Open Announce

Lobos Earn 14 Podium Spots on Historic Final Day of MW Outdoor Championships

by Alma Solis

CLOVIS, Calif. — The University of New Mexico track & field team earned 14 more podium spots, including champions in six events and podium sweeps in both the women’s 1500m run and 5000m run, as well as some record-breaking performances.

In men’s triple jump, Aidan Quinn reached a season-best mark of 15.58m to become the Lobos’ first event champion of the day.

One other Lobo earned a top-three podium spot in field events. Camillo Dunninger finished in third place in javelin with a mark of 60.19m.

As far as the track events, it was an intense and exciting day for across the board. In the women’s 1500m run, the Lobos dominated to sweep the top-three podium spots. Elise Thorner was the event champion as she ran a time of 4:22.88, while Samree Dishon followed in second with a time of 4:23.25 and Stefanie Parsons in third with 4:24.08.

In the women’s sprints, Tianna Holmes battled through some super close races in the 200m dash and 400m dash. She earned a podium spot in the 400m dash as she ran a time of 52.40s for second place.

The men’s 400m dash was a tight one but the Lobos took two of the three top spots. Jevon O’Bryant won the event with a time of 45.98s, while Jovahn Williamson came in third place with a time of 46.17s.

The men’s 800m final followed the trend of being an intense, close race. Matthew Larkin was leading ever so slightly at the finishing stretch, but a surprise kick by Colorado State’s Ryan Berkmeier on the outside pushed Larkin to second. He still finished with an outstanding performance and a time of 1:49.72.

Rivaldo Leacock followed this with a phenomenal, dominant performance in the men’s 400m hurdles finale. He ran a time of 50.04s in the event, earning the crown and breaking both a facility record and school record. The previous school record of 50.15 was set in 1978, going untouched for nearly 44 years before Leacock toppled it tonight.

In the men’s 200m dash, three Lobos battled through a fast neck-to-neck race. Williamson earned his first gold medal in the championships with a time of 20.99s. The top three times in the event were only .02 seconds apart from each other. Victor Akhalu placed fourth with a time of 21.25s and O’Bryant came in fifth with a time of 21.41s.

The Lobos earned their third and final sweep of the championships (second of the day) in the women’s 5000m. Gracelyn Larkin earned the champion title with a time of 15:49.20, while Emma Heckel came in second at 15:52.78 and Amelia Mazza-Downie completed the sweep in third with a time of 16:02.58.

The night ended on a historic note as the men’s 4x400m relay team of Victor Akhalu, Jovahn Williamson, Rivaldo Leacock and Jevon O’Bryant won the event for the very first time in UNM program history. The Lobos dominated their competition with a time of 3:09.68.

Quite a few Lobos will head to the NCAA West Regional in Fayetteville, Ark., in a couple weeks. As other conference championships around Division I end this weekend, who qualifies for the regional is still to be determined. As of now, the Lobos have 19 qualifiers in various events.

To keep up with all things Lobo track & field, follow @UNMLoboXCTF on Twitter and Instagram.