Lobos Drenched as Weather Delay Disrupts Advancing Athletes to NCAAs

May 25, 2013


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AUSTIN, Texas — Everything's bigger in Texas, including the weather delays.

At the second day of the 2013 NCAA West Preliminary competition, the University of New Mexico track and field team braved a seven-hour weather delay but couldn't advance athletes to the national championships.

The Lobos were unable qualify any of their four athletes competing on Friday at Mike A. Myers Stadium to the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships next month in Eugene, Ore.

However, the thunderstorms certainly didn't help anyone's cause.

Torrential downpours and lightning activity throughout the afternoon and early evening resulted in a weather delay that lasted from shortly before 2 p.m. CST until 8 p.m. CST when events were restarted.

Consequently, a number of field events were delayed during the middle of action and the track events were pushed back three hours, resulting in races being contested during early Saturday morning.

Two New Mexico athletes competing Friday, pole vaulter Amber Menke and Margo Tucker, were among the competitors most affected by the delay, as their event was split into two disparate parts.

The women's pole vault started at 1 p.m. CST, and due to the delay, didn't end until nearly 10:30 p.m. with the seven-hour break thrown in between.

Menke, however, managed to post a solid showing, just missing the requisite finish of 12th place or better to advance. She tied for 16th place out of 48 competitors with a clearance of 13 feet, 1 ¾ inches.

While she did clear the same height as the final qualifier—12th-place Stephanie Richartz of Illinois—Menke didn't move on due to the number of misses she had at previous heights (seven misses compared to Richartz's four).

Tucker also competed, tying for 36th with a 12-2 clearance.

The Lobos were also treated to some late-night/early-morning action in the men's and women's 3000-meter steeplechase.

Imogen Ainsworth, running in the women's steeplechase, was vying with barriers and a water pit right around midnight in Austin. She finished 33rd with a 10:33.73 time and did not advance.

Elmar Engholm, in the men's steeplechase, was racing even later as his heat (the third of three sections) wasn't competed until right before 1 a.m. Saturday morning. Nonetheless, Engholm impressed with his time of 8:49.66, which took fifth in his heat and set a personal record that ranks fifth all-time at UNM.

However, the freshman from Sweden missed out on advancing to the NCAAs as he finished 18th overall.

On Saturday, 11 Lobos will be competing. Out in the field, pole vaulter Robert Warensjo and triple jumpers Floyd Ross, Ty Kirk and Yeshemabet Turner will take on first round action. On the track Charlotte Arter, Josephine Moultrie and Chloe Anderson will vie with the quarterfinal round in the women's 1500, while Luke Caldwell, Patrick Zacharias, Janna Mitsos and Shawna Winnegar compete in the 5000.

New Mexico action starts with Warensjo at noon MT and ends with Caldwell and Zacharias in the men's 5K at 7:45 MT.

Check back tomorrow for a recap on Saturday's results as well as a full recap of the NCAA West Preliminary Round.