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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Track & Field: UNM fifth among top teams at invitational

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By Di Linh Hoang / New Mexico Daily Lobo

Margo Tucker takes second in women’s pole vault, adding eight points to New Mexico’s score. UNM competed Saturday against nine other teams, including Louisiana State University and Notre Dame, at the New Mexico Team Invitational in the Albuquerque Convention Center.

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The close familiarity between Charlotte Arter and Chloe Anderson was showed off during Saturday’s New Mexico Team Invitational.

Anderson helped pace Arter to a second-place finish in the women’s mile with a time of 4:44:40, the second fastest time in UNM history. Arter returned the favor in the 800 meter race by assisting in Anderson’s time of 2:11:40, which was good for first.

Anderson said she was boxed in at the beginning of the race and felt she might have set a personal best if she had not been stuck.

“It’s good because we run together and train together and we’ve raced together for years. We know each other’s race tactics, which helps a lot,” Anderson said. “At the same time we can give it back as well when we’re racing.”

Those finishes helped the UNM women’s track and field team take third place (87.5 points) among the nine teams in competition. The Lobos finished behind LSU (151 points) and Nebraska (121 points).

In the field, freshman Jannell Hadnot leapt 42 feet, 3 1/2 inches to claim second place in the triple jump. Hadnot’s mark was the second best in UNM’s history. Margo Tucker took second in the pole vault with a mark of 12-8 1/4.

“It was fun,” head coach Joe Franklin said. “It was nice to know the team score and people competing for team championships.”

The men’s team had a little more trouble against the elite competition at the Albuquerque Convention Center. UNM grabbed fifth place (61 points), while Nebraska took the title with 138.5 points and LSU nabbed second (103). Notre Dame (69 points) and TCU (66 points) finished third and fourth, respectively.

Senior Django Lovett was the men’s only individual winner. Lovett jumped 7 1/4 in the high jump for the victory.

“I felt good coming into competition,” he said. “My body is feeling healthy and I’m consistently clearing a good mark and I think something good is going to pop off the next couple of weeks.”

The distance races were where the men got a significant portion of their points. Luke Caldwell led the team with a third-place finish in the mile, clocking in at 4:06:38.

Jake Shelley chipped in with a third-place finish of his own in the 3000 meters with a time of 8:46:68.

The men also had a couple of athletes score in the field. Yannick Roggatz (third, 24-1 1/2) and Kendall Spencer (fourth, 23-10 3/4) placed in the long jump.

“I think we’re positioning ourselves for the conference championship and maybe we can compete on both sides this year,” Franklin said.