April 9, 2005
AUSTIN, Texas - University of New Mexico sophomore Robert Caldwell made the most of his Texas Relays debut, clearing an NCAA regional qualifying and personal record height of 17-00.75 in the section B pole vault on Thursday. Caldwell's was one of several strong performances turned in by the New Mexico contingent over the past two days to open the prestigious four-day meet. Seniors Amanda Barnes (shot put) and Derek Mackel (pole vault), and freshman Whitney Johnson (pole vault) wrap up the Lobos' stay in Austin with section A competition this afternoon.
Caldwell, who recorded his previous best mark of 16-04.75 last year in Las Cruces, missed his first two attempts at the personal record height before clearing the bar on his third and final try. The Socorro, N.M. native matched the best mark of the day, but finished tied for third due to his number of attempts. Caldwell became the third Lobo in the last decade to surpass the 17-foot mark outdoors, along with Mackel who also cleared 17-00.75 last weekend in El Paso.
Seniors Jamie Fishencord and Veronica R. Gonzales also turned in strong efforts. Fishencord recorded a mark of 180-05 on Thursday to finish eighth in the hammer throw, just behind the nation's seventh-ranked thrower, Kim Barrett of Miami (181-04). On Friday, Gonzales placed 10th in the section B javelin field of 18 with a throw of 142-00. Both women surpassed the NCAA regional qualifying standard for the second time this season in their respective events.
Fifth-year senior Jordan Parker, meanwhile, enjoyed a strong Texas Relays debut of his own on Friday afternoon, finishing seventh in the section B shot put competition with a toss of 53-01.50. Parker scratched on four of his six attempts, including all three in the finals, but bested 14 other competitors in the field with his third throw.
In other Friday action, Fishencord (148-01) and Barnes (147-08) finished 11th and 12th, respectively, in the section B discus, while junior Jessica McIntyre was 15th in the section B javelin with a mark of 133-03. The UNM women's 4x400-meter relay team opened the day by placing 40th in the 50-team field with a time of 3:49.62. Parker finished 18th in the section B discus later that afternoon with a mark of 159-04 on his only legal throw, while senior Matt Keeran was 16th in the section B javelin with a top mark of 191-04.