Ashton Secures NCAA Regional Bid At Mt. SAC Relays
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/19/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

April 19, 2008

WALNUT, Calif. - University of New Mexico junior transfer Mat Ashton clocked a NCAA regional qualifying time of 14:09.78 in his first 5,000-meter race of the outdoor season late Friday night at the Mt. SAC Relays. Ashton, who was 15th in the Olympic Development section, turned in the 10th regional qualifying mark of the season for the Lobos.

Already an NCAA provisional qualifier in the 10,000, Ashton ran over two seconds under the regional standard in the 5K (14:12.00) and was just 11 seconds out of the top-10.

In other Friday action at Mt. SAC, sophomore Deanna Young was an easy winner in the university triple jump competition with a top mark of 40' 10 1/4" (12.45m). Back on the track, true freshman Chris Keeling clocked a season-best time of 10.96 - the best by a Lobo in two years - in his heat of the university 100 and redshirt freshman Ryan Steadman was sixth in the university 800 race with a season-best time of 1:51.81.

UNM also had several strong performances in the distance races on Thursday night.

Senior transfer Kara Henry, a regional qualifier in the 3,000 steeplechase, was nine seconds off the qualifying standard in the 5,000 with a time of 17:00.97. Junior transfer Carolyn Boosey was close behind with a time of 17:01.42. All-American skier Polina Ermoshina, meanwhile, clocked a time of 17:41.04 in her collegiate track debut.

Redshirt freshman Alex Willis paced the men on Thursday with a season-best time of 9:30.17 - the best by a Lobo since 2001 - in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Willis, who finished ninth overall, was 23 seconds off the regional qualifying standard.

The Lobos also had several athletes compete at the Azusa Pacific Invitational a few miles away in Asuza, Calif.

Senior Ariel Burr lowered her season best in the 200, finishing fourth overall with a time of 24.14. Fellow senior Kurt Henry clocked a season-best time of 50.00 in the 400, while sophomore Nick Argüelles was ninth overall in the 800 with a time of 1:56.07.

New Mexico's action-packed weekend of competition continues at three different meets on Saturday and Sunday. The field event athletes will be competing at the TCU Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas, while the Southern California contingent continues at the Azusa Pacific Invite. The Lobos wrap up competition when the Mt. SAC Relays collegiate competition resumes on Sunday.