May 3, 2009
STANFORD, Calif. - University of New Mexico senior Lee Emanuel sliced nearly a second off his own school record in the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:37.25 on Saturday night at Stanford's Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational. Emanuel's was one of several fine performance for the Lobos late Saturday evening, which saw four runners hit NCAA regional qualifying times and three more reach the NCAA provisional qualifying standard in the 10,000.
Emanuel appeared to be on his way to another dominant victory in the 1,500 as he led with about 300 meters to go in the elite section 1 race. However, he appeared to stumble slightly on the back straight, breaking his strong, fluid stride and falling back to fifth. The Hastings, England rallied back in the final 50 meters, however, to take third at the line.
Oregon's Matt Centrowitz became the first man to defeat Emanuel this spring as he clocked the fastest collegiate time in the country, winning the largely professional stacked race in 3:36.92.
Watch Emanuel's Race (Flotrack.org):
The action heated up later in the night as junior Michelle Corrigan ran a career-best 16:29.26 to finish eighth in the section 2 5,000m. Corrigan became the 19th Lobo to qualify for the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships and moved up to third on the UNM all-time performers list in the event.
Senior Mat Ashton moved closer to securing his second straight NCAA Championships appearance with a career-best time of 28:50.93 in the 10,000 (eighth, section 2). Junior teammate Chris Barnicle also moved closer to an NCAA berth in the 10K with a career-best time of 28:53.20 (10th). Both men improved on their previous NCAA provisional qualifying times in the event.
Elsewhere, junior Rory Fraser added an NCAA regional qualifying time in the 1,500 to his previous bid in the 5,000. Fraser won the section three race with a time of 3:46.09 - good for eighth on the UNM all-time performers list.
Junior Ashley Gibson got the evening started on the right foot with a career-best time of 4:23.23 (10th) in the 1,500, improving her previous regional qualifying time.