April 23, 2006
SAN DIEGO - New Mexican's Ariel Burr (200m), Jarrin Solomon (400m), Leslie Luna (5,000m) and Anthony Fairbanks (javelin) each turned in gold medal performances to lead the University of New Mexico on Saturday at the UC San Diego Triton Invitational meet. Burr won for the second straight week, but notched her first victory in the 200. Solomon, surprisingly, won for the first time in his career, while Luna was victorious in her first outdoor race as a Lobo. Fairbanks, meanwhile, notched the second victory of his stellar rookie season.
After her school-record 400-meter run last week at the Mt. SAC Relays, Burr flew through the finish line with a career-best and team-leading time of 24.11 in her first 200 of the spring. The Carrizozo, N.M. product finished ahead of 57 other competitors and edged Cal State Northridge's Deanna Goodwin by 0.02 seconds at the line.
Solomon cruised in with a time of 47.57, 0.68 seconds ahead of the nearest competitor. The Albuquerque La Cueva product had notched seven top-3 finishes in the outdoor 400 before finally breaking through with the victory.
Luna led a 1-4-5 New Mexico finish in the 5,000m, the first outdoor race of her career. After redshirting the 2005 season and missing the first month of the 2006 outdoor season, the former Albuquerque Academy standout didn't miss a beat, winning the race with a time of 17:09.70. Senior Jacquelyne Gallegos finished fourth (18:01.06), followed by sophomore Melanie Velarde (18:19.80).
Fairbanks kept churning along with his fourth top-3 finish of the spring in the javelin. The former Albuquerque Highland standout threw 205' 8" to defeat the runner-up, Andrew Smith of Arizona State, by over a foot. Fairbanks was victorious in both trips to California this season, also winning at the USC Cardinal & Gold Invitational on April 1.
In other meet highlights for the Lobos:
-Sophomore Kristan Matison, a product of San Diego area Mt. Carmel High School, tied for fourth in the 100 (12.00) and recorded a season-best time of 24.75 (2nd in section 2) in the 200.
-Sophomore Shakira Williams clocked a collegiate-best 57.06 to place third in her heat of the 400.
-Sophomore Stasia Ploskonka knocked 16 seconds off her own school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, crossing the line with a time of 11:50.26 (9th).
-The women's 4x100 relay team of Matison, Burr, Tabatha Shaw and Williams finished third, just ahead of Mountain West Conference rival San Diego State, with a time of 46.54.
-Sophomore Whitney Johnson tied her outdoor personal record in the pole vault for the second straight week with a mark of 12' 11 ½" (T4th), just one quarter of an inch shy of the UNM record.
-Freshman Katie Coronado finished third in the javelin, her fourth top-3 finish of the year, with a throw of 137' 11".
-Freshman Taylor Siemon clocked a season-best time of 48.68 to finish second in his heat of the 400.
-Junior Randle McCain finished second in his heat with a team-leading time of 1:56.40 in the first 800-meter race of his career...sophomore teammate Kurt Henry lowered his best in the event this spring to 1:57.50.
-Freshman Josh Cosio placed seventh in the high jump with a leap of 6' 6 ¾".
-Senior Derek Mackel cleared 17' ¾" to finish fourth in the pole vault.
-Senior Matt Keeran placed fourth in the javelin with a mark of 189' 10".