The New Mexico State track and field team wrapped up its competition at the 2014 Western Athletic Conference Outdoor Championships in Orem, Utah, on Saturday, May 17, with a fourth-place overall finish.
The Aggies finished with a total of 120.50 points which was fourth to Idaho (182.50), Grand Canyon (164) and Utah Valley (128). The Aggies finished ahead of Texas-Pan American (81), UMKC (77), Seattle U (41), Cal State Bakersfield (13) and Chicago State (12).
“Everything went well for us today and we got everything we wanted,” head coach Orin Richburg said. “Everything that we were favored in on paper we got so everything we needed to accomplish today we did. Perkins and the sprinters did well for us. Akuadasou (Ezenyilimba) got us some points in the shot put so that helped and the javelin was big for us today too. Overall we did well and we did what we needed to do.”
The day was highlighted by sophomore Latrice Brooks, who took first team All-WAC honors with her first-place finish in the 800-meter run. She finished with a time of 2:11.25 and earned 10 points for the Aggies while taking the individual championship. Brooks also earned first team All-WAC for her performance in the 4x400-meter relay.
In the finals of the 100-meter dash, junior Jenna Banegas earned a third-place finish with a time of 11.79, earning six points for NM State. Senior Alishia Perkins earned a fourth-place finish in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.82, earning five points for the Aggies.
Perkins led the way in the 200-meter dash where she finished second with a time of 24.03 and earned eight points for NM State. Banegas finished fourth with a time of 24.32, earning five points. Freshman Paige Patterson finished sixth with a time of 24.60, earning three points and senior Brianna Cromartie finished seventh with a time of 24.64, earning two points.
Cromartie led the Aggies in the 400-meter dash where she finished second with a time of 55.43, earning eight points. She was followed by Patterson, who finished third with a time of 55.58 and earned six points.
Perkins, Cromartie, Banegas and Patterson combined to make up the Aggies’ 4x100-meter relay team for the finals. The team became individual WAC Champions with a first-place finish at a time of 45.37 and earned 10 points for NM State.
Perkins, Cromartie and Banegas teamed with Brooks to compete in the 4x400-meter relay where the team earned a second-place finish with a time of 3:44.87 and earned eight points for the Aggies.
Perkins leaves the WAC Championships with first team All-WAC honors in the 200-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay and the 4x200-meter relay and she was second team All-WAC in the 100-meter dash. Banegas was first team All-WAC in the 100-meter dash, 4x100-meter relay and the 4x400-meter relay and also took home second team All-WAC honors in the 200-meter dash.
Cromartie was first team All-WAC in the 400-meter dash and in the 4x100-and-400-meter relays. Patterson also earned first team All-WAC honors in the 4x100-meter relay and the 400-meter dash and earned second team All-WAC in the 200-meter dash.
In the finals for the 100-meter hurdles, freshman Savannah Coleman earned two points for the Aggies with her seventh-place finish at a time of 14.73.
Junior Diana Hawk represented the Aggies in the 1500-meter run. She earned eight points for the team with a second-place finish with a time of 4:33.81. Hawk also led the team in the 5000-meter run, where she finished eighth with a time of 18:31.45, earning one point for NM State.
Three Aggies competed in the javelin throw and all three finished in the top-eight. Junior Tiffany Gerber led the way with a second-place finish with a throw of 42.02m (137’10”). Fellow junior Nicolette Serrao finished fourth with a throw of 39.13m (128’4”). Freshman Alexandra Winebark finished sixth with a throw of 37.43m (122’9”).
In the pole vault, juniors Taylor Black and Marissa Gonzales represented the Aggies. Black finished tied for fourth with a height of 3.40m (11’1.75”). This earned NM State 4.50 points. Gonzales finished with a height of 3.10m (10’2”)
Freshman Akuadasou Ezenyilimba continued her strong performance at the WAC Championships when she finished seventh in the shot put with a throw of 12.60m (41’4.25”). Fellow freshman Alexandra Winebark also competed in the shot put and had a throw of 11.54m (37’10.5”).
Any Aggies that qualify for the NCAA Regional Round will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., when competition begins on May 29.