Outdoor Track: Lobo Women Knock Off UTEP, 80-78
EL PASO, Texas -- Sophomore Amanda Barnes recorded victories in the shot put, discus and hammer throw to lead the University of New Mexico women's track team to a 80-78 victory over UTEP on Saturday at Kidd Field. The Lobo men won four events on the day, but were defeated 101-78 by the Miners in the team's lone dual meet of the season.
Barnes' dominance in the throws was highlighted by a school record setting performace in the shot put. Despite being the lone competitor in the event, the Carlsbad, N.M. native unleashed a toss of 47-05.25 to break Myra Smith's 1994 mark of 47-05.00. Barnes, who topped Smith's indoor record in the event last month, also surpassed the NCAA regional qualifying standard by nearly two feet.
Sophomore Veronica Gonzales also had a fine meet, taking the javelin with a career best throw of 131-07.00. True freshman Amanda Grover was second with a mark of 123-10.00. Fellow freshman Suzanne Nguyen earned an unopposed victory in the triple jump (36-06.25), while sophomore Amber Nolte was the first collegiate finisher in the pole vault (10-11.75).
On the track, true freshman Kimilia Davis finished second in the 200 with a time of 24.98, while fellow rookie Sandra Maxwell was third in the 400 (57.49). New Mexico finished 2-3 in both hurdle events with senior Keren Sari-Bentzur (14.54) and freshman Tiffany Grigg (15.76) pacing the team in the 100-meter hurdles. Grigg (1:06.45) and Nguyen (1:11.60) led the way in the 400m hurdles. Junior Sarah Gonzales was the runner-up in the 5,000 meters (18:13.34), while sophomore Jacquelyne Gallegos made a surprising return to finish third in the 1,500. Gallegos was sidelined two meets into the 2002 cross country season after suffering a broken back and pelvis in a mid-September car accident.
On the men's side, sophomore Matt Keeran secured his spot in the NCAA regional championship field with a throw of 199-10.00 in the javelin. Keeran finished second, behind UTEP All-American Janne Sakko (220-11.00). Sophomore Derek Mackel picked up hist first career victory in the pole vault (15-09.00), while junior Jason Barkermeyer was second in the shot put (49-07.25).
Back on the track, UNM swept the hurdle events with junior Chris Garofola taking the 110m hurdles (14.76) and senior David Lloyd capturing his second-straight 400-meter hurdles (53.57) title at the Springtime Invitational. New Mexico finished 2-3 in the 800 and 1,500. Sophomore Nate Clem (1:56.00) and junior Sean Flaherty (1:56.58) finished neck and neck in the 800, while sophomore Cameron Clarke (4:00.16) and Flaherty (4:01.67) led the way in the 1,500. Junior transfer Ahmed Raji paced the Lobos in the sprints, finshing second in the 200 with a time of 21.72 after false starting in the 100.
New Mexico will be in split squad action next weekend with the Lobos' top athletes joining the field at the elite Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas (April 3-5). The remainder of the team will travel down to Las Cruces for the NMSU Invitational on Saturday, April 5.
**Complete meet results can be found at www.utepathletics.com/xcountry&track/032903.htm