Lobo Track Keeps Rolling At Cougar Indoor Invitational
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The University of New Mexico men’s and women’s track teams turned in another solid performance today at the Cougar Indoor Team Invitational meet at the Washington State Indoor Practice Facility in Pullman, Wash. New Mexico captured three event victories, including the women’s pole vault where sophomore transfer Bridgid Isworth matched her NCAA provisional qualifying and school record-setting mark of 13-01.50.
The men’s team received another dominating performance by its 3,000-meter runners as sophomore Matt Gonzales led a 1-2-3 Lobo finish. Gonzales clocked a season-best time of 8:25.93, followed by fellow sophomores Ben Ortega (8:31.00) and Nick Martinez (8:40.25). The New Mexico trio, which finished 1-2-4 at last weekend’s Air Force Invitational, crossed the line nearly 15 seconds ahead of the fourth place runner.
New Mexico’s 4x400m relay team of senior Nick Lott, junior Chris Garafola, junior Matt Bishop and sophomore Isaac Burgener took home the third gold medal of the day, coasting to an easy victory with a winning time of 3:19.64.
Elsewhere in the women’s competition, senior Keren Sari-Bentzur finished second in the long jump with a leap of 19-02.00, just 2.5 inches behind former Lobo Angela Whyte of Idaho. The UNM 4x400m relay team also turned in a solid second place effort, finishing with a time of 4:05.88. Freshman Tiara Poland led the way on the track, clocking a season-best time of 1:00.51 to finish fifth.
In other men’s action, senior transfer Mike Pestorich and Bishop finished second and third, respectively, in the 800 meters. Pestorich clocked a time of 1:56.58, 0.1 seconds ahead of Bishop and just 0.69 seconds behind Washington State’s Justin Ireland. Bishop’s 4x400m relay teammates also had good days as Garafola finished third in the 60m hurdles (8.38), while Lott (50.72) and Burgener (51.20) were fourth and sixth, respectively, in the 400 meters.
New Mexico’s men and women return to indoor action next Saturday, Feb. 8 when the Lobos travel to Flagstaff, Ariz. for the annual Mountain T’s Invitational. For complete results of the Cougar Indoor Invite, please visit www.wsucougars.com.