April 7, 2012
By Mike Mulcahy
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A rather busy weekend turned out to be a rather productive weekend.
Competing at three separate meet over the past two days, the University of New Mexico track and field team put together its most complete performance of the outdoor season with 29 top-ten finishers and two new school records.
The bulk of the team competed at the Don Kirby Tailwind Invitational, New Mexico's only home outdoor meet of 2012, while a handful of other Lobos travelled out to the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., and the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz.
Headlining the Lobos on the home front was an athlete familiar with outstanding performances. Having already been crowned the national champion in the indoor long jump a month ago, Kendall Spencer added a few more feathers to his cap with another spectacular jump. His 26-foot, 8.25-inch mark in the long jump not only is second all-time in New Mexico history, but is also an Olympic A Standard, the best in Division I in 2012 and the third best in the world in 2012.
With his jump, Spencer joins the elite ranks in the long jump now that he owns an Olympic A Standard mark. This mark can guarantee Spencer a spot on the 2012 Olympic team if he finishes in the top-three at the US Olympic Trials in June and July. He also tied the 47-year-old school record in the long jump set by Clarence Robinson in 1965.
Joining Spencer in posting solid marks in the men's field events were the other jumpers. Richard York placed 11th in the long jump with a 22-8 mark and Ty Kirk placed fourth in the triple jump with a 47-7.25 mark.
Out in the track events for the men, De'Vron Walker and Beejay Lee highlighted the Lobo effort as both registered top-five finishes. Walker's 14.63-second time in the 110-meter hurdles was good for third and Lee's 10:56 time in the 100-meter dash was good for fifth.
In the relays, the 4x100 relay squad of Beejay Lee, Kendall Spencer, De'Vron Walker and Lamaar Thomas crossed the finish line in 41.13 for third and the 4x400 relay team of Gizeh Ibañez, Derek Montoya, JP Cordova and James Senior combined for a fourth-place time of 3:20.11.
On the women's side, the 3000m steeplechase was the bright spot of the Don Kirby, as both Lobos competing clocked a pair of top-five marks. Imogen Ainsworth posted a 10:51.72 time for second place and Emma Reed posted an 11:20.12 time for fourth. Ainsworth's mark placed her fifth all-time in New Mexico history, a spot ahead of Reed.
The sprints also produced well for the Lobos. Precious Selmon posted a 12.16 clocking in the 100m for 12th, and was followed up by Kayla Fisher-Taylor at 13th with a 12.20 time and Aasha Marler at 18th with a 12.27 time. Fisher-Taylor also recorded a 24.85 time in the 200m for 12th.
The mid-distance races also contributed strong marks. Reed's ninth-place time of 2:19.44 in the 800m was the best Lobo mark, but Ainsworth finished just behind with a tenth-place time of 2:19.60. Sophia Torres ran as the only Lobo in the 1500m and was able to capture 10th overall (and first in her heat) with a 4:52.07 time.
The only women hurdler for the Lobos this weekend, Precious Selmon, posted a season-best of 13.88 in the 100m hurdles to place fourth.
In the field events, a foursome of women notched top-ten finishes in the pole vault as Margo Tucker, Nathalie Busk, Emily Heisler and Julia Cook all put up strong marks. Tucker's 12-6.75 mark merited a second-place tie, Busk's 12-0.75 mark earned a tie for fourth and Cook and Heisler both tied at seventh with an 11-7 mark.
Marin Schweigert also tallied a jump of 5-4.5 in the high jump to snap up seventh.
Freshman Yeshemabet Turner registered her own top-ten mark in the long jump, as her 18-11.75 jump was good enough for sixth.
In the triple jump, Turner and Marler also went top-ten, as Turner leapt 39-0.5 for fifth and Marler leapt 38-6.75 for sixth.
Lastly, freshman Greer Crabtree--already ninth in the Lobos' history books in the javelin--registered a 116'9" throw, which was good for tenth.
Out of town, the Lobos were also able to put together an impressive performance. Sarah Waldron smashed the school record in the 10000m out at the Stanford Invitational, as her fourth-place time of 32:36.07 pushed her past teammate Natalie Gray's old record of 33:20.31 set last year at the Payton Jordan/Stanford Invitational.
Lacey Oeding and Sean Stam competed in Palo Alto as well, with Oeding netting fourth place in the 5000m with a 16:28.59 time and Stam earning 34th (and second in his heat) with a 29:46.65 time in his first ever 10000m run.
Josephine Moultrie and Ruth Senior also battled it out in Tempe, Ariz., at the Sun Angel Classic. Senior blasted through the 3000m steeplechase with a first-place time of 10:43.60 and Moultrie rolled out a 2:07.55 time in the premier section of the 800m. Moultrie, in her UNM outdoor debut, earned her eighth in the event and fifth-place all-time in New Mexico history with her mark.
Overall, the Lobos ended the weekend with their best performances overall. The 29 top-ten finishes match the number recorded to open the 2012 outdoor season down at the UTEP Springtime Invitational, but New Mexico was able to break a school record, a feat that was yet to be accomplished in outdoor.
The Lobos take another road trip this upcoming weekend, April 14, down at the UTEP Invitational in El Paso, Texas.