Cross Country Travels To Las Cruces For Early Season Tune-Up
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/20/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 20, 2006

University of New Mexico head coach Matt Henry will take 17 men and women down to Las Cruces, N.M. on Saturday, Sept. 23 to compete in New Mexico State's annual Kachina Classic. The meet begins at 8 a.m. at the NMSU Golf Course and will feature a 7,400-meter race for the men and a 5K for the women.

This weekend's meet will give several younger runners some valuable race experience and also serve as an audition for the travel squad UNM will send to California next weekend for the Stanford Invitational.

The women's top-7 appears close to being set with six runners (Sr. Timmie Murphy, Jr. Leslie Luna, Fr. Vanessa Ortiz, Jr. Melanie Velarde, Jr. Sheyenne Lewis and Sr. Roxann James resting up for the Stanford trip. The men's side is wide open with only four runners (Sr. Juan Ortega, Jr. Jeremy Johnson, Jr. Joseph Garcia and Fr. Brian Vallie) locked into the seven-man travel squad.

This weekend the women's team will consist of: Jr. Lindsay Barr, Jr. Stasia Ploskonka, So. Becky Green, So. Ally Gronager, So. Carolyn Romero, Fr. Rachel Billie and Fr. Kelly McCabe. McCabe, the 2005 New Mexico class 5A cross country runner-up, will make her season debut on Saturday after missing the Lobo Invitational on Sept. 9 due to an ankle injury.

A large group will represent the UNM men on Saturday, including: Sr. Juan Ortega, Jr. Dylan Rose-Coss, Jr. Chris Bratton, Jr. Michael Deason, Jr. Karl Kalm, So. Ezra Esquibel, Fr. Nick Argüelles, Fr. Jeremy Newland, Fr. Jason Petty and Fr. Alex Willis. Ortega, who finished a career-best fourth at the Lobo Invitational, volunteered to run in Las Cruces as a tune-up for the Stanford meet.

Runners from UTEP, New Mexico State, Eastern New Mexico, El Paso CC, Western New Mexico and UT-Permian Basin are expected to be among the field. Results of the Kachina Classic will be available on www.nmstatesports.com. Check www.golobos.com on Sunday morning for a complete meet recap.