Lobo Distance Runners Race to Personal Records, Postseason Position at Stanford
March 30, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. — The Lobos came into this weekend looking for some strong times.
They left with a number of big personal records.
The University of New Mexico's distance runners recorded nine career bests this weekend at the highly competitive Stanford Invitational, while staking multiple claims to potential postseason bids.
Headlined by Charlotte Arter’s new school record in the 1500-meter run, the Lobo harriers rewrote the New Mexico record books with times that could factor in at the NCAA Championships in May and June.
Arter was one of the Lobos looking to gain inroads for the postseason. She raced to a time of 4 minutes, 19.03 seconds in the first section of the women’s 1500, claiming third in the section and fourth overall.
Running in her first track and field race for New Mexico after redshirting the indoor season, Arter broke the Lobo record of 4:20.38 set by Kirsten Leonard in 1985.
Chloe Anderson also competed in the 1500, notching a personal-record time of 4:27.08 that won the fifth section.
Arter and Anderson continued posting stellar times in the 800, as Anderson zoomed to a 13th-place finish in the main section and Arter claimed a fifth-place finish in the “B” section.
Anderson’s time of 2:08.08 moved her to seventh all-time in the 800, while Arter’s time of 2:10.61 would rank 11th all-time.
The middle-distance success, however, was just one instance of New Mexico’s success this weekend.
All four women competing the 5000 at Stanford’s Cobb Track and Angell Field registered personal records, including two that broke into the school record books.
Imogen Ainsworth and Janna Mitsos both clocked strong times in the third section of the 5K, with Ainsworth finishing 13th in the section with a 16:27.01 time and Mitsos taking 15th in the section with a 16:28.46 time.
As a result, Ainsworth climbed to sixth all-time at New Mexico in the 5000 and Mitsos moved up to seventh all-time.
Also in the third section of the 5000, Kirsten Follett and Shawna Winnegar raced to career-best times of 16:45.91 and 16:47.21, respectively. The pair finished back-to-back in the section, placing 25th and 26th.
The final Lobo competing was Kendra Schaaf, who sizzled to a 34:30.11 time in the 10000. Schaaf placed sixth in her heat, while also moving to 10th in the 10K the New Mexico history.
On the men’s side, New Mexico came away with more lifetime bests.
Alex Herring set a personal record in the men’s 1500, zipping to a time of 3:48.26 and taking second in the fifth of seven sections. Also in the fifth section was Elmar Engholm, who clocked a 3:49.29 time to place fourth in his first track race as a Lobo.
Gabe Aragon notched his own best in the metric mile as well, running to a 3:54.73 time in the seventh section. His seventh-place time in the heat was followed up by JP Cordova (11th, 3:55.65) and Logan Rosenberg (13th, 3:59.05).
Patrick Zacharias added another personal record for New Mexico in the 5000, posting a time of 14:01.65 to take fourth in his section.
One final Lobo competed on Friday, as Graham Thomas tallied a new personal record of 3:55.58 in the 1500 at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival to place 14th.
With all of the new personal records set this weekend, New Mexico also gained considerable traction in regards to the postseason.
Heading to Stanford, the Lobos’ goal was to post results this weekend that finish the season ranked in the top 48 in NCAA's West Region.
If any Lobos accomplish that, they would consequently qualify to the NCAA First-Round Qualifying Meet at the end of May and potentially obtain an opportunity to advance to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships in June.
After this weekend’s competition, a handful of New Mexico runners made strong bids for a top-48 time.
Arter’s time in the 1500 would rank first in the nation prior to competition this weekend, as would Zacharias’ and Schaaf’s marks. Ainsworth (second in NCAA), Mitsos (third) and Herring (eighth) are also among the Lobos would are in tentative postseason position.
And while those ranks will be affected — in some cases considerably — by this weekend’s competition across the nation, the Lobos still are in good shape to have those times be relevant come May.
Most the distance runners won’t compete again until mid-April, but the rest of the Lobos’ track and field team will make strides for the postseason next week at the Don Kirby Tailwind Invitational, New Mexico’s one outdoor home meet.