ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — For their first scored test of the season, the Lobos needed a strong performance.
And they certainly delivered.
Against national brands and nationally ranked teams, the University of New Mexico’s track and field team produced a strong team showing at the New Mexico Team Invitational, as the women’s squad place third and the men took fifth place.
The Lobos came together to beat some ranked programs at the Albuquerque Convention Center, and in the process earned a number of historic all-time marks en route to scoring 87.5 points for the women and 61 points for the men.
“[For] the men to go out and get fifth, the women third, it was fun,” UNM head coach Joe Franklin said. “It’s nice to know the team scored and people [are] competing for championships.”
By virtue of their third-place finish, the Lobos women defeated six teams in the nine-team competition, registering victories over Notre Dame (75.5 points), Arizona State (66), UCLA (57.5), TCU (42), Utah State (33.5) and Air Force (27).
LSU’s 151-point tally won the women’s championship, while Nebraska (121) was second.
The men and their 61 points were able to knock off UCLA (60), Air Force (47), Utah State (43) and Arizona State (35.5). New Mexico finished eight points within third, behind Notre Dame (69) and TCU (66).
Nebraska earned the men’s title with 138.5 points, while LSU (103) was second.
Still, the Lobos performed strongly at their first team-scored meet of the season.
“I think it was a great meet,” Franklin said. “It was a nice, one-day meet. We had some great performances. We had two event winners, which is ultimately the goal.”
One of those event winners was Chloe Anderson, who ran to a victory in the 800-meter run. Her time of 2 minutes, 11.04 seconds paced three scoring times for the Lobos, as Suzi Boast (fifth place, 2:16.43) and Kirsten Follett (seventh, 2:18.75) contributed points to the women’s ledger.
The rest of the women’s distance runners also contributed, with Charlotte Arter’s runner-up finish in the mile leading the pack. Arter, who finished in 4:44.40, moved up to second in UNM history in the mile.
The women were also bolstered by superb performances in the jumps, where freshman Jannell Hadnot continued her ascent in the record books.
Hadnot recorded a triple-jump result of 42 feet, 3 ½ inches to place second at the meet and move to second all-time at UNM, while Yeshemabet Turner placed sixth (40-6 ¾) in the triple jump.
The long jump featured scoring marks from Turner (fifth, 19-3 ½) and Casey Dowling (sixth, 19-2 ½), while the pole vault saw Margo Tucker (second, 12-8 ¼) and Annie Stirling (sixth, 12-2 ½) also contribute.
Elsewhere, the women’s sprinting core rewrote the records books and chipped in some scoring efforts. In the 60, Aasha Marler zipped to a preliminary-round mark of 7.58 (good for third all-time), parlaying that to a 7.61 time in the final to place sixth. In the B section final, Kayla Fisher-Taylor (third, 7.67) moved to sixth all-time, while Peri Moran (sixth, 7.75) climbed to ninth all-time.
Like the women, the UNM men earned a solid portion of their points from the distance races, with Luke Caldwell headlining the performances.
Caldwell blazed to a third-place clocking of 4:06.38 in the mile, placing third in the meet. He also moved to fifth all-time in the event, and led four scoring efforts. Elmar Engholm (fifth, 4:07.36) climbed to sixth in UNM history, Patrick Zacharias (seventh, 4:08.15) moved to seventh all-time, while Jake Shelley (eighth, 4:11.10) also scored.
Shelley (third, 8:34.68) was one of two Lobos to score in the 3000, as well, with Graham Thomas (fifth, 8:35.45) adding points.
Yannick Roggatz also added a personal-record of 8.30 in the 60 hurdles, placing 11th.
The men, who were tied with UCLA with one event remaining, managed to break the tie with an eighth-place showing in the 4x400 meter relay. Kline, Mustafa Mudada, Charles Lewis and Aragon combined to finish in 3:16.14 and earn the Lobos the decisive point.
However, at the team’s lone scored meet before the Mountain West Championships later this month, the Lobos gained valuable experience during the meet of their schedule.
“I think we’re positioning ourselves well for the conference championships and maybe we can challenge on both sides this year,” Franklin said.
But before the conference meet, New Mexico will return to the Albuquerque Convention Center next Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8, for the New Mexico Classic.