Lucretia Vigil and Hannah Riker-Urrutia (eighth, 3:47.25).

The Lobos’ relay squad recorded the fourth-best time in school history.

The field events produced a handful of strong marks, as well. Jannell Hadnot (seventh, 41-8) and Yeshemabet Turner (10th, personal-record 41-2 ½) both placed top-10 in the women’s triple jump, as did Warrick Campbell (seventh, 51-3) on the men’s side.

Margo Tucker (10th) registered a personal record in the pole vault, clearing 13-1 ½ for her first mark over 13 feet in three years. Annie Stirling also set a personal record of 12-8 to move to fifth all-time.

From Friday’s action, the Lobos were bolstered by strong performances in the long jump, where Marler took second in the long jump with a personal-record leap of 19-6 ¾, just ahead of Turner in eighth place (19-4).

On the men’s side, Kendall Spencer uncorked his best mark of 2014, leaping 25-1 ½ to take third overall and first collegiately in the invitational section of the men’s long jump.

Logan Pflibsen rounded out the strong field-event results with his eighth-place clearance of 16 ¾.

On the track, the women’s two distance medley relay teams posted superlative times, as the two squads broke into the UNM record books.

The A team of Zimmerman, Howell, Follett and Roberts clocked a second-place time of 11:54.76 to climb to second in New Mexico history. The B squad of Boast, Sanner, Armoush and Hood combined for a third-place time of 12:08.21 to move into seventh place all-time.

The sprints also yielded a number personal records, with Vigil (seventh place, 57.41), Ariel Burch (16th, 58.46), Faith Cobb (19th, 1:00.02) and Christina Clark (20th, 1:00.79). Chris Kline added his own PR in the men’s 400 (sixth, 48.83), and Jones set a career best in the 200 (14th, 21.52).

The Lobos are almost done for their regular season, with only a handful of distance runners in Seattle left to finish on Saturday. New Mexico is off next week as it prepares to compete at the Mountain West Indoor Championships Feb. 27-March 1 in Colorado Springs, Colo.