COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Last year, the men claimed their first Mountain West title.
This year, the women might do the same.
The University of New Mexico track and field teams put themselves in good position for victories at the Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships, as the women are in the lead and the men are in second place after the second day of action. The women have scored 61 team points through Friday, while the men have posted 66.5.
Both teams were paced by multiple event winners Friday at the Cadet Field House on the campus of the Air Force Academy, including three repeat victories on the men’s side and a pair of school records for the women.
For the New Mexico women, Aasha Marler set new school record and earned a victory in the long jump, leaping 20 feet, five inches for gold. Marler is just the second person at UNM to have ever leaped past 20 feet, and her mark and earned 10 points for UNM.
She paced three other scorers in the event, with Casey Dowling setting a personal record with a leap of 19-10 ¾. Yeshemabet Turner (seventh place, mark of 19-4) and Jannell Hadnot (eighth, 19-3 ¼) also scored.
Only two other events went final Friday, the 5000-meter run and the distance medley relay.
In the 5000, Nicole Roberts and Charlotte Arter both scored, with Roberts finishing in sixth place (18:48.76) and Arter claiming eighth (18:57.01). The relay team of Sammy Silva, Hannah Riker-Urrutia, Suzi Boast and Tamara Armoush nabbed second in 12:01.67.
Spencer kicked off the day with a MW championships-record distance of 25-9 ¼ in the long jump, giving him three consecutive long-jump titles. It’s his best jump indoors since the 2012 NCAA Championships, which he won.
Lovett added a second title, leaping a personal-record 7-2 ½ in the high jump. He was able to back-up his 2013 title and broke a long-standing lifetime best with that mark.
His mark also ties the conference record in the event and is a new MW Championships record.
Markus Miller scored, as well, tying for fourth place with a clearance of 6-6 ¾.
Caldwell was the final Lobo victor from day two, as he steamrolled the final 500 meters in the 5,000-meter run to run away with the title in 15:20.09.
Sean Stam rounded out the five-kilometer scorers as he finished eighth (15:33.03).
The final scoring effort from Friday came from the men’s DMR team of Jake Shelley, Cheyne Dorsey, Graham Thomas and Alex Cornwell. The foursome finished second, like their women counterparts, in 10:21.02.
Most of the other track events ran preliminaries Friday, with the Lobos advancing athletes in almost every qualifying race.
Kayla Fisher-Taylor, in a school-record-setting performance, raced into the finals of the 60 with a time of 7.51. Marler, who previously held the record, also moved on with a time of 7.54.
Haley Sanner (seventh, 56.71) in the 400 and Arter (third, 5:16.24) in the mile punched their tickets as well.
Chloe Anderson and Boast were the final two athletes to advance, doing so in both the 800 and the mile. Anderson was first in the mile (5:15.34) and third in the 800 (2:16.84), while Boast was second in the mile (5:15.68) and fifth in the 800 (2:16.93).
For the men, Ridge Jones qualified to the finals of both the 60 and 200, taking second in the 60 (6.74) and fifth in the 200 (21.76).
Through one day, the New Mexico women led the 11-team field with 61 points. San Diego State is second with 33 points, while Wyoming (30 points), Fresno State (22.5), and Colorado State (20) and Boise State (20) rounded out the top six. Utah State (18), Nevada (16), Air Force (8.5), UNLV (3) and San José State (2) were seven through 11.
On the men’s side, Colorado State and New Mexico are dueling at the top, 69.5 to 66.5. Air Force (40.5) is third, Wyoming (31) is fourth, Boise State (14) is fifth and Utah State (9.5) is sixth.
The final day of the championships begin at 10 a.m. MT with the men's shot put and at noon with the final of the women's mile. Check back at GoLobos.com for a complete recap.