Indoor Track: Isworth Leads Lobo Women On Day Two of MWC Championships
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- University of New Mexico sophomore transfer Bridgid Isworth soared a season-best 13-02.50 to win the pole vault on the second day of the Mountain West Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on Friday at Cadet Field House. Senior Keren Sari-Bentzur then captured her first MWC title in the long jump and second gold medal of the meet, to help the Lobo women move into fourth place with 33 points. The UNM men’s team is currently fifth (14 points), but qualified athletes for finals heats in five events on the track in tomorrow’s final day of competition.
One day after Sari-Bentzur (pentathlon) became just the fourth UNM woman ever to win an indoor conference title, Isworth added her name to the list by bettering her NCAA provisional qualifying pole vault mark by an inch. The Melbourne, Australia native entered the meet ranked 11th in the nation by Trackwire Online and should be qualified to move on to the 2003 NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. (March 12-15).
Meanwhile, Sari-Bentzur became the first woman in program history to win a pair of events at an indoor championship meet with her victory in the long jump. The UNM indoor record holder in the event, Sari-Bentzur won despite recording a mark of just 19-01.25, nearly 10 inches below her career-best. With her second victory in as many days, the Omer, Israel native has accumulated 20 of the Lobos’ 33 points. Isworth and the Lobo distance medley relay team, which placed sixth today, have scored the rest of the UNM points. New Mexico is currently just 12 points behind second place CSU.
On the men’s side, junior Chris Garofola continued his stellar indoor campaign by qualifying for both the 60 and 200-meter dash finals. Garofola nearly put himself in a remarkable three event finals on Saturday, but just missed the cut in the 60m hurdles (8.27*), finishing 0.02 seconds out of the final qualifying spot. However, he clocked the sixth-fastest 60-meter time (7.00*) of the day and finished third in the 200m prelims with a career-best time of 21.83. Junior transfer Ahmed Raji finished just behind Garofola in the 200, clocking a 21.85 (T4th) to advance to Saturday’s finals. Making his first appearance of the season, Raji just missed qualifying for the 60m (7.04*) as well, finishing 0.01 out of the eighth and final qualifying position.
Elsewhere, senior Nick Lott matched the fastest 400m time of the day, running a 49.01 to advance in the event. Fellow senior Mike Pestorich finished seventh in the 800-meter prelims (1:55.03) to advance, while sophomore Nick Martinez clocked an altitude adjusted time of 4:16.26 become squeeze into the mile finals.
In final event action, the men’s distance medley team finished fourth with an altitude adjusted time of 10:17.20, while sophomore transfer Ryan Voge was sixth in the high jump with a mark of 6-04.75. Voge recorded a season-best leap of 6-07.00 in yesterday’s pentathlon competition, a mark which would have been good for second in today’s high jump finals.
The final track and field events get underway at 12:30 p.m. (MST) tomorrow afternoon in Colorado Springs. For complete results of today’s competition visit the official MWC Indoor Championships tournament tracker on www.themwc.com.
Female Team Scores
|3|San Diego State|38|
Male Team Scores