Jan. 27, 2007
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico continued its steady improvement with several strong performances on the final day of the Dan DeHart Invitational indoor track meet today at the Albuquerque Convention Center. Junior Ariel Burr and the men's 4x400 relay team provided two of the Saturday highlights for the Lobos. The DeHart Invitational (Jan. 26-27) and Roger Cox Multis (Jan. 25-26) proved to be among the finest meets in the nation this week with the elite field combining for 39 NCAA provisional qualifying marks, seven automatic qualifying marks and five facility records.
Burr sparked the New Mexico women to an eighth place finish (40 points) in the 16-team field with her fourth place finish in the 200-meter dash. The all-Mountain West Conference 400 runner clocked a personal best time of 24.55, one of the fastest in seventh-year head coach Matt Henry's tenure, in a rare drop to 200 meters. Burr, who was fourth in the 400 last week, defeated 38 other runners in the field of 42.
The men's team, meanwhile, got its best performance from the quartet of Taylor Siemon, Kurt Henry, Jarrin Solomon and Randle McCain in the 4x400-meter relay. The group clocked a season-best time of 3:15.67, defeating Arizona State, California and Kansas State en route to a third place finish overall. Houston (3:14.32) won the event by 0.20 seconds with a hard-fought victory over Texas Tech (3:14.52) in heat three.
After Siemon gave UNM the slight lead after the first exchange, Kurt Henry ran a tough second leg, holding off several charges from the Cal and Kansas State runners to allow Solomon to open up a gap on the third leg. McCain then withstood a hard-charging Cal runner to give the Lobos the heat victory. New Mexico finished seventh (47 points) out of 10 in the overall team standings.
The men of New Mexico opened the meet with a third place finish in the distance medley relay as the foursome of Brian Vallie, Kurt Henry, Nick Arguelles and Jeremy Johnson recorded a season-best time of 10:06.12*. The freshmen Vallie (1,200m) and Arguelles (800m) ran particularly strong legs for the Lobos in the unit's first DMR of the season.
Elsewhere for the Lobos:
-Senior Mark Lamb finished sixth in the finals of the 60-meter hurdles (8.52*) after advancing with a personal record time of 8.29* on Friday night.
-Siemon finished ninth in the 400 with a career-best time of 49.49.
-Sophomore Christina Zarrella finished second in her heat and fifth overall in the 800 with a time of 2:19.83*.
-Freshman Alesha Walker won her heat and finished 11th overall in the 200 with a season-best time of 25.21.
-Junior Juan Ortega clocked an altitude-adjusted time of 14:40.31* en route to a second place finish in the 5,000m.
-Sophomore Josh Cosio cleared 6' 7" in the high jump, finishing tied for sixth in an event which Kansas State All-American Scott Sellers won with a national-leading and facility record jump of 7' 5 ¼".
-Junior Melanie Velarde won the 5,000 for the second straight week, clocking a time of 19:09.64.
*Indicates altitude adjusted time.