Jan. 23, 2010
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - University of New Mexico freshman Kendall Spencer's school record-breaking performance in the men's 60-meter finals led an outstanding effort by the host Lobos at today's Cherry and Silver Invitational meet at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Spencer broke Aaron Brack's 2006 standard by one-hundredeth of a second with a raw time of 6.85 (6.87 altitude adjusted) in his third meet as a Lobo. It was the second of six weekends of indoor track and field action at the Albuquerque Convention Center this winter that will include the nationally televsied USA Indoor Championships (Feb. 27-28).
Spencer's time came despite a less-than-stellar start out of the blocks, but he made up ground quickly to finish sixth in a powerful finals field. Nike's Zeus Bailey clocked the second-fastest time in the world - a sizzling 6.61 - to win the event and break former LSU great Richard Thompson's facility record.
The men's 60 was one of four Convention Center records that were tied or bettered on the day. Former USA champion James Davis broke his own record in the 400 with a time of 46.53, former Cal great Alyssa Johnson smashed the women's 800 record with a time of 2:05.86, and Arizona's Brigetta Barrett capped the meet by tying the record in the high jump (6-00.75 - 1.85m).
Spencer (San Mateo, Calif.) came back to run a season-best 21.83 (seventh) in the 200, which Bailey won once again with a time of 20.86.
UNM received a pair of distance victories from seniors Rory Fraser and Ashley Gibson, both of whom ran out of their comfort zone. Fraser, an NCAA Indoor and Outdoor qualifier in the 5,000 last year, dropped down to run the mile, while 2009 NCAA 1,500 qualifier Gibson moved up to 3,000 meters.
Fraser, who was paced early by teammate Matt Everett, held off unattached runner Atencio Martinez by four-hundredths of a second to win with an altitude adjusted time of 4:04.99. Gibson also received pacing help from teammate Nicky Archer, but ran away with her race, finishing with an altitude adjusted time of 9:55.93.
In one of the marquee events of the day, Lobo senior Lee Emanuel finished third in a talented 800m field, with an altitude adjusted, NCAA provisional qualifying time of 1:50.31 in his 2010 debut. Emanuel, the defending NCAA mile champion, picked up a strong early pace from teammate David Bishop and had the lead entering the bell lap.
However, Arizona sophomore Abdi Hassan and former Mississippi State All-American Golden Coachman were able to reel in Emanuel over the final 30 meters. Hassan, a 2009 NCAA 1,500 qualifier, won with an altitude adjusted time of 1:49.92 - 0.34 seconds ahead of Coachman. The top four finishers all ran under the NCAA provisional qualifying standard.
Back on the women's side, junior transfer Ruth Senior clocked the second-fastest mile time in school history, finishing second in the race with an altitude adjusted time of 4:54.87 - just one-hundredth of a second behind Arizona's Margaret Callahan. The top three mile times in UNM women's history, including Gibson's 2009 record (4:44.58), have all been recorded in the last two years.
New Mexico also had two more strong performances from freshman hurdlers Precious Selmon and De'Vron Walker. Selmon, who set the school record in her Dec. 3 collegiate debut (8.47), finished third in the 60 hurdles finals with an altitude adjusted time of 8.57. Walker, meanwhile, ran a season best altitude adjusted time of 8.27 (8.25 raw) in the prelims and came back to finish third in the finals with an adjusted time of 8.31.
Other Lobo highlights included:
-Junior transfer Keith Gerrard finishing third in the mile with an altitude adjusted time of 4:13.22
-Senior Jacob Kirwa finishing eighth in the 800 with an altitude adjusted time of 1:52.11
-Sophomore Alex Darling finishing fourth in the women's 800 with an altitude adjusted time of 2:13.14
-Freshman Zach Smith finishing eighth in the long jump with a mark of 22-07.25 (6.89m)
-Senior Matthew Henry-Marshall finishing fifth in the weight throw with a mark of 53-09.75 (16.40m)