ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — With the postseason on the horizon, the Lobos were looking for progress.
And they went to the right places.
Behind personal records and strong performances, the University of New Mexico track and field team registered team-wide improvement at the Brutus Hamilton Open and Challenge and at the Penn Relays this weekend.
With just a few weeks left until the postseason, the Lobos put together a solid team effort, including stellar showings by the relays at the Penn Relays and strong gains from the rest of the team at the Brutus Hamilton meets.
The men’s four-mile relay team led the charge for New Mexico at the Penn Relays, hosted by by the University of Pennsylvania at Franklin Field in Philadelphia
With a stacked field of All-Americans in the event, the Lobos held their own throughout, using strong splits from each runner — including a 4:01.5 split from Shelley, the best of the bunch.
The women also had superb races from their two relay teams, with a fourth-place finish in the 4x1,500 relay and a 13th-place finish in the distance medley relay.
Charlotte Arter, Chloe Anderson, Calli Thackery and Sammy Silva clocked a time of 17:35.25 to take fourth in the 4x1,500, with each Lobo running stellar splits. Arter and Anderson ran virtually identical splits of 4:22.2 and 4:22.1, respectively.
New Mexico also received a strong turnout from their athletes in Berkeley, Calif., at the Brutus Hamilton Open Friday and at the Brutus Hamilton Challenge Saturday.
Pacing the men were the Lobos’ trending 400-meter hurdles, as all three competing at the Brutus Hamilton Challenge recorded new personal bests.
Charles Lewis moved to fifth in New Mexico history in the 400 hurdles with his time of 50.89, his best time in three years. He placed second in the event, followed by Mustafa Mudada (fourth place, time of 52.54) and Cheyne Dorsey (ninth, 54.79).
Lewis added a new personal record in the 400 dash at the Open, too, winning that in 48.17.
Elsewhere at the Challenge, the men saw strong marks from Gabe Aragon (second, 1:50.36) in the 800; Alex Cornwell (ninth, 4:07.49) and JP Cordova (11th, 4:11.90) in the mile; and the 4x400 relay team of Kline, Mudada, Lewis and Aragon (first, 3:13.99).
Out in the field, the Lobos posted a trio of top-two finishes, with Logan Pflibsen winning the pole vault (16-5 ¼) and Kendall Spencer (24-6) and Reneilwe Aphane (48-5 ½) taking second in the long jump and triple jump, respectively.
Additionally, York and Markus Miller both cleared 6-4 ¾ in the high jump, finishing sixth and seventh.
On the women’s side, the Lobos got contribution across the board, with new personal record on the track.
Haley Sanner snapped up the first personal best of the day in the 400, finishing in 56.06 to place fifth, right ahead of Zoe Howell (57.84) in ninth. Holly Van Grinsven notched her own PR in the 400 hurdles, finishing in 1:03.58 to place sixth.
Amber Zimmerman and Tamara Armoush added PRs in the 800, with Zimmerman finishing in 2:11.79 to take fourth and Armoush finishing in 2:12.41 to take eighth. Nicole Roberts got in on the action, too, with her sixth-place time (and PR) of 4:29.45 in the 1,500.
Nicola Hood added a career best in the metric mile, finishing in 4:39.49 for 11th.
The short sprints supplied additional strong times, with Kayla Fisher-Taylor and Brittany Myricks. Fisher-Taylor ran to a season-best time of 11.94 in the preliminary heats of the 100, while Myricks placed sixth in the finals of the 100 (12.09) and eighth in the 200 (24.81).
From Friday’s Open, Fisher-Taylor (24.86) and Myricks (25.06) went 3-4 in the 100, while Peri Moran clocked a season best of 25.80 to place eighth.
The 4x100 relay team also posted a third-place time of 46.41 at the Challenge.
New Mexico’s field athletes also had good results. Aasha Marler won the long jump (18-4 ½), while Jannell Hadnot was second in the triple jump (39-11 ¼). The women’s pole vaulters went 2-3-4-6, with Margo Tucker (12-6 ¾), Annie Stirling (12 ¾), Emily Heisler (12 ¾) and Nathalie Busk (11-1).
Samantha Bowe and Marler also performed well in the jumps at the Open, with Bowe taking second in the open long jump (18-5 ¾) and Marler third in the triple jump (37-1 ¼).
The Lobos are back in action next week when they host their single home meet of the season, the Don Kirby Tailwind Open, Friday, May 2 at the Great Friends of University of New Mexico Track & Field Stadium.