Feb. 10, 2007
ALBUQUERUQUE, N.M. - The University of New Mexico men and women enjoyed their best meet of the 2007 indoor season this weekend, finishing second and fifth, respectively, in the TCR Race Productions Invitational at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The UNM men won five events on the track en route to a score of 131, just four behind meet champion Air Force, in the seven-team field. The women won a pair of events and got a school record performance from Kristan Matison in the 60m to finish ahead of six squads in the 11-team field (59.5 points).
The Lobos received several standout performances on the track and in the field, including a second straight win by the men's 4x400m relay team and a pair of victories by junior Juan Ortega in the mile and 5,000m. Freshmen Brian Vallie (800m) and Jason Petty (3,000m) earned their first collegiate victories as well.
The men's all-New Mexico foursome of Taylor Siemon (Albuquerque La Cueva HS), Randle McCain (Silver City), Kurt Henry (Albuquerque Cibola HS) and Jarrin Solomon (Albuquerque La Cueva HS) combined for a time of 3:14.65 in a wire-to-wire victory in the second and fastest 4x400 relay heat. Siemon got the Lobos out of the gates quickly once again and Henry continued his strong running on the third leg, holding off repeated charges from Air Force and Rice.
Ortega, meanwhile showed no signs of slowing down in his fourth full week of distance action. The Albuquerque Rio Grande HS product opened the day with a time of 4:12.17* in the mile, then cruised to victory in the 5,000 with a time of 14:45.27*. The junior earned his third and fourth wins of the season, finishing with a team-high 20 points on the day.
Vallie clocked a team-leading time of 1:54.94*, finishing just ahead of rookie teammate Nick Arguelles (1:55.38*), en route to a solid win in the 800. Petty got the Lobos on Friday night, winning the 3,000 with a time of 8:51.64* as New Mexico won every event from 800-5,000 meters.
Burr had little trouble on the women's side, cruising past the field of 24 with a season-best time of 55.28. Lewis, meanwhile, had an impressive performance in her first career 5K race. The Gallup, N.M. native rallied to pass Ingrid Flores over the final half of the race and finished with a team-leading time of 18:38.39*.
Matison stole the show on Friday night, however, clocking a school record time of 7.60* in the prelims of the women's 60. After missing the 7-year-old record by just one-hundredth of a second last year, Matison left no doubt in her first 60 race of the winter. The San Diego native went on to finish sixth in the finals with a time of 7.73*.
Other New Mexico highlights from the TCR Race Productions Invitational included:
- Sophomore Sandy Fortner, who finished with indoor bests in the 60m hurdles (8.91* - 10th prelims) and the high jump (5' 5" - T3rd), and also placed eighth in the long jump with a season-best leap of 18' 6".
- Senior Brenton Laws and freshman Terence Brown, who finished sixth (7.11*) and eighth (7.35*), respectively in the men's 60m finals. Brown clocked a team-leading time of 6.99* in the prelims, while Laws had his best as a Lobo with a time of 7.00*.
- Senior Mark Lamb, who continued his late season surge with a third place finish in the finals of the men's 60m hurdles finals (8.29*). Lamb flew into the finals with a career-best time of 8.17* in the prelims and later placed eighth in the 200m with a career-best time of 22.36.
- Junior Jarrin Solomon and sophomore Taylor Siemon, who finished second and fifth, respectively, in the men's 400. Solomon clocked a time of 47.97 - his third sub-48-second time of the season and trailed BYU's All-American 400-meter hurdler Chris Carter by 0.17 seconds. Siemon clocked a career-best time of 48.82, running under 49 seconds for the first time indoors.
- Sophomore Christina Zarrella, who placed a strong third in the women's 800m with a season-best time of 2:16.92*. It was the second consecutive top-3 finish for the first-year 800 runner.
- The women's triple jumping tandem of sophomore Hagit Salamon and freshman Deanna Young, who each turned in career-best performances. Salamon cracked the 40-foot mark for the first time, finishing second with a mark of 40' ¾". Young, meanwhile, flew 39' 5" - well over a foot beyond her previous best - to place fifth.
* Indicates an altitude-adjusted time.
Team results:Men: 1. Air Force (135), 2. New Mexico (131), 3. Arizona (117), 4. BYU (78), 5. Rice (36), 6. Arizona State (33), 7. Wayland Baptist (22).
Women: 1. BYU (120), 2. San Diego State (99), 3. Arizona (98), 4. Rice (60), 5. New Mexico (59.5), 6. New Mexico State (34), 7. Air Force (22), 8. Wayland Baptist (21), 9. UNLV (15), 10. Utah (14), 11. Arizona State (11).