SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The penultimate meet of the 2022-23 season for the University of New Mexico track and field team begins Wednesday, the first day of the NCAA West Region Preliminary Championships hosted by Sacramento State.
A group of 24 UNM athletes earned a total of 28 qualifying marks across 16 events at the upcoming regional championship, which determines the ensuing NCAA Championships field.
This group of Lobos qualified with marks in the top 48 in the country’s West region. In each event, the top 12 from the West regional and the top 12 in the East regional being contested in Jacksonville, Florida, advance to the NCAA Championships.
The NCAA Championships are set for June 7-10 and will be held at Mike A. Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Among the Lobos to watch this week:
UNM’S STRONGEST EVENT: On paper, it unquestionably is the women’s 10,000, which has semifinals on Thursday and finals on Friday. The Lobos boast two of the top distance runners in the country, Amelia Mazza-Downie and Gracelyn Larkin, who rank fifth and 11th, respectively on the NCAA performance list. Mazza-Downie broke Weini Kelati’s school record in the event on April 13, cruising to a lifetime best of 32 minutes, 7.62 seconds.
NEXT BEST? Out of the gate, it could be the men’s long jump, the first round of which kicks off the meet on Wednesday. A dynamic duo of Lokesh Sathyanathan and Jake Burley went 1-2 in the Mountain West Championship meet. Sathyanathan’s championship-winning jump of 8.02 meters is the best by any Lobo this year and has him seeded fourth regional.
OUTDOOR OPPORTUNITY: Ethan Brouw garnered All-American status in the men’s 800 meters during the 2023 indoor season and tries to replicate that achievement in Sacramento. If he runs his seed time (1:48.12), it should be enough to advance.
SENIOR MOMENTS: Sprinter Tianna Holmes is going to be busy as she comes down the stretch of her senior year. She is competing in both the 400 (she narrowly fell short of nationals at last year’s regional) and 200, and those two first-round qualifiers are 80 minutes apart on Thursday.