Burr, Peters Punch NCAA Regional Championship Tickets
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  03/25/2007
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

March 25, 2007

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LOS ANGELES -- The University of New Mexico qualified two more athletes to the NCAA Midwest Regional Championship meet in a solid Saturday performance at USC's Trojan Invitational. Junior Ariel Burr clocked a regional qualifying time of 54.19 in a third place finish in the 400 meters, while fellow junior Tiyana Peters qualified for the regional meet for the first time with an outdoor best height of 5' 8 3/4" (1.75) in the high jump (fifth).

Burr, the Mountain West Conference indoor 400 champion, turned in a strong early-season performance to secure her spot in the NCAA Regional Championship field for the third straight year. The Carrizozo, N.M. product finished 0.73 seconds behind Texas A&M All-American Clora Williams (53.46).

Peters, meanwhile, surpassed her previous outdoor best in the high jump by 1 3/4 inches in her first outdoor competition of the season. The MWC indoor champion had been bothered by a sore Achilles since clearing a lifetime best 5' 10" at the conference meet in late February.

Elsewhere, sophomore Katie Coronado picked up her second javelin victory in as many meets this season with a winning throw of 156' 2" (47.60m). Coronado finished over a foot ahead of the runner-up, Texas A&M All-American Jessica Wingfield (155').

On the men's side, freshman Brian Vallie clocked a lifetime best time of 1:52.54 to finish third in the first outdoor 800-meter race of his career. Junior Jarrin Solomon, meanwhile, was fourth in his first outdoor 400 of the season with a time of 47.53.

Solomon came back to help the 4x400 relay teammates Taylor Siemon, Randle McCain and Kurt Henry finish fourth with a time of 3:12.58. The Lobos finished behind USC (3:05.88), Texas A&M (3:05.98) and the Texas A&M B team (3:11.37), but defeated seven teams, including Michigan (3:13.03), Long Beach State (3:14.51) and Washington State (3:16.20).

Sophomore Anthony Fairbanks led the UNM men in the field once again, finishing third in the javelin with a throw of 205' 8" (62.68m). Fellow sophomore Josh Cosio cleared 6' 6 3/4" (2.00m) to finish sixth in the high jump.

Other New Mexico highlights on Saturday included:

-Freshman Alesha Walker finishing seventh in the long jump with a season best mark of 19' 5 1/2" (5.93m). Walker's mark was less than 3 inches short of the NCAA regional qualifying standard.

-Sophomore Christina Zarrella clocking a career-best time of 2:16.10 to finish sixth in the 800.

-Senior Dylan Rose-Coss finishing eighth in the 1,500 with a career-best time of 3:58.32.

-The women's 4x400 relay team of Ariel Burr, Kristan Matison, Kim Perkins and Christina Zarrella placing fifth with a time of 3:56.48.

Fortner Injured In First Heptathlon of the Year

Tucson, Ariz. -- Sophomore Sandy Fortner's first heptathlon competition ended early on Friday at Arizona. Fortner pulled out after suffering an undisclosed injury during the long jump - the first event on day two. She used a career-best performance in the shot put to move into fourth place after the first four events on Thursday. Fortner's injury is not believed to be serious.

Thursday, May 28
All Day - 
Track & Field
at NCAA Division I West Preliminary Round
Wednesday, June 10
All Day - 
Track & Field
at NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships