The field for the men’s 60-meter dash describes the high level of competition on display at this past weekend’s sixth annual University of New Mexico Cherry and Silver Collegiate Track and Field Competition.
That one event featured eight athletes who, heading into the indoor event at the Albuquerque Convention Center, had already posted times among the top 25 nationally. Sophomore UNM sprinter Ridge Jones was among them, ranked 19th.
The meet boasted many of the nation’s best athletes, roughly 900 from 31 schools. Several athletes came from major institutions such as Arkansas, Southern California, Texas, Georgia, Florida State, Clemson, Arizona, Stanford and Connecticut.
In all, 128 marks ranked among the top 50 in their respective events, including 42 top-10 marks and five No. 1 marks, according to Track & Field Results Reporting System’s list of the NCAA Division I indoor qualifying list.
Charles Lewis receives the baton from Mustafa Mudada during the 4x400 meter relay race Saturday. The UNM team took fifth place at the sixth annual University of New Mexico Cherry and Silver Collegiate Track and Field Competition. The meet boasted many of the nation’s top athletes, roughly 900 from 31 schools. Several athletes came from major institutions such as Arkansas, Georgia, Florida State, Stanford and Connecticut.
Many of those athletes could return to Albuquerque in mid-March, when the Duke City hosts the NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships.
“I keep listening to the announcer say how many Division I-leading marks there are, and it’s just event after event after event after event,” UNM Head Coach Joe Franklin said. “I think that’s what we’re going to see all year.”
Ten Lobo men placed among the top 10 individually at the Cherry and Silver meet, faring strongest in the jumping events.
Redshirt senior Kendall Spencer and sophomore Yannick Roggatz were the highest-placing UNM tandem, taking fourth and eighth place, respectively, in the long jump. Spencer leaped 24 feet and 5 inches meters while Roggatz had a 23-10 3/4 mark.
Senior high jumper Django Lovett attained a final jump identical to that of Clemson University’s Torian Ware, but the Tigers’ jumper bested Lovett based on number of attempts, relegating Lovett to fourth place. Junior Lobo Markus Miller, leaping 2.05 meters, placed in a tie with Southern California’s Viktor Fajoyomi. Both trailed Florida State’s Cristobal Hurtado-Arteaga based on number of attempts.
Freshman sprinter Mustafa Mudada’s second-place finish in the 400 hurdles was the highest among UNM’s athletes, though the event only had six competitors. He clocked a personal-best time of 55.39.
Senior Warrick Campbell recorded UNM’s other fourth-place finish with a 15.85m measurement in the triple jump. Other individual top 10 finishes for the UNM men came from senior Logan Pflibsen in the pole vault (eighth, 5.05m), along with redshirt senior Gabe Aragon (ninth, 1:21.41) and senior Charles Lewis (1:21.42) in the 600-meter run.
The men’s 60 was among the most stacked event of the day. Jones qualified for the last spot in the event finals with a time of 6.75 seconds.
However, Jones jumped the gun in the finals and was disqualified.
Houston’s Cameron Burrell won the race with a 6.55. That time ranks second nationally.
“Those things happen; that’s sport,” Franklin said. “We saw the video and it was unfortunately a false start. He’s a competitor and wants to win. Even though the guy ran the fastest time in the country, Ridge wants to beat him. That’s what it takes to be a great competitor.”
The UNM men’s 4×400 meter relay finished fifth among 11 teams. The team of sophomore Chris Kline, redshirt freshman Cheyne Dorsey, Mudada and Lewis ran a 3:17.52 time.
The UNM women had three top-10 finishes along with a fourth-place finish pentathlon that had seven athletes compete.
Freshman Jannell Hadnot turned in a sixth-place finish in the triple jump, her first time competing in the event, with a 41-8 leap. That ranks third-best in UNM history. Junior Yeshemabet Turner finished eighth in the event with a 41-2 1/4 jump. Turner held the No. 3 spot on UNM’s list until Hadnot bested the mark.
“I think there’s always nervousness, especially when you’re coming into a competition you’ve never done before, because this is my first college competition,” Hadnot said. “I was nervous, but then it all comes down to practice and what you’ve worked for. You have to be confident at the same time.”
Redshirt Sophomore Samantha Bowe scored 3,878 points in the pentathlon, taking fourth place. She won the shot put portion of the event with a 40-10 toss. She posted the second-best score in UNM history.