Freshmen Pace Lobo Track at Lumberjack Team Challenge
Jan. 12, 2013
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Not even a full year into college, and the Lobos' freshmen are competing like veterans.
The Lobos opened the 2013 indoor season with a solid showing at the Lumberjack Team Challenge in Flagstaff, Ariz., notching 24 top-10 finishes. But of those 24 finishes, freshmen posted nine them, including a handful of record-breaking numbers.
Wiggins and Jones first climbed into the record books after posting stellar times in the 60 to open their collegiate careers. Jones clocked an altitude-adjusted time of 6.96 seconds and Wiggins a time of 6.97 in the preliminary round, and bettered that in the finals. Jones finished fifth with a 6.88 adjusted time (tied for fourth all-time in the 60 and the best-ever opening time by a Lobo), while Wiggins placed sixth overall with a 6.96 adjusted time (tied for eighth all-time in the event).
Kendall Spencer also competed in the 60 at J.L. Walkup Skydome, placing eighth with a 7.04 ajusted time.
"Our sprint tradition continues," New Mexico head coach Joe Franklin said of the sprinters. "Kendall was just off a lifetime best as well."
The freshman duo also registered strong times in the 200, with Wiggins claiming runner-up honors with a 22-second adjusted time and Jones placing 12th (22.87 adjusted).
For Van Grinsven, her first collegiate race followed a similar path as her fellow freshmen. Van Grinsven opened in the preliminary round of the 60 hurdles with a 8.97 time, good enough to place her fifth in the event in Lobo history. She finished seventh in the finals with a 9.11 time.
Freshmen also had strong performances in the women's sprints, with three of the four top-10 finishes belonging to the newcomers.
Casey Dowling earned ninth in the 200 (25.57 adjusted), while Zoe Howell (57.86 adjusted) and Jasmin McCray (59.78 adjusted) won their heats and placed fifth and seventh, respectively, in the 400. Kayla Fisher-Taylor, a junior, grabbed third in the 200, as well, with a 25.15 adjusted time.
McCray and Howell also teamed up with Van Grinsven and fellow freshman Haley Sanner to take sixth in the women's 4x400-meter relay. The veteran squad of Mickey Brown, Samantha Bowe, Mia Weaver and Tawsha Brazley finished 10th.
"Zoe did a great job for her first race. She came out and ran really, really well. Jamsin also won her race. Holly ran a really good split in the 4x400, as well. They did a really good job," Franklin said of his freshman.
Julie Brasher, while not a freshman, also did a good job in the women's 800, as the junior finish second with a 2:17.80 adjusted time.
Out in the field, the Lobo upperclassmen took control.
Indoor pole vault record holder Amber Menke won the women's pole vault with a 12-foot, 8 1/4-inch mark, while Margo Tucker tied for second with a 12-4 1/2 clearance. Emily Heisler and Nathalie Busk both reached 11-6 1/2 to tie for sixth, while another freshman, Annie Stirling, claimed ninth with a 11 3/4 mark.
"Having Amber back was great after redshirting [the 2012] outdoor," Franklin said.
Marin Schweigert added to the solid showing in the field events, nabbing a fifth-place finish in the high jump, clearing 5-2 1/4.
The Lobos will return to Albuquerque to open a four-week homestand, starting with the Cherry & Silver Invitational on Friday.