April 10, 2004
MESA, Ariz. - The University of New Mexico men's and women's track teams recorded three victories and notched season-bests in seven events in a strong performance at the Mesa Classic last night at Riggs Stadium. Sophomore Kimilia Davis won the 400 for the second time this spring and junior Amanda Barnes earned her seventh career victory in the shot put. Davis also led the women's 4x100-meter relay team to a first place tie with Boise State. Junior Derek Mackel, meanwhile, led the men's side with a NCAA regional qualifying mark of 16-04.75 in the pole vault.
Davis clocked a personal-record time of 56.01 to edge Florida's Amber Hickman (56.83) at the finish line. The Bellaire, Texas native also ran the lead leg to help the 4x100 relay teammates Nicole Hansen-Solum, Erin Teske and Brandilyn Williams to a time of 48.31 in the event. Barnes, meanwhile, surpassed the NCAA regional qualifying standard for the third time this season, recording a mark of 48-00.50 to pick up an easy win in the shot put.
Junior Veronica R. Gonzales, Barnes' former teammate at Carlsbad (N.M.) High School, also enjoyed a fine meet, surpassing her personal-record and regional qualifying mark in javelin by 17 inches with a throw of 143-10. Gonzales finished third overall, just ahead of freshman teammate Kayla Brown (fourth) who eclipsed the regional standard for the second time with a mark of 141-06.
The New Mexico women continued their success in the field as junior Amber Nolte turned in her best pole vault performance in over two years, finishing tied for third with a height of 11-10.00. Nolte set her personal best of 12-00.00 in the 2002 outdoor season-opener. True freshman Nicole Huyge finished tied for ninth in the event with a PR clearance of 10-11.75.
On the track, senior Brooke Gosling and freshman Myrriah Gomez became the first UNM women since 2001 to compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing third and sixth, respectively. Gosling's time of 12:14.86 was just three seconds off the school record, set by Hannah Radzinski, who had previously been the only Lobo woman to compete in the event.
Mackel led the men's effort, improving on his personal best by two inches to secure a place in the pole vault field at the Midwest Regional Championships in late May. He finished third overall, just ahead of teammate Branden Bennett, who notched a mark of 15-11.00. Bennett, who has been gradually recovering from a foot injury, made his first clearance of the year in the event. Redshirt junior Joshua Parra notched a PR of 160 feet in the hammer throw, while sophomore decathlete Dan Feltman's mark of 197-09 in the javelin (fourth) was over two feet beyond his previous best.
Senior Chris Garofola enjoyed another strong all-around performance on the track, notching personal best times in the 110 (14.66 - fourth) and 400-meter hurdles (53.22 - fifth) and finishing fourth in the 200 with a time of 21.77. Junior Nate Clem and freshman Mike Smiel, meanwhile, finished 5-6 in the 800, clocking season best times of 1:53.91 and 1:54.78, respectively.
The Lobos return to action next week when they travel to California for the elite Mt. SAC Relays, April 14-17. Head coach Matt Henry's top distance runners have targeted the meet as one of their best opportunities for regional qualifying times. Junior Matt Gonzales, a 2003 All-American in the 10,000, will be among the headliners in the 5,000-meter field.