Outdoor Track: Lloyd Leads Lobos Into Final Day of MWC Championships
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Senior David Lloyd qualified for the finals in both the 100-meters and 400-meter hurdles to lead the University of New Mexico men on the third day of the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Great Friends of UNM Track Stadium today. Meanwhile, senior Keren Sari-Bentzur and sophomore Bridgid Isworth notched second place finishes in the long jump and pole vault, respectively, to pace the Lobo women. The New Mexico women are currently in sixth place with 21 points, while the men are fifth with ten points heading into Saturday’s final day of competition.
Ranked 11th in the MWC entering the 100-meter prelims, Lloyd blistered the field with the day’s fastest time, a career-best 10.54 (10.57 altitude adjusted). Lloyd, the conference runner-up in the 400-meter hurdles last year, later ran the third-fastest qualifying time in that event, crossing the line in 51.91 (52.02 altitude adjusted). The Kingston, Jamaica native will compete in four events, including the men’s 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays, tomorrow in his final collegiate appearance in Albuquerque.
UNM also had a pair of juniors record solid performances in the sprints. Ahmed Raji recorded a career-best and NCAA Midwest Regional qualifying time of 20.96 (21.03 altitude adjusted), second-fastest of the afternoon, to advance in the 200, while Chris Garofola moved on the 100-meter finals with a time of 10.87 (10.90 altitude adjusted). True freshman RaShawn Jackson, from Hobbs, N.M., was the third Lobo finalist of the day. Jackson’s season-best time of 48.44 (48.55 altitude adjusted) secured his place in Saturday’s finals.
Junior transfer Amanda Swann paced the women on the track, advancing to the finals in the 1,500 with a season-best altitude adjusted time of 4:42.62 (4:46.72).
In the field, Isworth, Bentzur and true freshman Chris Ashcraft provided the UNM highlights. Isworth narrowly missed sweeping the MWC indoor and outdoor pole vault titles, falling short in a gripping one-on-one battle with Utah’s Brooke LoBue. Both vaulters failed to clear 13-01.50 and finished with a mark of 12-11.75. LoBue, however, secured the gold medal when she cleared the bar on her first attempt, while Isworth was successful on her second try.
Meanwhile in the long jump, Bentzur continued her solid meet performance by placing second with a mark of 19-01.50. UNM’s high-point performer with 13 of the Lobos’ 21 points, Sari-Bentzur will compete in the high jump tomorrow to conclude her three-year career in Albuquerque.
On the men’s side, Ashcraft turned in one of the more stunning performance of the day for New Mexico. The former La Cueva High School stand-out surpassed his previous season-best by nearly six inches in the pole vault, qualifying for the Midwest regional meet and placing eighth with a mark of 16-04.75. Another La Cueva product, junior Jordan Parker, also smashed his career-best by more than eight feet with a throw of 163-04 in the finals of the discus (9th).
Elsewhere in the field events, sophomore Jamie Fishencord increased her school record in the hammer with a toss of 157.03.50, but failed to make the finals, finishing 13th overall.
BYU leads the overall women’s standings with 74.5 points, followed by San Diego State with 51.5. Colorado State used a strong performance in the 10,000 meters, which was delayed two hours due to heat concerns, to leap-frog BYU into first place. The Rams enter the final day with 93 points, with the Cougars trailing close with 84 points.
Complete meet results are available on www.themwc.com