The first day of the Mountain West Track and Field Championships proved to be a record breaking one for the University of New Mexico distance medley relay teams.
The men’s DMR , led by the NCAA defending mile champion Josh Kerr, finished in first with a time of 9 minutes, 33.41 seconds. Per NCAA protocol, the time was converted for altitude, coming in
at 9:24.73. This time would be good for the NCAA record, which currently stands at 9:25.97 and was set by Texas in 2008. However, altitude conversions don’t count towards official records, so the record will stand as unofficial.
“Every person on that start line and every person on our team did exactly what they were supposed to do,” Kerr said in a release. “That definitely made my position easier to really anchor us well.”
It breaks the UNM record of 9:30.07, which the Lobos set at last year’s Mountain West Championships. For the men, the win marks back-to-back DMR titles, becoming the first team to do so since Colorado State won three in a row from 2013-2015.
The women’s DMR team set a new UNM record en route to a second place finish in the event. Led by Ednah Kurgat, the team finished in 11:07.88 (10:57.78 converted), setting a new school record. The time was also faster than the previous Mountain West record, but first place Boise State was just a little bit faster, finishing in 11:05.39 (10:55.32 converted).
The relay begins with a 1200-meter leg, followed by an 400-meter leg, an 800-meter leg and then finally a 1600-meter leg. Kerr and Kurgat anchored their teams running the final and longest leg. Both teams seem likely to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Cameron Goeldner is a sports beat reporter and photographer for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s soccer and softball but also contributes content for baseball, basketball, football and track and field. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @goeldfinger.