Lobos Post Solid Showing at Brutus Hamilton Invitational

April 27, 2013

BERKELEY, Calif. — The University of New Mexico track and field team posted 35 top-10 finishes and numerous season bests as it gained solid experience at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

With the Mountain West Outdoor Championships less than two weeks away, the Lobos showed improvement in several events as they combined for a strong team performance at the University of California, Berkeley's Edwards Stadium.

One of the highlights of the meet was New Mexico's showing in the field events, as it captured a handful of podium finishes.

Leading the charge was Amber Menke, who won the women's pole vault with a clearance of 13-feet, ½-inch. Menke was followed up in the pole vault by Margo Tucker (third, 12-6 ¼) and Annie Stirling (fifth, 12 ½).

The women also received a solid finish from Lexi Ross, who claimed second in the javelin throw with a toss of 140-8.

The Lobos claimed more top-10 finishes in the jumps, including Samantha Bowe's season-best mark in the high jump of 5-6 ½. Bowe, who took fourth in the open section, was followed by Holly Van Grinsven (10th, 4-10 ½). Marin Schweigert nabbed eighth in the invitational section with a 5-2 ½ clearance.

Casey Dowling snagged a solid distance in the invitational section of the long jump, as her 18-1 ½ leap took sixth. Van Grinsven claimed eighth with an 17-11 ½ jump.

Aasha Marler tallied another two good marks, as she took fourth in the open long jump (17-9 ¾) and seventh in the triple jump 38-1 ½.

The men's jumpers also had a experience-filled showing at Cal, racking up more top-10 finishes.

Ty Kirk won the open section of the men's long jump with a 22-10 leap while also taking third in the invitational section of the triple jump with a season-best jump of 49-8 ¼.

Kendall Spencer hauled in a second-place finish in the invitational section of the long jump, leaping 24-9 ¼, while Zach Smith's 22-9 ¾ leap merited sixth.

High jumper Django Lovett also performed well, registering a mark of 6-11 for the third-straight meet. He placed third.

In the pole vault, Robert Warensjo acquitted himself nicely with a vault of 15-7 ¼ to place second.

Michael Ellis and Marcus Simon also placed top-10, as Ellis' toss of 178-11 in the javelin took fifth and Simon's throw of 177-9 claimed sixth.

The track events also posted solid marks, especially the women's hurdles and sprints and the men's mid-distance.

For the women, Shirley Pitts finished third in the 400-meter dash with a 55.59-second time, while Tawsha Brazley came in close behind in seventh with a 56.65 clocking. Kayla Fisher-Taylor placed fifth in the 200 with a 24.71 time.

In the 100 hurdles, Precious Selmon (sixth in the invitational section; 14.44), Van Grinsven (third in open; 14.99) and Bowe (fourth in open; 15.32) also did well.

Janna Mitsos also claimed ninth with a 4:38.60 time in the 1500.

On the men's side, Alex Herring's second-place time of 1:50.15 in the 800 led three top-10 finishers, which also included JP Cordova (1:51.44) in fifth and Gabe Aragon (1:51.60) in sixth.

Derek Montoya placed ninth in the 400 (season-best 49.47) and Graham Thomas took sixth in the 3000 steeplechase (9:44.33) to round out the men's individual top-10 finishers.

The Lobos finish up the weekend tomorrow as the distance squad competes at the Payton Jordan Invitational. Check back Monday for a full recap and results.