Lobos Men Finish Third, Women Seventh at MW Outdoor Championships

May 12, 2012

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The University of New Mexico track and field team wrapped up competition at the 2012 Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships with the men placing third with 140 points and the women finishing in seventh place with 76.5 points.

While the Lobos were not able to contest for top honors, they still managed one of their better meets of outdoor season, notching 51 top-ten finishes, 16 medaling performances and a pair of individual championships at the four-day meet hosted by Air Force at the Cadet Outdoor Track & Field Complex.

The men rolled out a strong performance as a team, finishing with over 100 points at the outdoor conference championships for the fourth consecutive year dating back to 2009.

Headlining the men's effort was the sprints, as the Lobos were able to pick up 24 points in those events.

Freshman Beejay Lee was one of the main reasons for this success, as his title in men's 200-meter dash (21.04 seconds) and his silver medal in the 100m (10.49) earned 18 points. Lee's victory in the 200 also broke TCU's streak of six straight champions in the event.

Lamaar Thomas (100m) and JP Cordova (400m) also earned team points for New Mexico in the sprints, with Thomas notching a fifth-place time of 10.64 in the 100m and Cordova registering a seventh-place time of 48.65 in the 400m.

The distance races also contributed well for the men. In the 5000, Sean Stam (15:05.68) and Nicholas Kipruto (15:09.75) captured eight team points with their fourth- and sixth-place finishes, while in the 10000, Kipruto (second, 31:23.54), Stam (third, 31:25.09) and Pierre Malherbe (seventh, 31:53.51) combined for 16 team points.

In the mid-distance races, Sam Evans' first-place time of 3:56.25 in the 1500 netted ten team points for the Lobos, while Evans (2:00.41) and James Senior (1:56.72) tacked on three more points in the 800.

Both hurdlers, Chaz Lewis and De'Vron Walker, posted solid times, as Lewis placed fourth in the 400m hurdles with a 52.91 time, and Walker placed sixth in the 110 hurdles with a 14.33 time. Lewis added five team points, while Walker added three.

Floyd Ross was one of ten Lobos to place top-two in his event (Stephen Nowland/NCAA Photos).

The relays also were bright spots for the Lobos. The men's 4x100 relay team of Lee, Kendall Spencer, Walker and Thomas snapped up eight points with their second-place time of 40.63 and the men's 4x400 relay team of Gizeh Ibañez, Montoya, Lewis and Cordova provided five team points with their fourth-place time of 3:16.21.

Out in the field for the men, three Lobos posted sterling, second-place marks, including Django Lovett's 6-foor, 10.25-inch high jump, Floyd Ross' 51-7.75 triple jump and Logan Pflibsen's 16-8.75 pole vault.

Also contributing team points in the field events were Ty Kirk in the triple jump (fourth, 49-9) and long jump (eighth, 23-2); Michael Ellis (fourth, 194-11), Richard York (sixth,188-7) and Paul Jaramillo (eighth, 177-11) in the javelin; Spencer in the long jump (third, 24-1); and Tyler Jackson in the pole vault (eighth, 15-9).

The decathlon also contributed solid points for the men, as York (7,518 points) took runner-up honors and eight team points and Sam Potter (6,831 points) placed fifth and added four team points.  

On the women's side, however, the success was a little less abundant. Finishing in seventh place with only 76.5 points, the women managed their lowest point output since 2009 (75.5) and their lowest overall rank since 2004 (seventh).

Nonetheless, there still were some solid performances, including the distance team's two silver-medal finishers, Sarah Waldron and Ruth Senior.

Waldron took second in the 5000 with her 17:16.93 time, and Senior did the same in the 10000 with her 36:43.32 time. Both earned eight points.

Also adding team points in the distance races was Senior (fourth, 17:39.68) and Sophia Torres (eighth, 18:04.96) in the 5000, and Lacey Oeding (fifth, 37:30.68) in the 10000.

The rest of the track events also supplied a handful of points.

Kayla Fisher-Taylor placed seventh in the 100 (11.99 time) and fourth in 200 (24.66 time), while Shirley Pitts placed third in the 400 (54.28).

Precious Selmon was one of four Lobo women to win a silver medal (Stephen Nowland/NCAA Photos).

Josephine Moultrie ended up eighth in the 800 (2:20.29) and seventh in the 1500 (4:47.38), while Imogen Ainsworth and Kirsty Milner finished fifth and seventh in the 3000 steeplechase with times of 11:27.12 and 11:39.84, respectively.  

Precious Selmon placed second in the 100 hurdles with her 13.89 time.

The women's 4x400 team of Tawsha Brazley, Rachel Kelchner, Mickey Brown and Pitts clocked a 3:47.90 time for fifth.

Out in the field for the women, only five Lobos placed top-ten, with Marin Schweigert finishing the highest at second with a personal-best 5-7.25 high jump.

Nathalie Busk and Margo Tucker placed third and eighth, respectively, in the pole vault, with Busk reaching a personal-record 12-7.5 and Tucker vaulting 12-3.5.

Yeshemabet Turner and Aasha Marler rounded out the women field event athletes in the top ten, as Turner's 3-9 mark in the triple jump was good for eighth and Marler's 18-1.5 mark in the long jump was also good for eighth.

The TCU women won the MW crown, registering 147 team points. In third was Colorado State (135 points), followed by UNLV (130) in second, San Diego State (103.5) in fourth, Boise State (83) in fifth, Air Force (79) in sixth and Wyoming (63) in eighth.

Air Force's 189.5 team points won the championships for the men, with Boise State (159 points) in second, TCU (127) in fourth, Colorado State (100.5) in fifth, and Wyoming (96) in sixth.

Air Force's Ralph Lindeman was named the Men's Coach of the Year, and Darryl Anderson of TCU was named Women's Coach of the Year.

Boise State's Kurt Felix earned the Men's Outstanding Performance for his work in the heptathlon, and the Women's Outstanding Performance went to Amanda Bingson from UNLV for her effort in the hammer throw.

With the conclusion of the conference championships, New Mexico's outdoor season has ended for most of the team. A handful will travel to the NCAA First-Round Qualifying Meet in Austin, Texas, on May 24-26 as they try their luck at making it to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa on June 6-9.