New Mexico Set to Host Elite Don Kirby Invite
Over the last three weeks, the Lobos have hosted some tremendous meets with some amazing performances across the board.
But, this fourth meet might just be the best.
The University of New Mexico track & field team welcomes an elite field of collegiate teams and athletes as it hosts the Don Kirby Invitational this Friday and Saturday at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
With the championship season on the horizon — the Mountain West Championships are coming to Albuquerque in two weeks and the NCAA Championships are in a month — the Lobos are looking to capture strong results in a bid to for postseason position.
“We’re continuing to get things progressing toward the conference and national championships,” New Mexico head coach Joe Franklin said. “We keep adding people to the top lists in the conference and the NCAA.”
Some Lobos are likely in contention for berth to the NCAA Championships next month in College Station, Texas, but this meet gives all the athletes competing the opportunity to either stake a claim to an NCAA berth or get in position for the conference meet.
Although there’s no qualification criteria for the MW Championships, the top 16 athletes (and top 12 relay teams) in the nation qualify to the national championships.
And strong performances this week could potentially translate into postseason-caliber marks down the line.
Looking to make stride this week are the Lobos’ milers, led by Michael Wilson and Ian Crowe-Wright on the men’s side and Kieran Casey, Alondra Negron Texidor and Emily Martin on the women’s.
Jonny Glen, Taylor Potter, Linton Taylor, Jared Garcia, Iolo Hughes and Jacob Simonsen will also be running the men’s mile, with Alex Buck and Elizabeth Reyes running the women’s mile and Natasha Bernal and Johanna Briscoe the women’s 3000.
Additionally, the Lobos sprinters will be aiming for strong marks, with Carlos Salcido, Mark Haywood, Isaac Gonzales and Bryan Cutler in the 400-meter dash, Jay Griffin in the 200 and Alejandro Goldston in the 60.
For the women, it will be Shalom Keller and Elisabetta Mackin in the 400, Erynn Caldwell in the 60 and 200 and the duo Larimar Rodriguez and Steffi Jones in the 600.
The middle-distance events will also see action, with Kristian Uldbjerg Hansen and Gavin Sleeter in the men’s 800 and Mackenzie Everett, Samantha Dicker and Kaitlin Franklin in the women’s 800.
New Mexico’s 4×400 meter relays will also look to improve their standings for the conference championships.
In the field events, the Lobo men will compete Tanner Battikha, Miles Brinson and Goldston in the long jump, with Omarei Gregory in the triple jump. Jason Atencio (pole vault) and Brent Dionisio (high jump) will also vie for strong marks in their specialties.
Daniel Lam, Camillo Dunninger and Beau Clafton will also be competing in individual events before taking on the heptathlon at the MW Championships.
The women’s field events will consist of Ada’ora Chigbo, Shannon Fritz and Kyra Mohns in the high jump; Sarah McKeever and Fritz in the pole vault; and Allison Mady in the shot put and weight throw. Kyra Mohns will also see action in individual events as she preps for the MW pentathlon.
New Mexico will also take on an exceptionally competitive field, with four top-25 men’s teams and three top-25 women’s teams among its Division I ranks.
Oregon, with its third-ranked women and 10th-ranked men, headlines the field, which also features Stanford (No. 8 men, No. 12 women), the No. 17 Colorado State men, the No. 21 Washington men, and the No. 25 Arizona State women.
The Lobos, whose women’s squad ranks right outside the top 25 at No. 26, are also welcoming New Mexico Junior College (No. 2 in the NJCAA rankings) and Division II powers West Texas A&M (No. 3 women, No. 16 men), Angelo State (No. 5 women), UC Colorado Springs (No. 10 women), New Mexico Highlands (No. 14 women) and Eastern New Mexico (No. 25 men) to the Convention Center.
The meet starts Friday at 4 p.m., and is followed up Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Check liverunningresults.com throughout the meet for live results and GoLobos.com after the meet Saturday for a full recap.