Feb. 3, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A sweep by the University of New Mexico 4x400-meter relay teams put the exclamation point on an outstanding weekend of indoor track and field competition for the Lobos today at the Dennis Heimrich Invitational. New Mexico won seven events over the two-day meet in the Albuquerque Convention Center, which featured visiting teams from Division II national power Adams State, Cal State L.A. and San Francisco State.
The all-New Mexico foursome of Taylor Siemon (Albuquerque La Cueva HS), Randle McCain (Silver City), Kurt Henry (Albuquerque Cibola HS) and Jarrin Solomon (Albuquerque La Cueva HS) clocked the fastest 4x400 time in seventh-year head coach Matt Henry's tenure, finishing 0.26 seconds ahead of Adams State in 3:13.89. UNM led from start to finish, but needed tenacious efforts by McCain and Henry on legs two and three to hold off the hard-charging Grizzlies (3:14.15).
Earlier, the women's team of Ariel Burr (Carrizozo, N.M.), Kim Perkins (Clovis, N.M.), Kristan Matison (San Diego, Calif.) and Christina Zarrella (Rio Rancho, N.M.) clocked a strong time of 3:51.41. In her first meet back after missing two weeks due to injury, Matison turned in a fine performance on the third leg to spark the Lobo victory. After Adams State All-American TiaNiecia Mosley gave the Grizzlies a slight lead going into the third exchange, Matison edged ahead on the turn and gradually extended the lead to set up a comfortable anchor leg for Zarrella. Adams State finished in 3:56.24.
New Mexico swept the 400-meter dash as well with Solomon and Burr both cruising to easy victories in the event. Solomon continued his outstanding indoor season, clocking a time of 47.65, his second-fastest of the year, while Burr finished in 56.16.
UNM distance ironman Juan Ortega (Albuquerque Rio Grande HS) turned in another solid weekend, winning the 3,000 on Friday night with a season-best time of 8:24.12* and coming back to finish third (4:13.99*) in his first mile run of the season.
Sophomore Tiyana Peters (Flanders, N.J.) enjoyed her best night in the high jump on Friday, clearing an all-time best 5' 8 ¾" to win the event. Peters nearly put herself in NCAA Championship contention as she appeared to clear the provisional qualifying height of 5' 10" on her second attempt. Somehow, however, the bar worked itself off the standard as Peters sat up on the mat.
Elsewhere, Lobo senior Stefany Setliff (El Paso, Texas) won the collegiate section of the pole vault with a mark of 11' 1 ¾" on Friday and Zarrella clocked a season-best time of 2:17.75* to finish third in the 800 on Saturday.
Canadian Olympian Dana Buller turned in one of the highlights of the meet, setting her country's national record with a facility record vault of 14' 5 ½". USC's Noah Bryant, meanwhile, broke the Convention Center record in the shot put with an NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 63' 11 ¾". Bryant was the lone Trojan to make the trip to Albuquerque this weekend.