Lovett Advances to Championships at Day One of NCAA West Prelims

May 23, 2013

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AUSTIN, Texas -- One day in, one Lobo is advancing.

After the opening day of the 2013 NCAA West Preliminary competition, the University of New Mexico track and field team advanced one athlete to the national championships and three more to the quarterfinal round of competition.

High jumper Django Lovett qualified to the finals of the men's high jump while mid-distance standouts Charlotte Arter, Josephine Moultrie and Chloe Anderson advanced to Saturday's quarterfinals of the women's 1500-meter run.

Lovett, a junior out of Surrey, British Columbia, placed sixth in the high jump with a 7-foot, 1-inch clearance, becoming the first Lobo in three years to advance to three consecutive NCAA Championships.

As the top 12 finishers in each event at the preliminary round advance to June's NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., Lovett's sixth-place showing guaranteed his spot at the finals for the third straight year.

He is the first Lobo since 1500-meter runner Lee Emanuel in 2009-11 to make back-to-back-to-back national championships in the same event.

Also taking steps to advance were the women's mid-distance stars.

Arter led New Mexico's three women in the 1500 as she placed ninth out of 48 competitors. Arter's clocking of 4 minutes, 22.28 seconds finished third in her heat, but, as the top five finishers from each of the four heats plus the next four fastest times advance, Arter comfortably landed a spot in Saturday's quarterfinal.

Moultrie placed second in her heat with the event's 10th-best time of 4:22.54, while Anderson moved on with her 15th-place time of 4:23.23.

All three will attempt to finish in the top 12 on Saturday in order to qualify to the semifinals of the metric mile at the NCAA Championships.

Three other Lobos also competed in Austin on Thursday. On the men's side, Kendall Spencer just missed advancing to the NCAA Championships as he placed 13th in the long jump (24-10 1/2), while Alex Herring finished 40th in the 800 (1:52.01). For the women, Yeshemabet Turner placed 28th in the long jump (19-5 1/2).

On Friday, four Lobos will be competing: Amber Menke and Margo Tucker in the pole vault; Imogen Ainsworth in the women's 3000 steeplechase; and Elmar Engholm in the men's 3000 steeplechase.

New Mexico action starts with the pole vaulters Menke and Tucker at noon MT, Ainsworth at 7:50 p.m. MT and ends with Engholm in the steeplechase at 8:30 p.m. MT.