The Wildcats will head to Albuquerque, New Mexico, this weekend to compete in the third meet of the season at the New Mexico Track & Field Classic.
The meet will bring nationally ranked competition – Oregon, ranked first in the men’s division and fifth in the women’s, and Texas, standing at 11th in the men’s and seventh in the women’s national rankings.
In the last meet, the ‘Cats showed they could compete with Div. I competition by earning first-place finishes in five events.
Freshman Marina Guerrero was the top finisher in the 4x800m relay race along with teammates Diana Garcia Muñoz, Alexandria Hackett and Isabella Gutierrez.
“We have been training really hard and pushing ourselves to run faster and faster in each run,” Guerrero said. “I think all this training is going to be reflected in this meet.”
The Wildcats have improved since the season began two meets ago on Jan. 16.
The first meet at Texas A&M University awarded the ‘Cats 11 top-10 placements. That number doubled less than two weeks later at the Masked Rider Open.
Senior Daniel Block, junior Johnathan Farquharson and junior Jelani Rainey were three standouts who placed in the top two of their events.
Rainey, a weight thrower, achieved his personal best with a throw of 17.42 meters, the seventh best record in Wildcat history.
The current school record belongs to Glenn Griffin who threw 19.81 meters in 1997. Rainey said he hopes to break that record this season.
“As a team, I hope that we can continue to build back the legacy that was here before us,” Rainey said.
Expectations for this meet are set higher because the team members proved they are capable of success against competitors like those in the Big 12 and SEC.
This will be the last meet before the Wildcats head to the Southland Conference Indoor Championships Feb. 16.
Runners like Guerrero said they have practiced and worked for each meet so they will have the endurance they need when they reach the Southland finals.
“This is our chance to prove what the team is capable of doing,” she said. “We will be sure that we are ready for the indoor championships.”