Kirwa Earns Record-Tying Third MWC Athlete of the Week Award
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/20/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 20, 2009

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - University of New Mexico senior Jacob Kirwa was named Mountain West Conference Men's Cross Country Athlete of the Week the conference office announced this afternoon. Kirwa received the award for the second time this season and third time in his career, matching former All-American and MWC champion Jeremy Johnson's men's program records for single season (2007) and career MWC Athlete of the Week awards (2006-07).

Former UNM women's standout Jacquelyne Gallegos also took home two MWC Athlete of the Week awards in 2005 to give her three for her career (2004-05).

Kirwa led all Mountain West Conference and NCAA Mountain Region runners with an impressive seventh place finish among a field of 237 runners on Oct. 17 at Indiana State's Pre-Nationals Invitational. The Eldoret, Kenya product covered the 8K course in 23:51.7 - just 24 seconds behind the winner.

His performance helped New Mexico finish seventh among a field of 35 teams, including nine top-30 squads, at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course - site of the 2009 NCAA Cross Country Championships. UNM knocked off No. 18 Iowa State (10th), 278-301.

Lobo Men and Women Move Into Top-20 In Latest National Rankings

The New Mexico men and women continued their ascent in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national poll. The men climbed two spots to No. 19, while the women moved up one to No. 20. It's the highest both teams have been ranked in 2009.

The UNM women debuted at No. 22 in the preseason poll, while the men's team opened at No. 26 in the preseason. The 2008 season marked the first time in school history that both the men's and women's cross country teams were ranked among the nation's top-30 in the same season.

New Mexico In The 2009 USTFCCCA Rankings
Preseason (Sept. 15): Women - No. 22, Men - No. 26
Week 1 (Sept. 29): Women - No. 25, Men - No. 24
Week 2 (Oct. 6): Women - No. 21, Men - No. 21
Week 3 (Oct. 13): Women - No. 21, Men - No. 21
Week 4 (Oct. 20): Women - No. 20, Men - No. 19