ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Small group of Lobos, big-time results.
That was the theme for the University of New Mexico’s track and field team at the New Mexico Classic, as the Lobos notched strong performances across the board despite resting most of their team.
Not even the small group of competitors could dampen the Lobos competitive drive at the Albuquerque Convention Center, as they notched three event titles and a handful of personal records.
“Another good meet for us,” UNM head coach Joe Franklin said. “We had a significant portion of our team taking the weekend off, gearing up for next weekend. We had some great performances.”
With the New Mexico Team Invitational last Saturday and the Don Kirby Elite Invitational next weekend, New Mexico gave most of its athletes the weekend off, competing just a fraction of its entire squad at the Classic.
“Last weekend was such a high powered meet, a lot of our kids took some time off to recuperate [and] to be ready to go this weekend. We were just hoping to get kids a little better.”
And the Lobos did get better as they tallied some superlative results, especially in the events covering 60 meters.
The men’s and women’s 60-meter dash produced superb results for UNM, while the women’s 60 hurdles was another source of great times.
Peri Moran led the charge for the women, taking first in the B section of the 60 dash with a time of 7.63 seconds. Kayla Fisher-Taylor was right behind her teammate, finishing second with a time of 7.75.
The duo went 1-2 in the preliminary round, as well, with Moran just missing the school record with a time of 7.61. Brittany Myricks, the Lobo star in the 200 last night, took fifth in the prelims.
In the men’s 60, Kendall Spencer shined with a winning time of 6.85. Jhurell Pressley, a running back for the UNM football team, showed his speed with a third-place clocking of 6.94. He is tied for 10th all-time at UNM.
Ridge Jones contributed in the A section of 60, finishing third in the prelims with a time of 6.78.
Like their 60-meter dash counterparts, Van Grinsven and Bowe took first and second in the prelims, as well.
Elsewhere on the track, the team’s 4x400 meter relay squads posted strong marks.
The men’s foursome of Chris Kline, Mustafa Mudada, Charles Lewis and Cheyne Dorsey ran to a time of 3:13.59 to place fourth. That time is the seventh-fastest all-time at UNM, and is the first top-10 mark recorded by UNM since 2009.
On the women’s side, the A team of Zoe Howell, Lucretia Vigil, Van Grinsven and Hannah Riker-Urrutia placed fifth in 3:51.14, while the B squad of Ariel Burch, Haley Sanner, Kelsi Lewis and Christina Clark took seventh in 3:54.09.
The final strong results from Saturday came from the women’s pole vault, where three Lobos — Margo Tucker, Nathalie Busk and Annie Stirling — tied for sixth place with a clearance of 12 feet, 6 ¼ inches.
The Lobos received additional strong marks from Friday’s action, including career bests from the women’s sprinters.
All five Lobos that competed in the 400 ran to their bests in a Lobo uniform, led by Riker-Urrutia’s fifth-place, personal-record time of 57.31. Sanner (seventh, 57.39) also ran a personal best, followed by UNM bests from Lewis (14th, 58.86), Burch (15th, 58.87) and Faith Cobb (22nd, 1:01.01).
The women sprinters also nabbed personal bests in the 200, with Myricks (fifth, 24.61) and Sanner (15th, 25.13) leading the charge. Burch (36th, 26.40) and Lewis (45th, 27.19) also ran to their bests as Lobos.
The women received two more marks from Friday, with Mia Weaver (11th, 1:45.00) in the 600 and Clark (third, 1:07.69) in the 400 hurdles. The men saw Logan Pflibsen place fourth in the pole vault (17 ¾) and Markus Miller take 20th in the high jump (6-6) Friday.
Overall, the results from this weekend’s bode well for New Mexico as it prepares for its final of five straight home meets.
“Next weekend, the bar goes up again, literally and figuratively,” Franklin said. “… This next weekend is going to be a phenomenal competition. We have to be ready to go.”
The Lobos return to action next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 14-15, as they welcome powerhouses like Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and Stanford to the the Don Kirby Elite Invitational at the Albuquerque Convention Center.