Seniors' Performances Lead New Mexico at Cherry & Silver Invite

Jan. 19, 2013

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Two weeks into the season and the Lobos' expectations are already being met.

After opening the season with a strong start last weekend, the University of New Mexico's men's and women's track and field teams continued posting career marks this weekend at the Cherry & Silver Invitational in Albuquerque.

New Mexico notched 22 top-10 finishes over Friday and Saturday at the Albuquerque Convention Center, including eight medaling results.

“There were some really good things,” Lobo head coach Joe Franklin said. “We had some really good performances.”

One of the really good performances came from one of New Mexico's best in Amber Menke. The Albuquerque senior claimed runner-up honors in the women's pole vault, clearing 12-feet, 11 1/2-inches.

“Amber Menke in the vault vaulted well,” Franklin said.

Menke's vault, while not a personal best, tied for the seventh-best performance all-time in the women's pole vault at New Mexico. She now owns three of the top-10 performances in Lobos history.

Seniors also posted top-three finishes in four other events, including three on men's side.

De'Vron Walker posted one of those top results in the men's 60-meter hurdles, as he placed third with an 8.27-second time. Walker, who won his heat, improved on his season best by 0.01 seconds after running an 8.28 time at the season-opening Lumberjack Team Challenge last week.

The second medaling mark for New Mexico came off the vaulting of Robert Warensjo, who barely edged fellow Lobo Logan Pflibsen in the men's pole vault. Both tallied clearances of 16-2 3/4, but Warensjo took less attempts to clear the height, giving him third place to Pflibsen's fourth place.

Sam Evans also registered a bronze finish for New Mexico. His 1:52.70 time in the men's 800 was second in his tightly contested heat and third overall. Logan Rosenberg also competed in the 800, torching his heat to the tune of a 1:58.29 time, placing him eighth overall.

For the women's top-three finish, Shirley Pitts' ran a 1:35.32 time in the 600 on Friday to earn her third place.

But while the seniors racked up strong finishes, a number of other Lobos also performed superlatively.

In the men's track events, Charles Lewis netted a pair of top-10 finishes, racing to a personal-record 49.03 time in the 400 (his first indoor 400 since 2011) and running a 54.37 on Friday in the 400 hurdles.

Freshmen phenoms Carlos Wiggens and Ridge Jones continued their strong collegiate debuts, with both finishing top-10 in the 200 (sixth for Wiggens and ninth for Jones) and posting solid times in the preliminaries of the 60 (7.08 for Wiggens, 6.89 for Jones).

“Ridge Jones and Carlos Wiggens ran well again,” Franklin said in reference to the pair's record-breaking runs at the Lumberjack Team Challenge last week.

Gabe Aragon, JP Cordova and Alex Herring also contributed to the Lobos' effort, as the trio blazed in their heat of the men's mile on Friday, sweeping the top-three finishes in their section.

“The milers last night, those are a bunch of developmental kids that keep getting a lot better and are doing a really positive job running,” Franklin said.

Overall, Aragon placed third, while Cordova finished fourth and Herring sixth.

For the women trackers, Holly Van Grinsven kept her strong pace going in the women's 60 hurdles. After breaking into the all-time top-10 in the event last weekend, she recorded a new career best, zooming to a 8.76 time in the consolation finals to place ninth overall.

Van Grinsven, a freshman heptathlete, also posted PRs in high jump (5-2 1/4) and the long jump (18 1/4).

New Mexico's all-freshman 4x400 relay team also finished top-10, as the squad of Zoe Howell, Van Grinsven, Jasmin McCray and Haley Sanner combined to clock a 3:53.51 time.

Two final women also scored top-10 finishes, as Julie Brasher's 5:16.68 mile time was good for fifth and Yeshemabet Turner's 18-10 3/4 long jump was enough for eighth.

New Mexico returns to action next weekend as they host the New Mexico Invitational, the second of four-straight home meets, back in the Albuquerque Convention Center.