LARAMIE, Wyo. — The University of New Mexico track and field teams started their title bids at the Mountain West Outdoor Track & Field Championships Friday with the men in third place and the women in fourth.
After the third day of action, the men have scored 45 team points, while the women have posted 29. With most of the day's events holding just preliminary rounds, the Lobos managed to make strides toward their “Triple Crown” chase on Memorial 8 Track at Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex.
New Mexico, winner of the MW cross-country titles in November and the MW indoor track titles in March, is aiming to capture the program’s first “Triple Crown” — sweeping the conference titles in cross-country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field.
And the Lobos started on their quest for that, scoring points across the board on Friday.
The trio — having already swept the medals in the 3000 and the 5000 at the MW indoor championships in March — claimed the same honor Friday. Caldwell crossed the line first in 31 minutes, 19.99 seconds, and was followed by Bitchell (31:20.90) and Zacharias (31:25.16).
They are the only group of teammate to place 1-2-3 in the 10K in MW history.
As it were, however, the 10000 was one of just four events in which UNM was competing that went final.
The Lobo men also received scores in two field events. Kendall Spencer took runner-up honors in the long jump with a leap of 25 feet, 2 ¾ inches, and was followed by Yannick Roggatz (sixth, 23-2 ¾) and Warrick Campbell (eighth, 22-10) in scoring.
On the women’s side, Annie Stirling claimed a second-place finish in the pole vault to lead the Lobos’ scoring effort Friday.
The Lobos put themselves in contention for additional scores in virtually every event that held a preliminary, with the 800 and the 1500 providing superb scoring opportunities.
The women advanced seven runners to the 12-athlete finals of the 1500, with Charlotte Arter’s prelim-best time of 4:44.04 pacing the group. Also advancing were Tamara Armoush (second, 4:44.87), Chloe Anderson (fourth, 4:45.80), Suzi Boast (fifth, 4:47.42), Sammy Silva (eighth, 4:49.64), Amber Zimmerman (ninth, 4:50.82) and Calli Thackery (10th, 4:50.52).
Some of those runners also qualified to the finals of the 800, with Boast (2:13.52), Anderson (2:13.88), Arter (2:13.94) and Armoush (2:15.15) finishing 1-2-3-4 in the prelims.
The men moved on four athletes in the 800, as well, with Peter Callahan (second, 1:52.26), Ross Matheson (fifth, 1:53.70), Gabe Aragon (sixth, 1:53.75) and JP Cordova (seventh, 1:53.92) all advancing.
For the women, Kayla Fisher-Taylor made the finals in the 100 (third, 11.89) and the 200 (seventh, 24.31), while Marler moved on in the 100 (seventh, 11.92).
Colorado State holds a slight advantage over host Wyoming, 58 points to 52 points, after the third day of action. UNM is third with 45 points, followed by Air Force (37 points), Boise State (28), Utah State (27) and Fresno State (26).
San Diego State leads the women’s standings with 68.5 points, as Colorado State (52 points) and Boise State (32.5) round out the top three. Behind UNM is Nevada (fifth, 22), Wyoming (sixth, 21), Utah State (seventh, 20), Fresno State (eighth, 15), UNLV (ninth, 12), Air Force (10th, 1) and San José State (11th, zero points).
The final day of the championships begin at noon MT with the women's javelin throw and the women’s 4x100 relay. Check back at GoLobos.com for a complete recap.