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Wharton and Sleeter Go 1-2 in 800m to Close Don Kirby

  The University of New Mexico closed the Don Kirby Elite Invitational with a win, three runner-up results and two top-three finishes at the Albuquerque Convention Center on Friday.

In addition, the Lobos produced some top times in the Mountain West to bring to a close the two-day meet in which UNM had a win and a school record set on day one.

Max Wharton (800m) picked up his second win of the indoor season after winning the 800-meter race, beating out fellow Lobo Gavin Sleeter by 0.20 seconds for the win. Wharton crossed the line in 1:50.28 (1:49.67 converted for altitude) compared to Sleeter’s 1:50.48 (1:49.87 converted). Both Lobos recorded personal bests with their times and Sleeter finished 3.09 seconds ahead of the next finisher to further their impressive performances.

In addition to Sleeter’s runner-up result, Harrison Smith III completed the mile in 4:13.54 (4:08.02 converted), while Carlos Salcido added another top result this season with a 46.65 (46.76 converted) in the 400-meter dash, 0.19 seconds behind the winner. His time currently holds as the fastest time in the Mountain West in the 400-meter this season and is the fourth-fastest time recorded in program history.

The Lobos added two top-three results in the mile with Lydia Hallam running a 4:53.14 (4:46.76 converted) and Elise Thorner in the 800-meter at a season-best 2:10.53 (2:09.80 converted) in highly competitive fields. Thorner finished just 0.01 seconds out of second, and currently holds the third-best time in the event in the MW.

Diamond Black once again set a personal best in a field event, jumping a mark of 39-8 (12.09m) on her first attempt of the morning in the triple jump, ultimately finishing with that as her best mark of the day to finish 15th out of 45 competitors. It is the second personal best for Black at the Don Kirby after setting a personal best in the long jump on Thursday.

Other notable results turned in on Friday was a 6.81, 6.809 to be exact (6.83 converted) by Lawrence Johnson in the 60-meter preliminary round, in which Johnson just missed on qualifying for the finals by 0.009 seconds. His time however, was not only a personal best, but also the second-fastest recorded by a Mountain West athlete this season. Also of note, Elijah Lilly’s 6.86 (6.88 converted) in the qualifying round, which advanced him to the preliminary round, was the fourth-best time in the MW this season.

Cathilee Mullings registered a season-best result in the triple jump on her first attempt, jumping a 38-7.75 (11.78m) to place her in the top 25 at 23rd.

On Friday evening over in Seattle, several Lobos ran at the Husky Classic, with two top-15 finishes.

Emily Martin finished 10th out of 68 runners in the 5000-meter run with a finish of 16:04.99. However, Martin was the fourth collegiate runner to finish.

Hannah Nuttall was the top Lobo finisher in the 3000-meter run at 9:15.56, placing 15th overall but 12th among collegiate runners. In her first 3000-meter race of the season, Gracelyn Larkin ran a 9:22.92, and Adva Cohen completed the UNM entries with a 9:30.77. As it stands, Larkin’s and Cohen’s times would be the third- and fourth-best times run in the MW this season, respectively.

In the men’s races, the lone entry for the Lobos was William Fuller, who ran the 5000-meter in 14:37.46 in his first appearance at this distance this season.

The Lobos have one final regular-season meet before the Mountain West Indoor Championships, hosted in Albuquerque, with the NAU Tune-Up on Feb. 21.