May 16, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The University of New Mexico track and field team qualified 18 athletes to the 2013 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Outdoor Track and Field Preliminary Championships competition, the national selection committee announced Thursday.
The Lobos will send nine men and nine women to the NCAA's West Preliminary Round at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas, next week with the goal of placing in the top 12 of their respective events.
A top-12 finish at the preliminary rounds—which are split between the West region in Texas and the East region in Greensboro, N.C.—advances a competitor to next month's NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore.
On the women's side, New Mexico qualified six athletes in distance events, while another three will compete in the jumps.
Heading the charge for the women is the Lobos' stellar mid-distance trio of Josephine Moultrie, Charlotte Arter and Chloe Anderson. The threesome, all competing in the 1,500-meter run, finished 1-2-3 in the metric mile at last week's Mountain West Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Moultrie enters with the fourth-best time in the field of 48 competitors, while Arter is 11th and Anderson 31st.
Mitsos and Winnegar rank 57th and 60th, respectively, in the 5K in the NCAA West Region, but enter with the 41st- and 42nd-best seeds. Ainsworth, who ranks second all-time at UNM in the steeplechase, is seeded 30th.
Out in the field, Amber Menke (seeded 24th) and Margo Tucker (seeded 38th) will aim high in the pole vault, while Yeshemabet Turner is entered in the long jump and triple jump, where she is ranked 21st in the long and 16th in the triple.
For the men, nine Lobos will try their hands at advancing, and are led by second-seeded Luke Caldwell in the 5000. He will also have Patrick Zacharias, seeded 34th, competing alongside.
The jumps will also be well represented at the preliminary round, with five men declared.
Ty Kirk will also compete in the triple jump with his 42nd-ranked seed mark.
Rounding out the Lobos competing is Robert Warensjo, who is seeded 45th in the pole vault.
This is the second-straight year that UNM has qualified 18 athletes to the preliminary round. Last year, New Mexico qualified 18 for the preliminary round, advancing six to the finals. Since the NCAA reconfigured its preliminary rounds in 2010, the Lobos have never sent less than 18 athletes to a West Preliminary Round. In 2011, New Mexico sent 29 to the prelims, moving on five. The year before, 2010, UNM took 24 to the preliminary round, advancing six.
The three-day meet starts May 23 and runs through May 25.