May 10, 2013
LAS VEGAS — With a little bit of luck, Sin City might just turn into Win City.
The University of New Mexico track and field teams put themselves in position for victories at the Mountain West Outdoor Track & Field Championships, as the women are in second place and the men are in third after the third day of action.
The women have scored 57 team points through Friday, while the men have posted 54. With most of the day's events holding just preliminary rounds, only a handful of events went final on both sides.
Nonetheless, the men received four titles on the day, two from the field and two from the track.
On the track, Luke Caldwell added another MW victory to his collection, snapping up the win in the 10000 with a time of 30 minutes, 27.71 seconds. Caldwell, who won the indoor 3K and 5K in February, now has won three of the four times he has raced at a MW Championship, indoor and outdoor combined.
Elmar Engholm contributed the second track title, as his 8:59.16 time won the 3000 steeplechase. He also set a new personal record en route to recording New Mexico's first ever MW victory in the steeplechase.
In the field, Kendall Spencer claimed the crown in the long jump with a 24-foot, 6 ½-inch leap, while Django Lovett earned victory in the high jump with a clearance of 7 ½. Both returned to their 2011 form when they both last won gold in their respective events.
On the women's side, no titles were to be had on Friday, but that didn't stop the women from making definite strides from last year's disappointing seventh-place performance.
Three runner-up performances were produced instead, with Shawna Winnegar's second-place time in the 10K starting things off. Winnegar clocked in at 36:18.15, giving the Lobos eight points to open the meet.
Yeshemabet Turner chipped in her own second-place mark, as she upended her personal best in the long jump with a distance of 20-2 ½. Her old best was 19-8 ¾.
Amber Menke added the final runner-up mark with her 13-3 ½ clearance in the pole vault. She set a new outdoor personal best while leading three other women in scoring. Margo Tucker took third (12-1 ½), while Nathalie Busk (sixth place) and Annie Stirling (seventh) had identical marks of 12-3 ½.
Kenda Schaaf in the 10K (fifth, 37:14.57); Imogen Ainsworth (fourth, 10:42.64) and Nicola Hood (sixth, 11:00.47) in the 3000 steeplechase; and Lexi Ross in the javelin throw (sixth, 138-8) rounded out the women's scorers from Friday.
On top of the events that went final on Friday, the Lobos also advanced at least one athlete in every event that held a preliminary round.
All three qualified to the finals in both the 800 and the 1500, as Moultrie led with a pair of second-place finishes in both events, running the 800 in 2:08.69 and the 1500 in 4:28.16. Anderson took fourth in the 800 (2:09.62) and third in the 1500 (4:28.37), while Arter claimed sixth in the 800 (2:10.16) and eighth in the 1500 (4:36.12).
Also advancing to Saturday's finals are Kayla Fisher-Taylor in both the 100 (personal record of 11.84) and 200 (PR of 24.06); Shirley Pitts in the 400 (55.64); and Precious Selmon in the 100 hurdles (14.32).
On the men's side, only four prelims were held as two events—the 400 and 1500—did not hold preliminary rounds.
But, out of the four opening-round races, the Lobos moved a number of runners on.
De'Vron Walker also qualified to the finals of the 110 hurdles after finishing sixth with a 14.89 time.
The Air Force men hold a slight advantage over Colorado State, 78 points to 74 points, at the end of the third day of action. New Mexico's 54-point tally ranks third, while Wyoming (31 points), Boise State (15) and Fresno State (15) round out the teams.
The San Diego St. women lead the Lobo women by 16 points, 73-57. Colorado St. (37 points) is in third, while Boise State (fourth, 28), Nevada (fifth, 20), Air Force (sixth, 19), Fresno State (seventh, 16), Wyoming (eighth, 13) and host UNLV (ninth, 10) round out the rest of the teams.
The final day of the championships begin at 9 a.m. MT with the women's 5000 and at 10 a.m. MT with the men's hammer throw. Check back at GoLobos.com for a complete recap.