Alex Wilson Invitational — South Bend, Ind.
When: Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014
Where: Loftus Sports Center in South Bend, Ind.
Live Results: DeltaTiming.com
With just three weeks until the NCAA Championships, the Lobos are looking to get as many New Mexico athletes qualified as possible.
And this weekend might just be the week to do it.
The University of New Mexico track and field team is sending a handful of athletes to the Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, as those athletes aim to put themselves in contention for the NCAA Championships.
Charlotte Arter, Chloe Anderson and Amber Zimmerman are heading to the Loftus Sports Center to compete in the mile, along with the distance medley relay team of Elmar Engholm, Gabe Aragon, Charles Lewis and Jake Shelley.
The Alex Wilson Invitational is likely one of the last chances these athletes have to qualify to the NCAAs, considering how some races at conference championships don’t produce qualifying times.
The Mountain West Championships are at next weekend at Air Force, which is at over 7,000 feet in Colorado Springs, Colo.
So, the Lobos will try their luck at Notre Dame.
Arter and Anderson are both looking to punch their tickets in the mile, with Zimmerman helping the pair as a pacer.
Arter comes in with a personal-record time of 4:38.20 and ranks 19th in the NCAA. However, since the top-16 declared athletes advance to the NCAAs, Arter is squarely on the bubble and needs to improve to advance to the Albuquerque- and UNM-hosted NCAA Championships.
She looks to build on her 4:42.74 time that she registered last week at the Husky Classic.
Anderson is also eyeing a qualifying mark, entering with a career-best clocking of 4:44.01. She’s 48th in the nation, but she has participated in the 1500-meter run — the outdoor equivalent of the mile — at the 2013 NCAA Outdoor Championships with Arter.
Zimmerman will also help pace her two teammate to potentially better times. She has a personal record of 4:47.13.
On the men’s side, the Lobos will compete a distance medley relay (DMR) team for the first time this year.
However, New Mexico has experience in the event with Gabe Aragon, who is a 2011 All-American in the DMR and will run the 800-meter leg of the relay. He has a personal record of 1:49.37 in the 800 and is second all-time at New Mexico over that distance.
He will be joined by Charles Lewis, who will run the 400-meter leg. The sixth-best quartermiler in New Mexico history, Lewis has a personal record of 48.30 in the 400. His best 400-meter split, recorded in a 4x400 relay, is 47.9 seconds.
Jake Shelley will take on the 1200-meter leg, looking to parlay his mile time of 4:00.47 into a strong time in his leg.
Elmar Engholm will anchor the event in the 1600-meter leg. He is the second-fastest miler all-time at UNM, carrying a lifetime best of 3:58.90 into the meet.
The men’s DMR will compete at 10:05 a.m. MT Saturday, while the women’s mile is at 11:05 a.m. MT. Check back Saturday for a complete recap of the Lobos action and the implication on the postseason.