Jan. 21, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico's track and field squad opened its 2012 home campaign with an exceptional all-around performance, as the team captured 33 top-fifteen finishes and fourteen top-five finishes.
Out of this meet, the Lobos notched three first-place finishes, with two of these victories belonging to Logan Pflibsen and Kendall Spencer. Pflibsen tied for first in the men's seeded pole vault -- his second consecutive meet doing so -- with a 16'-7.5" mark. Spencer tallied a win in the long jump with a 24'7" mark, only 1.25 inches off his personal best.
Additionally in the men's pole vault, five other Lobo athletes registered finished in the top six. In the unseeded section, Chris Dodds, Richard York and Sam Potter all competed. Dodds' 15'-1.75" mark was good for second, while York's and Jackson's 14'8" mark tied for fourth. In the seeded section, Sam Potter and Robert Warensjo registered identical 15'-7.75" marks.
In the men's 600-meter run, a trio of Lobo runners posted top-fifteen finishes. Gabe Aragon finished as runner-up, notching a 1:19.35 raw time. "Gabe Aragon in the 600 ran really well," Head Coach Joe Franklin said. Aragon was followed by JP Cordova in third with a 1:20.59 raw time and James Senior in tenth with a raw 1:23.45 time. Winning this event with a 1:17.62 raw time was former New Mexico athlete Jarrin Solomon, a runner for Trinidad and Tobago.
Coming off a record-setting collegiate debut in the 60-meter dash last week at Northern Arizona, freshman Beejay Lee continued his success claiming a twelveth-place finish of 6.97 second in a hotly contested 60-meter race.
Also snagging top-fifteen finishes in individual track races were Cory Kalm in the 800-meter run and Chris Montoya in the mile run. Kalm's 2:02.80 raw time was good for 13th and Montoya's 4:30.39 raw time was good for 15th.
For the men's 4x400 meter relay teams, the New Mexico A team (Derek Montoya, Thomas Trujillo, Gizeh Ibañez and Gabe Aragon) combined for fifth and the New Mexico B team (Chad Clark, Sam Potter, Kendall Spencer and James Senior) combined for seventh.
In the hurdles, a pair of Lobo men picked up fifth place finishes. De'Vron Walker tallied a 8.26s time in the 60-meter hurdles, making this the second meet this year he has tabbed a sub-8.30s time. "De'Vron Walker is getting consistent," Franklin noted. Chad Clark finished fifth with a 56.53 raw time in the 400-meters hurdles in the event's American indoor debut making him the de facto UNM record holder in this newly-imported European track event.
Also contributing to the Lobos' success in the field events were a mix of newcomers and returning lettermen. Freshman Markus Miller tallied a top-ten finish in the high jump for the second straight week. His 6'-6.25" mark (up a quarter inch from the previous meet) was good for an eighth-place tie. Floyd Ross, a junior transfer, notched a 12th-place finish in the long jump with a 22'7" mark. Returning junior Brad Maestas posted a 15th-place finish in the men's shot put (39'-3.25") and an 11th-place finish in the men's weight throw (39'-8.75").
On the women's side, the performance of the day belong to the women's 4x400 meter relay team, whose 3:47.21 mark was the best performance ever in the 4x400 meter relay in New Mexico women's indoor track and field history. The team comprised of Tawsha Brazley, Mickey Brown, Rachel Kelchner and Shirley Pitts raced into the record books in an incredibly tight race with UTEP, but claimed first in the UNM record book by 45 one-hundredths of a second. "The women's 4x400 has set the school record, [and when] you set a school record for the University that's been around as long as we have it's going to be a great honor," Franklin remarked.
In the mid-distance races, a trio of women posted solid finishes. Jo Moultrie's 1:34.68 raw time in the 600-meter run notched second and Shirley Pitts' 1:35.88 raw time in the 600 was good for fourth. "Shirley Pitts and Josephine Moultrie ran awesome in the 600," Franklin said. In the 800-meter run, Imogen Ainsworth clocked a 2:21.26 raw time, good for 13th.
Janna Mitsos's performance in the mile run was impressive, as in her heat she lapped a number of her opponents on route to a first-place finish in her heat. Overall, her 5:15.11 raw time (a new personal best) placed her eighth.
For the field events, five women registered top-fifteen performances. Marin Schweigert's 5'-4.25" mark in the women's high jump was good for tenth and Aasha Marler's 18'-2.5" mark in the long jump was good for 14th. In the pole vault, Margo Tucker and Amber Menke posted 12'-3.5" marks for a second-place tie and Julia Cook tallied a 11'-9.75" mark for a seventh-place finish.
The Lobos stay home next week in Albuquerque at the Convention Center to host the New Mexico Invitational, a two-day meet from Jan. 27-28.