April 28, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico track and field team turned in a dominant performance in its lone outdoor home meet of the 2007 season, winning 15 events today at the 17th Don Kirby Memorial Invitational at the Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium. Junior Ariel Burr led the way, flying to victory in the women's 200 meters with a NCAA regional qualifying time of 23.73 (altitude-adjusted). Today marked the final home meet for seventh-year New Mexico coaches Matt and Mark Henry, who will retire at the end of the outdoor season.
Burr, the 2007 MWC Indoor champion in the 400, became the first UNM woman to qualify for the NCAA regional championships in the 200 and recorded the fastest time in the Henry's tenure.
The Carrizozo, N.M. product was part of the three Lobo victories on the day. She helped the 4x100 relay team (Burr, Alesha Walker, KC Prtichard, Kristan Matison) cruise across the line in 46.51* and came back in the final event of the day to lead the 4x400 relay team to victory. Burr and teammates Matison, Sandy Fortner and Christina Zarrella combined to record the fastest time in the Henry Era - an altitude adjusted 3:45.71.
Lobo sophomore Hagit Salamon, meanwhile, led a dominant performance by the women's jumpers. Salamon swept the long and triple jumps with collegiate best marks of 19' 2 1/2" (5.85m) and 40' 1 1/2" (12.23m), respectively. New Mexico finished 1-5 in the long jump and 1-4 in the triple jump. Freshman Deanna Young and junior Jai McBride-Collins also turned in personal bests in the triple jump with marks of 40' 1 1/4" (12.22m) and 38' 9" (11.81m), respectively.
Junior Tiyana Peters completed a UNM sweep of the jumping events with a victory in the high jump. Peters had no trouble in the event, besting the field with a mark of 5' 8 3/4" (1.75m).
Junior Jarrin Solomon defended his Don Kirby 400 title, finishing over a second ahead of sophomore teammate Taylor Siemon with a time of 47.00*. Siemon finished a strong second with a career-best time of 48.10*. Senior Randle McCain (48.65*) and Kurt Henry (49.21*) also ran the fastest 400 of their careers, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively.
The Lobo foursome later joined forces and made a valiant run at the NCAA regional qualifying standard in the 4x400 relay, but came up a bit short with a winning time of 3:11.62*. The New Mexico `A' team ran by itself the entire race, finishing nearly eight seconds ahead of the runner-up `B' squad on a breezy afternoon.
UNM opened the day with another sweep of the javelin as sophomore Anthony Fairbanks and Katie Coronado won the event for the second straight year. Fairbanks bested the field with a throw of 208' 9" (63.63m), while Coronado recorded her second-best mark of the year with a toss of 167' 6" (51.06m).
Sophomore Leslie Luna got the Lobos off on the right foot on the track, winning the 5,000 for the second straight season. Luna clocked a season-best time of 17:39.02 en route to her first victory of the year. Fellow sophomore Sheyenne Lewis clocked a career-best time of 17:56.13* to place second in a 1-2-3-4 UNM finish.
New Mexico also received a pair of strong performances in the men's 1,500 as freshman Brian Vallie and senior Jeremy Johnson finished 1-3. Vallie used a late kick down the final 100 meters to pass unattached runner Solomon Kandle at the line. The Hardin, Mont. Product finished in 3:51.06, while Johnson recorded a career-best time of 3:52.42*.
Junior Domnick Meadows turned in his best all-around meet of the spring, winning the triple jump with a leap of 48' 6" (14.78m) after finishing second in the long jump with a season-best mark of 23' 3 1/4" (7.09m). Meadows was the top collegiate finisher in the long jump, which was won by Kevin Dilworth (23' 10 1/4").
Elsewhere, Matison moved to a perfect 3-0 in the 100 meters at UNM Track Stadium, matching her season-best with a winning time of 12.05*. Later, senior Mark Lamb won the 110 hurdles with a time of 14.84* in his final home meet.
Other notable performances on Saturday included:
Sophomore Christina Zarrella recording a PR of 2.6 seconds in the 800, finishing second, behind UNM middle distance coach Mardea Hyman with a time of 2:13.50*. Teammates Katie Candelaria (PR 2:19.93*) and Lynn Brasher (2:20.13*) placed third and fourth, respectively.
Sophomore Briana Paxton surpassing her previous career best in the shot put by almost two feet with a mark of 44' 11 1/2" (13.70). Paxton finished third in the event.
Freshman Matthew Henry-Marshall placing second in the men's hammer with a season-best throw of 158' 3" (48.23m).
Rookie Matt Hull clearing an outdoor best 16' 3/4" (4.90m) to finish fifth in the pole vault.
Junior Whitney Johnson clearing an NCAA regional qualifying height of 12' 5 1/2" (3.80m) while competing unattached in the women's pole vault. Johnson, the UNM outdoor record holder in the event, is redshirting the 2007 season after undergoing knee surgery last summer to repair torn ligaments in her knee.
*Indicated an altitude adjusted time.