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Track & Field: Coach and team runoff with titles

The New Mexico men’s and women’s track teams swept the team titles at the Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Championships on Saturday.

The victory was the second in two years for the men, and the first such title for the women.

Head coach Joe Franklin earned MW Coach of the Year honors for both teams, becoming the first MW coach to take home both honors in the same year.

The UNM men tallied 166.5 points for first place, while Colorado State finished in second with 133 points and Air Force claimed third with 128 points. Utah State (109.5), Wyoming (86), and Boise State (34) competed the team standings.

Distance runner Luke Caldwell earned two first-place medals for UNM. Caldwell took the 5000-meter on Friday with a time of 15:20.09 and won the 3000 meter race on Saturday, clocking in at 8:34.60.

In the 3000 meters, Patrick Zacharias and Adam Bitchell finished second and third, respectively, behind Caldwell. The trio became the first group in MW history to take the top three spots in the 3000.

Bitchell also took second (15:21.67) in the 5000-meter with Zacharias in third (15:25.22).

In the field, Warrick Campbell won the triple jump with a mark of 51 feet, 4 1/2 inches. Kendall Spencer defended his championship in the long jump with a MW Championship record leap of 25-9 1/4.

Django Lovett followed suit by tying the MW record with a jump of 7-2 1/2 in the high jump.

The Lobo men also took home the 4×400 relay with a time of 3:17.75 thanks to the team of Chris Kline, Mustafa Mudada, Cheyne Dorsey and Charles Lewis, who also placed second (48.42) in the 400.

Elmar Engholm earned a third-place finish in the mile, coming in at 4:21.27.

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UNM’s final medalist was Logan Pflibsen’s bronze finish in the pole vault with a height of 17 3/4.

The women cruised to their first conference title with 148.5 points, nearly double that of second place Wyoming (84 points).

San Diego State scored 75 points for third, Colorado State had 67 points for fourth, Boise State was fifth with 65 points, Utah State (sixth, 58), Fresno State (seventh, 50), UNLV (eighth, 46), Air Force (ninth, 37.5) and Nevada (10th, 32) rounded out the team standings.

The distance runners were key components of the women’s title.
Charlotte Arter won the mile (4:56.73) and claimed second in the 3000 (10:02.24), while Chloe Anderson finished second in the mile and the 800 meters.

In the 60-meter sprint, Aasha Marler earned second (7.53) and Kayla Fisher-Taylor was third (7.53).

Two women set school records for the Lobos. Marler leapt a UNM record 20-5 in the long jump for first place, while Margo Tucker cleared 13-2 1/4 for gold in the pole vault. Annie Stirling had the same mark as Tucker but was second due to the number of misses.

Tucker became the first pole vault winner for UNM since 2003.


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