Bryan Clay Invitational, Mt. SAC Relays & Beach Invitational
Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, Calif., April 16-18
Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., April 17-19
Beach Invitationa in Norwalk, Calif., April 18-19
The Lobos, three weeks into the season, are giving renewed meaning to the term split squad.
Three meets in three days will do that.
The University of New Mexico’s track and field team is travelling to California for the Bryan Clay Invitational, the Mt. SAC Relays and the Beach Invitational this weekend as it aims for improvement at the halfway point of the season.
The meets, which take place Wednesday through Saturday in Southern California, will have the Lobos splitting up as they continue to look for progress and improvement from all of the events, including the sprints, distance races and jumps.
“The goal is to make sure our performances improve and make sure everybody improves across the board,” New Mexico head coach Joe Franklin said. “Win the races that you’re in, win the sections that you’re in, win the flights that you’re in.”
After wrapping up significant progress — and a handful of wins — at last week’s Jim Click Shootout in Arizona, the Lobos have started to round into midseason form.
This road swing, which will provide an opportunity to compete against strong competition at some large-scale meets, portends additional improvement for the Lobos.
“I think you’re going into meets with thousands of athletes — literally thousands of athletes — so [you want] to go out and compete,” Franklin said. “… If you do those things, you’re going to have great improvements.”
And for New Mexico, the main objective is improvement as most athletes compete in their main event for the first time outdoors. With the postseason still a month away, the Lobos aren’t yet searching for championship-qualifying marks.
“We’re so early in the season,” Franklin said. “We really haven’t really run relays with our best relays yet. Not all of the jumpers have gotten going, not all the distance runners have gotten going. The vaulters have only been on outdoor runways twice. So [this weekend] is a chance for them to get out and continue to improve.”
At the Mt. SAC Relays, which runs from Thursday to Friday at Hilmer Lodge Stadium, and the Beach Invitational, which runs Friday to Saturday at Cerritos College, the Lobos will see most of their athletes in action at one, if not both, of the meets.
The Lobos’ sprinting corp will take aim at both meets, with Kayla Fisher-Taylor, Peri Moran and Brittany Myricks in the short sprints and Hannah Riker-Urrutia, Zoe Howell and Lucretia Vigil in the 400-meter dash.
Holly Van Grinsven and Haley Sanner will also compete in the hurdle events at both meets, while also taking turns in the relays. Fisher-Taylor, Moran, Sanner and Myricks will run the 4x100 meter relay, with Sanner, Howell, Van Grinsven and Riker-Urrutia in the 4x400.
For the men, much of the same dynamic is in play, especially in the sprints and the hurdles.
The 4x400 relay team of Kline, Mudada, Lewis and Gabe Aragon will also see double duty.
Similarly, at the Beach Invitational, Peter Callahan and Aragon will run the 800; Yannick Roggatz will race in the 110 hurdles; Kendall Spencer and Warrick Campbell will compete in the long jump; and Reneilwe Aphane will participate in the triple jump.
Nonetheless, the Mt. SAC Relays and the Beach Invitational are only two-thirds of the Lobos’ schedule, with the final part taking place at the Bryan Clay Invitational at the Cougar Athletic Stadium in Azusa, Calif.
The multis duo will be joined by a bevy of the Lobos’ harriers, including 14 athletes entered in the 1,500.
On the men’s side, Callahan, Adam Bitchell, JP Cordova, Alex Cornwell, Elmar Engholm, Ross Matheson, Jake Shelley, Graham Thomas and Patrick Zacharias are slated to run the metric mile, while the women will race Chloe Anderson, Tamara Armoush, Suzi Boast, Calli Thackery and Amber Zimmerman.
The Lobo men rank 37th in the latest National Team Computer Rankings released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Tuesday, with the Lobo women in 122nd. Check GoLobos.com after the meets Saturday for a full recap.