Kirwa Runs Away With Lobo Invitational Victory
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/05/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 5, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - He may have not been officially wearing the cherry and silver, but University of New Mexico senior Jacob Kirwa left no doubt that he was the class of the 10th Lobo Invitational meet this morning at the UNM North Golf Course. Kirwa, who ran unattached, opened his second season at New Mexico with a dominating 54-second victory in the men's 8,000-meter race, crossing the line in 24:03.59. He was the first Lobo to win the men's race since Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott in 2004.

Senior Ashley Gibson paced the Lobo women with a second place finish in the 5K, crossing the line in 17:31.45 - 10 seconds behind the winner, UTEP's Risper Kimaiyo. Gibson - an NCAA Championships qualifier in the 1,500 - notched the highest finish of her cross country career.

The top eight women's finishes all ran under the previous 5K course record of 18:13.

Sprits were high in the easy-going opener. Lobos Lee Emanuel, David Bishop and Allen Pittman joined hands and high fived fans down the final stretch as they crossed the line ninth, 10th and 11th, respectively.

Sophomore Lacey Oeding (fourth), senior Laura Bowerman (sixth) and junior Vanessa Ortiz (10th) joined Gibson in the top-10 of the women's race. It was Bowerman's UNM cross country debut and Ortiz's first race since 2007 after both women redshirted last fall.

New Mexico will send a split squad to New Mexico State on Sept. 19 before the action heats up on Oct. 2 at the Notre Dame Invitational.