Oct. 1, 2010
SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- Lobo coach Joe Franklin said before the season that transfer Nicholas Kipruto was something special. Kipruto continues to prove his coach right as the Lobo finished second in the Notre Dame Invitational on Friday, powering UNM to a second-place team finish.
The Lobos made an impressive showing at Notre Dame as the women finished fourth.
Junior Natalie Gray paced the UNM women with a No. 10 finish in the time of 16:47. Lobo Ruth Senior came in 16th with a 17:00 clocking. Villanova, the defending NCAA champs, won the meet with 64 points. The UNM women totaled 143 points to also finish behind Oregon (118) and Florida State (129).
Kipruto was only six seconds or so away from his first win as a Lobo. He also finished second at the Rory Griak Invitational with a time of 23:59. Kipruto chopped 14 seconds off that clocking, but was six seconds (23:45) behind Luke Peskedra of Oregon (23:39).
Kipruto's performance at the Griak earned him Mountain West Conference cross country athlete of the week alongside Amanda Mergaert of Utah. His run at Notre Dame should make him a strong candidate to repeat that MWC honor.
Oregon won the men's 8-kilometer run with 69 points while the Lobo men took runner-up honors with 78 points.
Rory Fraser, a UNM senior, also claimed a top five finish in the run, placing fourth at 23:53 -- only eight seconds behind Kipruto. This was also an improvement for Fraser, who ran 24:19 at the Roy Griak. Lobo Keith Gerrard had a solid run to finish in sixth place at 24:03 and UNM's David Bishop was 11th at 24:10.
The Lobos compete next Oct. 9 at the Duel in the Desert in Truth or Consequences, N.M.