Young Runners To Lead Lobos At NMSU Kachina Classic
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/16/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 16, 2005

The University of New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams will send a large group of up-and-coming runners to Las Cruces on Saturday, Sept. 17 for New Mexico State's annual Kachinca Classic. The meet will give some of New Mexico's underclassmen another chance to challenge for a spot in the top-seven groups that head coach Matt Henry will take to the elite Stanford Invitational next week.

Runners from nine colleges and universities will be among the field of this year's Kachina Classic, which will be held at the NMSU Golf Course. The meet opens at 8 a.m. with the women's 5,000-meter race, followed by the men's 7.4K at approximately 8:30.

Nine men and nine women will toe the line for New Mexico on Saturday morning in Las Cruces.

The UNM women's team will be comprised of: juniors Brandi Cron and Roxann James, sophomore Sheyene Lewis and freshmen Seny Archuleta, Allison Easton, Beck Green, Ally Gronager, Carolyn Romero and Hilary Ross.

For the men, it will be: senior Frank Hemingway, junior Brandon Vigil, sophomores Chris Bratton, Erik Coleman and Michael Deason, and freshmen Matt Cash, Ezra Esquibel, Matt Shaughnessy and Sean Yahnke.

Complete results and information about the Kachina Classic can be found on the official website of the New Mexico State University Athletic Department: NMSU Athletics

University of New Mexico senior was named Mountain West Conference Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week the league office announced on Sept. 14. Gallegos earned the award for the second time in her career after recording her first collegiate victory on Sept. 10 at the Lobo Invitational.

Gallegos' effort led the UNM women to a strong third place finish among the talented 13-team field at the UNM North Golf Course. The Lobos defeated Western State College, ranked third in NCAA Division II, along with three D-I teams in Texas Tech, LSU and UTEP. The Lobos' 89 points were the team's lowest at its home meet since 2002.

LAST TIME OUT (hosting the Lobo Invitational)
Fifth-year senior Jacquelyne Gallegos recorded her first collegiate victory to lead the University of New Mexico women to a strong third place finish in the talented 13-team field at the Lobo Invitational cross country meet on Sept. 10 at the UNM North Golf Course. New Mexico also received strong races from junior Timmie Muprhy and sophomore Leslie Luna, helping the Lobos defeat Division II power Western State, Texas Tech, LSU and UTEP. Senior Cameron Clarke, meanwhile, led the new-look UNM men to a fifth place finish.

Top ranked Adams State, the two-time defending NCAA D-II champions, cruised to the women's team title, placing four runners in the top-7 and seven in the top-15 to defeat runner-up Colorado State 30-59. New Mexico had three runners finish in the top-20, leading the team to a score of 89 points. Western State College, which entered the meet ranked third in the D-II poll, finished fourth with 99 points. Texas Tech, the 2004 Lobo Invitational champions, was fifth with 108 points. The other two Division I teams in the field, LSU (224) and UTEP (243), were seventh and eighth, respectively.

Gallegos, who won all 11 meets, including the state championship race, during her senior year at Pojoaque High School, captured her first collegiate title in impressive fashion. The 5-8 Gallegos broke open a tight race midway through the 6,000-meter course and surged to a 26-second victory over Adams State College senior Victoria Martinez (22:03), a Division II All-American last fall. Gallegos was the first UNM woman to win the team's home meet since Sarah Gonzales' wire-to-wire victory at the Paradise Hills Golf Course in 2001.

Meanwhile, on the men's side, New Mexico's scoring runners all crossed the line within 21 places of each other. Clarke, a fifth-year senior, paced the group with his 25th place finish (26:12).

UTEP's Patrick Mutai won his second straight race to open the fall, crossing the line with a time of 24:28, 12 seconds ahead of the runner-up, teammate Stephen Samoei. Adams State won the 14-team men's race, placing three runners in the top-10 to hold off rival Western State 44-62. Colorado State finished a close third (75), followed by UTEP (86), New Mexico (153), Texas Tech (170) and LSU (184).

• Senior Jacquelyne Gallegos competed in seven home meets during her five-year career, including two Mountain West Conference Championship races and five Lobo Invitatoinal appearances due to her medical redshirt season of 2002...Gallegos finished 11th at the Lobo Invite as a true freshman, 2nd in her injury shortened sophomore year, 81st the following year in her first XC race back from injury, 3rd as a fourth-year junior last fall and first in her final race in from of the home crowd last weekend...the Pojoaque, N.M. native was 19th in the 2001 MWC Championships and 62nd in the 2003 MWC meet.

• Gallegos' victory was the third by UNM woman since head coach Matt Henry took over the program in the fall of 2000...Sarah Gonzales (2000-03) had the previous two wins...the Lobo men have notched 7 individual race victories under Henry, including a 4 last year...two-time UNM All-American Matt Gonzales led the men with 3 wins since 2000.

• Running her first cross country race in two years, redshirt junior Timmie Murphy placed 17th with a career-best 6K time of 23:13...the Farmington, N.M. native redshirted the 2004 season as she recovered from leg and hip injuries suffered in training.

• Sophomore Leslie Luna scored for the second time in six collegiate races, finishing 19th with a career-best time of 23:19...the Albuquerque Academy product was 35th in her collegiate debut at the 2004 Lobo Invite...fellow sophomore Melanie Velarde turned in the best performance of her young career, finishing sixth on the team and 47th overall with a time of 24:40.

• Seven women and four men made their UNM cross country debuts at the Lobo Invite...junior transfer Roxann James ran seventh for the New Mexico women (58th overall), while redshirt sophomore Dylan Rose-Coss (6th UNM, 70th overall) and redshirt freshman Ezra Esquibel (7th UNM, 76th overall) cracked the Lobos' top-seven in their collegiate debuts.

University of New Mexico head coach Matt Henry has built the UNM program by using his greatest natural resource: New Mexico high school distance runners. Of the 41 men and women on the 2005 roster, all but seven are products of New Mexico high schools. Each of the Lobos' NCAA Championship competitors, All-Americans and all-Mountain West honorees during Henry's tenure has graduated from an in-state high school.