Nov. 17, 2012
NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships — Louisville, Ky.
Where: Saturday, E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky.
Results: Women 10th, Men 21st
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Heading out to Louisville, New Mexico head coach Joe Franklin wanted to see top-20 finishes.
And his Lobo women definitely did not fail him.
The University of New Mexico's 17th-ranked women's cross country placed 10th at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, while the No. 21 men finished 21th.
The Lobos received outstanding performances on the women's side, including an All-American run out of Josephine Moultrie, while the men struggled to a 21th-place finish despite Luke Caldwell earning All-American status.
"It was a great day to be a University of New Mexico cross country runner," Franklin said. "Starting off with the women, the women ran excellently; the best race of the year by far, no doubt. On the men's side, they finished 21st. They had some issues."
The women placed 10th overall, scoring 341 points. Senior Josephine Moultrie led the Lobos at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park , placing 30th overall with a 20:11.1 time over the 6-kilometer course.
Junior Charlotte Arter continued her streak of second-place team finishes, placing 51st overall with a 20:23.8 time. Senior Lacey Oeding was close behind, as she crossed the finish line in 20:30.3 to place 67th.
Seniors Shawna Winnegar (135th, 21:01.6) and Imogen Ainsworth (168th, 21:14.9) also scored for the Lobos, who posted a team score in the 300s for the third time in the last four years. Kirsten Follett (175th, 21:19.8) and Chloe Anderson (230th, 21:48.8) also ran for the Lobos.
The Lobos have placed top-ten at the national championships for the third straight year after placing fifth in 2010 and ninth last year.
On the men's side, the Lobos were paced by junior Luke Caldwell, who covered the 10K course in 29:52.9 to place 27th overall.
Caldwell was followed up by Mountain West Freshman of the Year Elmar Engholm as he placed 85th with a 30:36.7 clocking.
Sam Evans (126th, 30:57.2), Patrick Zacharias (133rd, 31:00.4) and Donovan Torres (223rd, 32:06.6) rounded out the Lobos' scorers. New Mexico was without junior Adam Bitchell at the finish line and leader Sean Stam worked through an off day.
Bitchell, who had been dealing with a bout of food poisoning, dropped out after the 4K mark, while Stam only managed a 32:14.1 time, placing him 227th out of the 245 runners with times.
Despite that, New Mexico nearly halved its team score from last year, going from a last-place 885 points in 2011 to 473 this year. This is the Lobos best finish since placing 16th in 2010. New Mexico finished 31st in 2011 and posted a program-best tie for eighth in 2009.
The women's team results were a source of confusion after the race. Oregon was initially named the unofficial winner, but later the NCAA declared Providence the official champions, only to correct that and give the title back to Oregon.
The Ducks won the team crown with a score of 114 points, while Providence came in second with 183 points. Pre-race favorite Florida State finished fourth with 202 points, behind third-place Stanford's 198 points.
Iowa State senior Besty Saina took the individual women's title with a 19:27.9 time, just edging out Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino's and Oregon's Jordan Hasay's identical time of 19:28.6.
The Oklahoma State men took the NCAA crown, posting 72 points to win. The Cowboys recorded the top team runner, as Girma Mecheso placed fifth.
Wisconsin came in second with 135 points, and was followed by Colorado (158 points), Northern Arizona (191) and Florida State (238) in the top five.
Four individual runners took the top four spots, with Texas Tech's Kennedy Kithuka emerging victorious with a 28:31.3 time. Arizona runners Stephen Sambu (28:38.6) and Lawi Lalang (28:51.8) took second and third, while UTEP freshman Anthony Rotich (29:13.5) placed fifth.