Jan. 28, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico's track and field team produced their best complete team performance of the 2012 season, as it picked up 44 top-ten finishes and eight individual victories.
With 44 top-ten finishes, the Lobos eclipsed the number of top-ten finishes picked up earlier in the year at the NAU Open (17) and Cherry & Silver Invitational (23) combined. In fact, the Lobos performance was so dominating that the 27 top-five finishes recorded by New Mexico this weekend bested the number of top-ten finishes tallied at either of the first two weekends of competition. On top of all of that, the Lobos also notched eight victories, with five totaled in the first day of competition.
On the women's side, one of the best performances of the meet belonged to the women pole vautlers. Continuing their strong start to the season, they swept the medals, going 1-2-3 with Margo Tucker (12'-9.5" mark), Amber Menke (12'-9.5") and Nathalie Busk (11'-9.75").
"I'm really happy that I jumped that," Tucker said after her jump. "I think it's a pretty decent indoor jump for me and hopefully it will catapult me to a PR [personal record] next weekend."
The second highlight of the meet was Jo Moultrie's pair of record-breaking performances. Moultrie won first in the 600m with a 1:33.21 raw time and first in the 800m with a 2:10.00 raw time. Both marks knocked out the respective school records. "For the last four or five years we've had some pretty incredibly talented students on our team across the board in all event areas and she's climbing to the top of that list," Head Coach Joe Franklin said.
In the dash events, all three dashes yielded a number of solid New Mexico finishes. Kayla Fisher-Taylor's 7.89 raw time in the 60m won her 12th, while Tawsha Brazley's 25.20 raw time in the 200m won her tenth and Rachel Kelchner's 58.05 raw time in the 400m won her ninth.
The mid-distance and distances races were also positives for the Lobos. Mickey Brown joined Moultrie in the 600m with a 1:39.33 raw time. And in a tight running of the women's mile run, five Lobos finished top-ten. Imogen Ainsworth took third with a 4:55.49 raw time to lead New Mexico. Sarah Waldron's 4:58.66 raw time won fifth, Ruth Senior's 4:59.30 raw time won sixth, Shawna Winnegar's 5:03.61 raw time won seventh and Kirsty Milner's 5:08.76 raw time won tenth. The sole New Mexico 3000m runner, Janna Mitsos, placed seventh with a 10:46.16 time.
Out in the field events, Marin Schweigert was victorious in the high jump with a 5'6" mark. "For Marin to do what she did shows that she's becoming competitive and wants to win," noted Franklin.
Also in field events, the Lobos had a trio of athletes leap into the top ten in the women's long jump. Precious Selmon and Yeshemabet Turner both tied for fifth with an 18'-7.25" mark and Aasha Marler's 18'-4.5" jump secured seventh. Turner and Marler also generated top results for the Lobos in the triple jump, as Turner placed sixth with a 39'-3.75" mark and Marler eighth with a 37'-3.25" mark.
In men's action, a pair of freshmen registered great marks. Sensational freshman Beejay Lee claimed victory in the hotly contested 60m with a raw personal best time of 6.81 and finished fourth in the 200m with a 21.75 raw time. "For him being a freshman doing what he's do is outstanding," remarked Franklin. Fellow freshman Markus Miller, who has yet to finish out of the top ten in the high jump, won the high jump with a 6'-6.25" mark.
In the 600m, New Mexico again acquired gold, with James Senior's 1:22.31 raw time winning the title. Derek Montoya and Gizeh Ibañez also finished in the top five, with Montoya clocking a 1:24.07 raw time for runner-up and Ibañez clocking a 1:25.24 raw time for fourth.
As in the women's case, the mid-distance races were productive for the Lobo men. The 800m with Matt Everett and Cory Kalm yielded a pair of top-ten finishes, as Everett's 1:56.12 raw time won third and Kalm's 2:00.86 won ninth. The mile run churned out two top-ten finishes, with Sean Stam's 4:15.23 raw time winning eighth and Pierre Malherbe's 4:21.15 raw time winning ninth.
Chris Montoya, the lone men's 3000m runner, picked up his own top-ten finish, placing tenth with a 9:06.61 raw time.
In the hurdle events, De'Vron Walker posted another top-five finish in the 60m hurdles and Chad Clark snapped up a title in the second-ever American running of the 400m hurdles. Walker, who without fail has placed top five every meet this year, went for third with an 8.10 raw time. Clark, who placed fourth last week in the first running of the 400m hurdles, upped his time this week and finished first with a 55.92 raw time.
The long jump was yet another event the Lobos dominated, as New Mexico locked up second through fourth place. Kendall Spencer, the Mountain West leader in the long jump prior to this weekend's competitions, finished only a half inch off that mark with a 24'-6.5" leap. Floyd Ross' 22'-8.5" mark and Zach Smith's 22'1" mark rounded out the top four.
Out in the pole vault, all four Lobos competing posted finishes in the top six. Logan Pflibsen, fresh off two consecutive victories in the pole vault, tied his personal record of 17'-1.5" as he tallied second. "I think I'm starting off pretty good," Pflibsen remarked. Also for in the pole vault, Robert Warensjo (16'-7.5"), Chris Dodds (15'-7.75") and Tyler Jackson (14'8") posted solid marks, finishing 3rd, 5th and 6th, respectively.
The Lobos are back at it next week for the New Mexico Classic at the Albuquerque Convention Center, Feb. 3-4. Also, don't forget that the Lobos are hosting the Don Kirby Elite on Feb. 10, where institutions like UCLA, Cal, Ohio State, Texas, Florida, ASU, Oregon are coming to Albuquerque to battle it out.