ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — On a three-meet road trip to the Golden State, the Lobos came away with some golden results.
The University of New Mexico’s track and field team registered strong marks at three meets this weekend, as they shined at the Mt. SAC Relays, the Bryan Clay Invitational and the Beach Invitational.
The Lobos, in particular their distance runners, performed superlatively on the three-meet trip to Southern California, as they continued to gain progress in several events and improve across the board.
New Mexico’s distance standouts tallied some of the most outstanding results of the weekend, with most at the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, Calif.
Of the 16 harriers competing at the Bryan Clay Invite, half claimed new personal records, with a couple more just seconds from achieving new lifetime bests.
Leading the charge — figuratively and literally — on the men’s side were eight runners in the 1,500-meter run and another in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
In the 1,500, Ross Matheson claimed the top UNM finish in 3 minutes, 43.27 seconds, setting a new personal record and moving to ninth all-time at New Mexico in the event. He was just the first of many Lobos in the event, however, with seven more finishing behind.
Graham Thomas set a new lifetime best of his own in a winning performance in the steeplechase. Despite falling twice in the last lap, Thomas emerged victorious in 9:20.38.
On the women’s side, the Lobos were paced by two more personal bests in the 1,500. Suzi Boast (4:23.65) and Calli Thackery (4:23.87) went 4-5 in the event, with Tamara Armoush (eighth, 4:25.77) and Amber Zimmerman (ninth, 4:26.95) setting PRs.
Nicola Hood came within two seconds of setting a new lifetime best in the steeplechase, but instead snapped up a new collegiate best at 10:26. Her runner-up showing also broke the previous meet record of 10:35.03 set last year.
Nicole Roberts also raced in the steeplechase, finishing sixth in 10:52.40. Hood and Roberts now rank second and sixth, respectively, in UNM history in the event.
Chloe Anderson was the last Lobos to compete at the Bryan Clay Invite, where she won the 800 in 2:09.14, outdueling 68 competitors for the victory. Her PR is 2:08.08.
The Lobos also received some strong performances from the sprinters, jumpers and relays at the other two meets of the three-meet trip, the Mt. SAC Relays and the Beach Invitational.
At the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, Calif., three distance runners posted third-place finishes in their respective events, with Luke Caldwell headlining the effort in the 5,000.
Caldwell finished in 13:33.28 in the invitational section of the 5,000, placing third overall. He now owns two of the top-three times at UNM in the 5K, including the school record of 13:29.94.
Outside of the distance runners, however, most of the Lobos competed at both the Mt. SAC Relays Thursday and Friday and then at the Beach Invitational Saturday.
Charles Lewis took full advantage of his opportunities, racing to a sixth-place time of 52.07 in the 400 hurdles at Mt. SAC before turning around and clocking a winning time of 51.70 in the invitational 400 hurdles at the Beach.
Similarly, Ridge Jones race the 100 in 10.72 at Mt. SAC and lowered that to 10.69 to take second at the Beach, while Logan Pflibsen cleared 16-6 ¾ in the pole vault at Mt. SAC for sixth before tying for 10th at the Beach.
The women’s 4x100 meter relay team of Kayla Fisher-Taylor, Peri Moran, Haley Sanner and Brittany Myricks recorded strong times at both meets, too, finishing seventh at Mt. SAC in 46.60 and winning at the Beach in 46.63.
Other strong results from the Mt. SAC Relays came from Myricks in the 100 (11.84) and Nathalie Busk in the pole vault (T-9th, 12-7 ½).
At the Beach Invite, Mustafa Mudada in the 400 hurdles (fourth, 52.89), Kendall Spencer in the long jump (third, 24 feet, 11 inches) and Reneilwe Aphane (third, 50-1 ¼) in the triple jump performed well for the men in the individual events.
The men’s 4x100 relay team of Spencer, Jones, Mudada and Chris Kline finished sixth in 41.60.
Additionally, Marler (third, 12.01) and Fisher-Taylor (eighth, 12.16) produced in the 100, as did Sanner (10th, PR of 1:02.14) in the 400 hurdles and Annie Stirling (T-11th, PR of 12-6) in the pole vault.
Anderson added a seventh-place time of 2:09.15 in the invitational section of the 800, as well.
The Lobos will head back to California next weekend as they compete at the Brutus Hamilton Open and Challenge hosted by Cal April 25-26.