Kelati, Mile Run Highlights UNM Team Open
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— As promised, Weini Kelati and the women’s mile was the event of the day for The University of New Mexico Lobos on Saturday at the Albuquerque Convention Center.
Running for just the second time this season and the first time in the mile run, Kelati recorded a dominating 4:38.73, 4:32.66 converted for altitude. Finishing 7.9 seconds ahead of fellow Lobo Alondra Negrón, the previous Mountain West leader in the event, Kelati registered the second-fastest time run in the NCAA this season. The junior also holds the second-best time in the NCAA this season in the 5000-meter after registering a 15:14.71 in her only other race to date in the 2019-20 season in December.
Kelati’s time is the also the second-fastest recorded at UNM, giving the runner the top-three times registered in the event in program history. She currently holds the school record in the event with a time of 4:31.70 that she turned in at the 2019 MW Championships and the third-fastest time of 4:33.34 that she also recorded in 2019.
The Lobos would produce the top-five finishers in the mile event, with Negrón finishing in 4:46.63 (4:40.39 converted), followed by Emily Martin in 4:47.15 (4:40.89 converted), Gracelyn Larkin in 4:52.69 (4:46.31 converted) and Lydia Hallam at 4:53.13 (4:46.74 converted). Additionally, all four Lobos recorded personal bests with their times. Brenda Rosales-Coria gave UNM its sixth finisher in the top 10 with a ninth-place result of 5:06.01 (4:59.34 converted), also a personal best.
UNM finished the meet with a total of seven runner-up results including Negrón in the mile, with six of those occurring on the track.
Carlos Salcido ran a 47.30 (47.41 converted) in the 400-meter to finish second, Gavin Sleeter (1:52.20, 1:51.58 converted) and Hallam (2:14.91, 2:14.16 converted) both finished second in the 800-meter, Jay Griffin IV ran a 21.11 (21.18 converted) in the 200-meter to place second and the men’s 4×400 relay team of Max Wharton, Kristian Hansen, Sleeter and Salcido ran 3:18.07 (3:18.51 converted) to finish runner-up.
On his third attempt in the long jump, Tanner Battikha tallied a 24-3.50, (7.40m) to move in to second, which would hold as not only his best mark of the event, but enough to remain in second among the field.
Ryan Chase would join him in the long jump finals, where the senior finished fourth at a mark of 23-7.25 (7.19m) that he recorded on his second attempt. Darryl Thomas made it three Lobos in the top eight with a seventh-place standing of 22-5.75 (6.85m), a personal best for the jumper.
Earlier in the afternoon, Wharton ran a 1:52.49 (1:51.87 converted) in the 800-meter to give UNM two of the top-three finishers, finishing third in the event, and Harrison Smith III gave the Lobos their third, third-place finisher in the mile with a showing of 4:19.05 (4:13.41 converted).
Other highlights included a four, fourth-place finishes for the Cherry and Silver. William Fuller posted a fourth-place time in the mile at 4:21.62 (4:15.92 converted) to go along with Larkin in the women’s mile and a fourth-place finish for Ada’ora Chigbo in the high jump with a clearance of 5-7.25 (1.71m) to start the day. Chigbo cleanly cleared her first two bars of 1.62m and 1.67m on the first attempt and needed two attempts to clear 1.71m, which would be her final clearance of the event. Alejandro Goldston ran the sixth-best time in the 200-meter with a personal-best 21.47 (21.54 converted) to win his heat.
In addition, in the fastest event of the meet, the 60-meter dash, Lawrence Johnson clocked a 6.84 (6.86 converted) to narrowly miss the finals by 0.07 seconds for a top-10 finish. For the second-straight week, Diamond Black set a personal best in the triple jump, this time recording a 38-4.25 (11.69m) on her fourth attempt to finish seventh overall.
The men finished second in the scored meet with 35 points, just five points behind TCU. The women picked up 18 points in the meet to finish fifth overall.
UNM remains at home for its next meet, hosting the NM Collegiate Classic starting Friday, Feb. 7 at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The meet will again be streamed on FloTrack with live results also available.