Lobos Finish Solid Season At NCAA Moutain Region Championships
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/15/2003
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 15, 2003

RIVERSIDE, Utah - The University of New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams wrapped up the 2003 season withidentical 13th place finishes at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships, hosted by Weber State University, this morning at the Riverside Golf Course. Senior Sarah Gonzales led all Lobo runners by placing 30th in the 114-person field, while junior Sean Flaherty finished 48th to pace the men.

Gonzales improved 44 spots from her 2002 performance to notch her best finish in four carer Mountain Region Championship meets. The all-MWC runner completed the 6,000-meter course in a time of 22:11 in her final collegiate cross country competition. Sophomores Janice Tosa (22:47) and Timmie Murphy (23:26) finished 46th and 69th, respectively, while true freshman Riann Lucy was 88th with a time of 23:52. Junior Jacquelyne Gallegos turned in her best performance of the year, in her fourth meet since returning from a broken back and pelvis suffered last fall. Gallegos placed 95th (24:12) to score for the first time this season.

The UNM women improved by one place from a year ago, finishing with 317 points, between Mountain West Conference rivals Wyoming (12th - 303) and Air Force (14th - 329). The BYU women won the team title with 34 points, 33 ahead of runner-up Colorado, as junior Michaela Mannova won her second straight individual crown.

Flaherty led the Lobo men for the sixth consecutive meet, clocking a time of 32:36 over the 10,000-meter course. True freshman Stephen Martinez had a solid performance, running second on the team (58th overall) with a time of 33:05, while sophomore Brandon Vigil was third on the team (63rd) with a time of 33:18. True freshman Juan Ortega (33:55) and senior Leighton Katsuda (34:01) were 78th and 79th, respectively, to cap the UNM scoring, while senior Chris Rogers was 86th in his career finale.

Colorado held off Northern Arizona for the team title, while MWC teams Air Force, BYU and Colorado State finished 3-4-5 overall. Sophomore Dathan Ritzenhein (30:22) edged MWC Champion Kip Kangogo (30:47) of BYU by 25 seconds to win the individual crown.