New Mexico head track and field coach Joe Franklin said he was lucky to have distance runner Elmar Engholm at UNM.
It was easy to see how fortunate the Lobos were to have Engholm on Saturday at the Albuquerque Convention Center for the Don Kirby Elite Invitational.
Engholm, who is from Stockholm, Sweden, ran for a personal best and the second-best time in program history with a time of 4:04.22 to take first place in the mile. Teammate Jake Shelley finished second, clocking in at 4:05.83.
Engholm attributed his career-best performance to the number of quality distance runners that UNM has. The Lobo cross country team took 11th place last year at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
“I’ve had incredible workouts lately,” Engholm said. “Coach Franklin said all along that if I can just get in a good race, find my rhythm and run fast the last quarter, that was what I was going to be in. I was just really happy that I was able to put all of my training into that performance.”
The women milers followed suit.
Nicole Roberts finished in 5:01.91 to take third place, while Kirsten Follett placed fourth with a time of 5:02.21.
The two runners that earned first and second were Jordan Hasay and Shannon Rowbury of team Nike Oregon Pro.
“I knew what kind of time they (Hasay and Rowbury) were going for,” Roberts said. “I thought that I would just stay on them as long as I can. I kind of just used them, really.”
Aasha Marler used the meet to show off her progress in both the long jump and the 60 meter dash.
On Friday, Marler set a personal record of 19 feet, 6 3/4 inches for second place in the long jump. That jump was the fifth best in UNM history.
Yet Marler wasn’t finished there, as on Saturday she set the school record in the 60 meter dash, coming in at 7.57 seconds to place third in her section.
“It’s been going well,” Marler said. “This is the best I’ve felt all season — really, in my career. I never expected it to go this well.”
Franklin said, “If you look at her progression over the last three years she’s gone from a student that was on the bubble, but is now the best sprinter that has been at the University of New Mexico.”
For the men, Kendall Spencer had his best leap this year in the long jump on Friday. He jumped 25 feet, 1 1/2 inches for third place.
In the 800 meters, Gabe Aragon ran to third place (1:50.58).
Runners at Husky Classic
Luke Caldwell led several Lobo runners in the 5000-meter run on Friday at the Husky Classic in Seattle.
Caldwell placed third with a time of 13:42.50, which pushes him into the top 10 in the NCAA. His mark will most likely qualify him for the NCAA Indoor Championships next month in Albuquerque.
For the women, Charlotte Arter earned 17th place in the mile (4:42.74).