April 13, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. - University of New Mexico junior transfer Lee Emanuel recorded a national-leading time of 3:40.77 to lead all collegians in the invitational 1,500-meter run on Saturday night at Arizona State's 29th annual Sun Angel Track Classic. Emanuel trailed only world class runners Lopez Lamong, Matt Tegenkamp, Jonathon Riley and Chris Solinsky - all competing for Nike - and missed the 29-year-old UNM record by 2.17 seconds in his first collegiate 1,500 race.
Emanuel, a product of Hastings, England, finished 1.25 seconds ahead of the nearest collegiate competitor as he recorded the fastest time by a Mountain West Conference runner before the month of June and moved into third on the all-time conference list. He is the third Lobo to qualify for the NCAA regional meet in the 1,500, but first since 2005.
The Sun Angel Classic also marked a solid return to 400-meter competition for senior Ariel Burr, who won the open section with a time of 54.90. It was the first 400 race of the year for Burr who redshirted indoors after becoming the first UNM woman to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the event last year.
Elsewhere, sophomore Kim Perkins missed the NCAA regional qualifying standard in the 400 hurdles by less than a second with a career-best time of 1:01.41 (16th). Perkins ran 1.55 seconds under her previous best as she recorded the fastest time by a Lobo since 2001.