ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-Four Aggies from the New Mexico State University track and field team competed at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M., March 1-3, with two Aggies placing in the finals in the 400m.
Senior LaSasha Aldredge and junior Brianna Cromartie placed third and fourth overall respectively in the 400m on Sunday, March 3. Aldredge finished third overall with a time of 54.53 and Cromartie finished fourth with a time of 54.59.
Aldredge and Cromartie were the top overall performers for collegiate athletes in the 400m. Aldredge and Cromartie finished better than Leslie Cole, who ran for team U.S.A. last year.
"This is the first time since we have been here that we were able to send our athletes to compete at the USA Championship level," said head track and field coach Orin Richburg. "They went out and competed against some of the strongest runners in the country."
In the preliminary round on Saturday, March 2, Cromartie finished fifth overall with a time of 53.87 and Aldredge finished sixth with a time of 54.31. Each finished third in their respective heat, and their overall times earned them a spot in the finals the following day.
Cromartie's participation in the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships follows just one week after the Western Athletic Conference Indoor Championships where she was named WAC Athlete of the Year. At the WAC Indoor Championships, which also took place in Albuquerque, Cromartie finished as co-High Point champion with 18.5 accumulated points. Cromartie ended up placing first in the 400m, third in the 200m and helped her 4x400m relay team finish first.
Junior Alishia Perkins and sophomore Jenna Banegas also competed on behalf of NM State at the USA Indoor Championships, each participating in the preliminary round of the 60m. Perkins finished 11th with a time of 7.58 and Banegas finished right behind for 12th with a time of 7.60. Perkins and Banegas each finished fourth in their respective heat.
This is the first time in Richburg's tenure at NM State that the team sent athletes to compete at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships level. The finishes by Aldredge and Cromartie in the preliminary round that placed them in the finals were a first for NM State, and their overall finishes in the finals in the 400m are now school-record benchmarks.