Lobos Seeking Strong Marks at Bryan Clay Invite
The University of New Mexico track & field team is back in action this Thursday and Friday as the Lobos aim to to pick up more experience against top-notch competition at the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, California.
Now that most of the team has competed at least one during the outdoor season, the Bryan Clay Invite hosted by Azusa Pacific provides the team with another chance to compete and improve at a large, high-quality meet.
Over the years, this weekend in April has served at the first full-scale test for New Mexico on the road to the postseason.
With postseason action less than a month away, the Lobos are looking to log key progress as they start to position themselves to compete past the Mountain West Championships.
Right after the conference meet, the top 48 athletes in each event in the NCAA’s West Region advance to the NCAA West Preliminary Championship. From there, athletes can qualify to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.
New Mexico’s distance runners will get a taste of strong competition this weekend after a few opened up outdoors two weeks ago.
Josh Kerr, the two-time reigning NCAA champion in the mile run, will make his outdoor debut at the Cougar Athletic Stadium, running the 1500-meter run.
It was at this meet last year that he registered his personal record of 3:35.99 in the event, a mark that ranks sixth in NCAA history in the event and sparked his run to an NCAA title.
But he won’t be the only distance standout taking the track as a number of Lobos toe the line this week.
Along with Kerr, the men’s distance crew will be represented by Michael Wilson (800/1500), Kristian Uldbjerg Hansen (800/1500), Ian Crowe-Wright (1500), Jonny Glen (1500/3000 steeplechase), Taylor Potter (1500) and Jared Garcia (1500).
For the women, cross country and indoor All-American Weini Kelati takes aim in the 1500 along with Emily Martin, Kieran Casey, Kendall Kelly, Sophie Eckel, Alex Buck, Alondra Negrón Texidor and Charlotte Prouse.
A handful of those runners are slated to double, including Prouse and Negrón Texidor in the 3000 chase and Eckel, Kelly, Martin and Buck in the 5000.
New Mexico’s sprinters, middle-distance runners and hurdlers will also see action.
Carlos Salcido (200/400) leads a sizeable pack of Lobos in the men’s sprints, with Jay Griffin (100/200), Mark Haywood (200/400), Isaac Gonzales (200/400), Bryan Cutler (200/400) and Alejandro Goldston (200) also racing.
Beau Clafton, Goldston, Salcido and Griffin are also in the hunt for improvement in the 4×100 meter relay.
On the women’s side, Kyra Mohns looks to continue making strides in the 400 hurdles, while Steffi Jones and Larimar Rodriguez eye good times in the 800.
Erynn Caldwell is also slated to race in the the 100 and 200.
In the field events, Mountain West leaders Ryan Chase and Tanner Battikha are set to compete in the long jump, with Omarei Gregory entered in the triple jump and Brent Dionisio in the high jump.
Additionally, Malik Matthews-Gordon is entered in the javelin and Daniel Lam and Jason Atencio are entered in the pole vault.
Ada’ora Chigbo (high jump) and Allison Mady (shot put) lead the women field-event athletes, with Shannon Fritz (high jump/pole vault), Katherine Whiting (pole vault) and Sara Reyes (javelin) also ready for action.
The meet kicks off Friday with the 5000s and steeplechases, followed by the rest of the meet on Saturday. Check GoLobos.com on Saturday evening for a full recap.