April 1, 2006
LOS ANGELES -- Senior Derek Mackel won the pole vault for the second straight week to lead a solid University of New Mexico effort against national powers Texas A&M and Southern California today at the Cardinal and Gold Invitational at USC's Loker Stadium. New Mexico junior Jeremy Johnson and senior Jacquelyne Gallegos combined to sweep the 3,000-meter run, while promising freshman Anthony Fairbanks earned his first collegiate victory in the javelin.
Mackel cleared 17' ¾", four inches higher than his nearest competitor, before voluntarily ending his day. The Albuquerque Sandia product notched his fourth win in eight indoor/outdoor pole vault competitions this year and was one of three Lobos to record regional qualifying marks on the day.
Fairbanks punched his ticket to the NCAA regional meet with a mark of 206' 4" on his final legal throw. The former Albuquerque Highland standout came from behind to defeat Texas A&M's Chad Brown by 3 ½ feet. Fellow freshman javelin thrower Katie Coronado also secured her spot at the regional championships with a throw of 148' 8" on her first run, which was good for third on the women's side.
On the track, Gallegos (10:03.78) issued a strong declaration of health in her season debut with a 10-second victory in the 3,000. The Lobos' longtime distance standout missed most of her final indoor season with a hamstring injury, which she suffered during the final month of the fall cross country season. Johnson, meanwhile, ran away from four Aggie runners to take the men's 3K with a time of 8:24.97.
Several New Mexico athletes also turned in strong performances on Saturday, including:
- The women's 4x400-meter relay team of Ariel Burr, Christina Zarrella, Shakira Williams and KC Pritchard who finished second, behind USC and ahead of Texas A&M, with a time of 3:46.45, easily the fastest during head coach Matt Henry's six-years at UNM.
- Senior Aaron Brack, who finished third in the 100-meter dash with a time of 10.66, the fastest by a Lobo since 2003, and came back to place fifth in the 200 (22.42). Brack also led the UNM 4x100m relay team to a second place finish behind USC with a season-best time of 41.27.
- Sophomore Ariel Burr, who placed fourth in her first individual 400-meter race of the spring with a time of 54.92.
- Sophomore Kristan Matison, who clocked a time of 11.99 (5th) in her first 100-meter dash of the year and came back to run seventh in the 200 with a season-best time of 24.84.
- Sophomore Jarrin Solomon, who finished fifth in the men's 400 with a time of 47.88.
- Sophomore Kurt Henry, who clocked a career-best time of 1:57.56 to place fifth in the 800, and senior Frank Hemingway, who finished fourth in the 1,500m (3:58.36) in one of the best races of his UNM career.
- High jumpers Josh Cosio (6' 8 ¾") and Mike Powdrell (6' 6 ¾"), who finished third and fourth, respectively. Powdrell also tied for third in the long jump with a mark of 22' 7 ¾" for the second straight week.
- Sophomore Domnick Meadows who recorded a career-best mark of 47 1 ¾" (9th) in a powerful triple jump field.
- Freshman Sandy Fortner, who clocked a career-best time of 14.82 in the 100-meter hurdles and a career-best mark of 18' 9 ¼" in the long jump en route to fourth place finishes in both events.
- Sophomore Tiyana Peters, who finished second in the women's high jump with a 5' 7" clearance.