Lobos Running For NCAA Championship Bids On Saturday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  11/12/2008
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Nov. 12, 2008

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The postseason intensity heats up for the University of New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams on Saturday when the Lobos travel to Fort Collins, Colo. for the NCAA Mountain Region Championships. Team and invidiual bids to the NCAA Championship meet will be decided at the Collindale Golf Course in what is traditionally one of the top regional meets in the country. The women will run a 6,000-meter (3.7 miles) race at 11 a.m. (Mountain), followed by the men's 10,000m (6.2 miles) race at 11:45.

The top two teams at each regional meet automatically qualify for nationals and the first four individuals not on a qualifying team also earn an automatic berth. As many as four teams from the Mountain Region in previous years have earned at-large bids to the NCAA Championships.

The New Mexico women enter the meet ranked No. 2 in the region, 21st nationally and fresh off their landmark victory at the Mountain West Conference Championships. UNM has qualified two women to the NCAA meet since 2004, but hasn't sent a women's team since the 1985 squad did so 23 years ago.

The Lobo men are currently 7th in the Mountain Region rankings, but have been voted as high as 2nd this fall. New Mexico qualified its men's team to the NCAA Championships in 2004, which was also held at the Collindale Golf Course, and has sent three individuals since 2001, including All-American Jeremy Johnson last year.


Course: Collindale Golf Course (4,990 feet; flat with some slight hills)

The Collindale Golf Course most recently hosted the 2005 MWC Championships and the 2004 NCAA Mountain Region Championships.

Fifth-year senior Leslie Luna is the only Lobo to run on the course, competing in both `04 and `05 when she finished 6th in the MWC.

Schedule (Mountain Time):
Women's 6K Race - 11 a.m.
Men's 10K Race - 11:45 a.m.

Race Conditions: The weather forecast for Saturday calls for mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid-40s and light winds. There is a 20% chance of precipitation.

Nationally Ranked Teams:
Women's (4) - No. 9 Texas Tech, No. 21 New Mexico, No. 26 BYU, No. 28 Northern Arizona.

Men's (3) - No. 7 Northern Arizona, No. 11 BYU, No. 30 UTEP

Lobos In The Mountain Region Rankings:
No. 2 Women; No. 7 Men


Jr. Nicky Archer (Trans. from U. of Birmingham (England)...has led UNM 3x...1st team all-MWC (7th))
Sr. Michelle Corrigan (2x all-MWC...has led team in 6 of 9 races at UNM...27th at `07 Mountain Regional)
Fr. Lacey Oeding (MWC Freshman of the Year & 1st team all-MWC (2nd)...2x all-state XC at Jasper (Ind.) HS)
Sr. Carolyn Boosey (Scored in all 10 career races...1st team all-MWC in `08 (3rd)...45th at `07 Mtn. Regional)
Sr. Leslie Luna (3x all-MWC & 2x all-Mountain Region...medical RS in `07...18th at `06 Mtn. Regional)
Jr. Ashley Gibson (Trans. from Loughborough Univ. (England)...scoring runner in 3 of 5 meets this fall)
So. Emma Reed (Trans. from Boston U...4 meet appearances...52nd in official debut at Roy Griak Invite)

Jr. Jacob Kirwa (Trans. from Diné College (Shiprock, N.M.)...2x USCAA nat'l XC champ...1st team all-MWC (5th))
Jr. Rory Fraser (Trans. from Leeds Metropolitan U. (England)...has scored in all 5 meets...2nd team all-MWC (9th))
Sr. Mat Ashton (2x 2nd team all-MWC...10th in the 10,000m at `08 NCAAs...28th at `07 Mountain Regional)
Jr. David Bishop (Trans. from U. of Wales Institute, Cardiff...British Univ. 3K champ...led UNM (17th) at Roy Griak Invite)
Sr. Lee Emanuel (Scored 9x in 11 career races...MWC 1,500m champion/NCAA qualifier...36th at `07 Mtn. Regional)
Jr. Brock Hagerman (2x all-region honoree...21st at `07 Mountain Regional...15 career races)
Fr. Patrick Ortiz (4 races..No. 2 freshman in the MWC (35th)...will run his 1st career 10K race...redshirt in `07)
Jr. Alex Willis (Scored 5x in 15 career races...80th at `07 Mountain Regional meet)


Complete information and results from the 2008 NCAA Mountain Region Championships can be found on the official athletic department website of host Colorado State University:



The current NCAA regional championship format began in 1997 and New Mexico has hosted the meet in 2002 and 2006 at the historic UNM North Golf Course.

After languishing near the bottom of the standings, the UNM men and women emerged as a factor in the region once again under former head coach Matt Henry (2000-06). Second-year head coach Joe Franklin, who was named Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year while at Butler, has continued the Lobos' strong presence in the Mountain Region.

In 10 years of competion at the Mountain Region Championships, New Mexico has qualified one team (2004 men) and earned eight individual bids (4 women, 4 men) to the NCAA Championship meet. In 2004, Matt Gonzales became the first and only Lobo to win a Mountain Region title.

The Lobo women have notched three straight top-10 finishes at the Mountain Region Championships, including sixth place performances in 2005 and 2007.

The UNM men have finished among the top-10 five times since 2001, including a fourth place effort in 2004 to earn the region's second at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. The 2007 men's team recorded the Lobos' best score (125) at the Mountain Region meet, but just missed a trip to nationals with a fifth place finish.

1997: Did Not Compete
1998: 14th/14 (420 pts.) | Top Runner: Kenny Henry - 83rd (34:48.6)
1999: 16th/17 (403 pts.) | Top Runner: Pontus Osterberg - 69th (33:26.5)
2000: 12th/17 (298 pts.) | Top Runner: Ben Ortega - 26th (31:59.7)
2001: 9th/17 (189 pts.) | Top Runner: Matt Gonzales - 9th (31:28.6)
2002: 7th/18 (186 pts.) | Top Runner: Matt Gonzales - 8th (30:36)
2003: 13th/14 (313 pts.) | Top Runner: Sean Flaherty - 48th (32:35.9)
2004: 4th/15 (136 pts.) | Top Runner: Matt Gonzales - 1st (29:45.1)
2005: 8th/15 (222 pts.) | Top Runner: Cameron Clarke - 30th (31:55.4)
2006: 11th/15 (243 pts.) | Top Runner: Juan Ortega - 20th (31:26.7)
2007: 5th/15 (125 pts.) | Top Runner: Jeremy Johnson - 3rd (29:57)

1997: 16th/17 (394 pts.) | Top Runner: April Brannon - 10th (17:50.9 - 5K)
1998: 13th/13 (318 pts.) | Top Runner: April Brannon - 25th (18:51.5 - 5K)
1999: 16th/17 (412 pts.) | Top Runner: Jackie Morgan - 50th (18:46.8 - 5K)
2000: 14th/17 (344 pts.) | Top Runner: Ashley Othick - 34th (22:39.2)
2001: 12th/18 (332 pts.) | Top Runner: Jacquelyne Gallegos - 19th (22:29.8)
2002: 15th/17 (417 pts.) | Top Runner: Sarah Gonzales - 74th (23:11)
2003: 13th/16 (317 pts.) | Top Runner: Sarah Gonzales - 30th (22:11.1)
2004: 12th/16 (306 pts.) | Top Runner: Jacquelyne Gallegos - 8th (21:03.2)
2005: 6th/18 (163 pts.) | Top Runner: Jacquelyne Gallegos - 15th (21:50.6)
2006: 7th/17 (179 pts.) | Top Runner: Timmie Murphy - 5th (21:00.0)
2006: 6th/17 (202 pts.) | Top Runner: Michelle Corrigan - 27th (21:48)

Men's All-Region Honorees - 5 runners, 8 awards
Year | Athlete | Finish
2001 | Matt Gonzales, So. | 9th**
2001 | Ben Ortega, So. | 11th**
2002 | Matt Gonzales, Jr. | 8th**
2004 | Matt Gonzales, Sr. | 1st#
2004 | Ben Ortega, Sr. | 8th#
2006 | Juan Ortega, Sr. | 20th
2007 | Jeremy Johnson, Sr. | 3rd**
2007 | Brock Hagerman, So. | 21st

Women's All-Region Honorees - 4 runners, 9 awards
Year | Athlete| Finish
1997 | April Brannon, Jr. | 10th**
1998 | April Brannon, Sr. | 25th
2001 | Jacquelyne Gallegos, Fr. | 19th**
2004 | Jacquelyne Gallegos, Jr. | 8th**
2005 | Jacquelyne Gallegos, Sr. | 15th
2005 | Timmie Murphy, Jr. | 19th
2005 | Leslie Luna, So. | 23rd
2006 | Timmie Murphy, Sr. | 5th**
2006 | Leslie Luna, Jr. | 18th

** Indicates NCAA Championship individual qualifier • # Indicates NCAA Championships team qualifier


Senior Jeremy Johnson finished third at the NCAA Mountain Region Cross Country Championships in Riverdale, Utah to secure a spot in the 2007 NCAA Championship meet for the first time in his career. Johnson was one of five UNM men to finish among the top-40 at the Riverside Golf Course, helping the fifth-place Lobos record their best regional finish since 2004.

For the second time in as many meets, the Lobos came just short of knocking off BYU, which likely would have guaranteed their place in the NCAA field. BYU edged UNM 113-125 for fourth place after squeezing past New Mexico by five (46-51) two weeks earlier in Albuquerque to win the Mountain West Conference title.

Johnson, the reigning MWC individual champion, covered the 10,000-meter (6.25 miles) course in 29:57.0 - just five seconds behind the winner, Lopez Lamong (29:52.1) of Northern Arizona.

Sophomore transfer Brock Hagerman finished 21st to give the New Mexico men a pair of all-Mountain Region honorees for the second time in three years (2004).

Hagerman, an all-Great Lakes Region runner for Notre Dame in 2006, clocked a time of 31:09.7 - 11 seconds ahead of teammate Mat Ashton, who was 28th (31:20.1). Sophomore Lee Emanuel and senior Joseph Garcia finished side-by-side in 36th (31:47.8) and 37th (31:50.1), respectively to cap the UNM scoring.

No. 6 Colorado held off third-ranked UTEP 47-56 to win the team title, while No. 2 Northern Arizona was third with 84 points.

Later in the women's race, junior transfer Michelle Corrigan placed 27th (21:48.9) - just four seconds shy of a place on the all-region team. Corrigan helped the Lobos place sixth overall with a score of 202 points.

Senior transfer Kara Henry closed her collegiate cross country career with a 38th place finish (22:06.0), two seconds ahead of sophomore teammate Vanessa Ortiz (39th - 22:08.2). Junior transfer Carolyn Boosey was 45th (22:18.6), while senior Sheyenne Lewis was 53rd (22:31.5).

No. 11 Colorado State, the MWC Champions, won the meet with a score of 75. No. 22 Northern Arizona (81) secured the second automatic berth, while No. 17 BYU was third (90). No. 13 Colorado and 18th-ranked Texas Tech finished fourth (105) and fifth (113), respectively.


• The New Mexico men turned in their best regional championship finish in three years and lowest score since the 1988 team put up 103 en route to a second place finish.

• The UNM women notched their third straight top-seven finish at the Mountain Region Championships after placing no higher than 12th from 1997-2004.

Jeremy Johnson joined former All-American Matt Gonzales (first in 2004) as the only Lobos ever to place in the top-three at the regional championship meet.

• Johnson and Brock Hagerman gave the New Mexico men a pair of all-Mountain Region honorees for the first time since 2004...the UNM men have earned five all-region awards in the last six years...the Lobos had gone nine years without an all-region performance until Matt Gonzales' ninth place finish in 2002.


Some thought the University of New Mexico women didn't have the depth to defeat eight-time champion BYU at the Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships. They were wrong.

The 23rd-ranked Lobos placed their five scoring runners in the top 11 to edge the 29th-ranked Cougars 31-33 in the closest championship meet in MWC history on Nov. 1 at Mission Bay Park. After three runner-up finishes in 1983, `84 and 2005 - all behind BYU - New Mexico finally broke through for its first conference title in program history.

The championship came down to a neck-and-neck sprint down the final stretch by both teams' No. 5 runners. UNM senior Michelle Corrigan (11th), who suffered an ankle injury a mile into the race, held off BYU sophomore Cecily Lemon (12th) by less than a second to secure the meet-winning point. Both women were officially credited with times of 22:00.

Had Corrigan (Green Bay, Wisc.) finished behind Lemon, the score would have been tied at 32 and BYU would have won the tie-breaker with a higher placing No. 6 runner.

The Lobos' championship run was led by two unlikely sources as true freshman Lacey Oeding (Jasper, Ind.) and senior Carolyn Boosey (London, England) finished second and third, respectively. The duo had been New Mexico's No. 3 or No. 4 runners much of the year before today.

Oeding covered the 6,000-meter course in 21:30 - six seconds behind junior Angela Wagner of BYU and four seconds ahead of Boosey - to earn MWC Freshman of the Year honors with the best conference finish ever by a New Mexico freshman. Oeding was running in the back of the pack through the first 1,000 meters before surging into the lead group. She joined redshirting teammate Vanessa Ortiz (2006) to give the Lobos' their second Freshman of the Year award in three years.

Junior transfer Nicky Archer (Cheshire, England), who led for much of the race, finished seventh with a time of 21:45. Fifth-year senior Leslie Luna (Albuquerque Academy) was eighth with a time of 21:55 - three seconds ahead of BYU's No. 4 runner, Stacy Slight.

Oeding, Boosey and Archer gave the Lobos a program record three first team all-MWC runners, while Luna and Corrigan earned second team honors. The five all-conference selections were also the most in school history. New Mexico has had at least one first team all-MWC runner each of the last six years.

Luna became the second woman in UNM history to earn all-conference honors three times in a career after missing all of 2007 with a foot injury. Corrigan earned all-MWC honors for the second straight season.

Second-year head coach Joe Franklin was named MWC Women's Coach of the Year, joining Matt Henry (2005) and Cindy Schmandt (1983) as the program's third conference Coach of the Year award winner.

Later in the men's 8,000-meter race, junior transfer Jacob Kirwa (Eldoret, Kenya) placed fifth to lead New Mexico to a close third place finish. The Lobos put three runners in the top 10 en route to a score of 64 - two behind second place Air Force. No. 11 BYU cruised to its fifth straight team title with a score of 36.

Kirwa finished less than a second behind BYU senior Kyle Perry (fourth) and 18 seconds behind the winner, Wyoming senior Mark Korir, with a time of 24:40 in his MWC Championships debut. Kirwa gave the Lobos a first team all-MWC runner for the third straight season.

Junior transfer Rory Fraser (Leicester, England) and senior Mat Ashton (Teddington, England) finished ninth and 10th, respectively, to earn second team all-MWC honors. Fraser crossed the line in 24:57 - three seconds ahead of Ashton, who earned all-MWC honors for the second straight season.

Junior transfer David Bishop was 19th (25:17) and senior Lee Emanuel was 22nd (25:29) to cap the UNM scoring.

New Mexico also had a notable 35th place (26:26) performance from Pecos, N.M. product Patrick Ortiz, who was second among all freshman runners in the veteran-laden field in his MWC debut.


On Sept. 30, the New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams both appeared in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association top-30 poll - the first time both teams had ever been nationally ranked at the same time. The women's team debuted at No. 18 - their first appearance in the national rankings since 1987 - following their impressive performance at Minnesota's Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 27. The men's team, meanwhile, checked in at No. 29.

The women of New Mexico also sat atop the NCAA Mountain Region rankings for the first time in program history the week of Sept. 29.

The Lobos are currently No. 21 in the most recent women's Division I cross country poll. UNM is the top-ranked team in the Mountain West Conference and is the No. 2 team in the Mountain Region behind 9th-ranked Texas Tech.

New Mexico was ranked among the women's top-20 for five consecutive years between 1983-87, climbing as high as 10th in the national poll in 1983.

The men's team, meanwhile, opened at No. 15 in the preseason poll (Sept. 16), marking their return to the top-30 for the first time since 2004. It was the highest ranking for the men since the 1989 team climbed as high as 14th. In 2004, the Lobos reached 19th in the national poll, but went on to finish a program-best ninth at the NCAA Championships.

UNM opened at No. 2 in the preseason Mountain Region rankings, behind only powerhouse Colorado.


Junior Nicky Archer was named Mountain West Conference Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week on Oct. 21, giving the women's team three and the UNM men and women four combined weekly awards in 2008 - all of which are program records.

Archer finished 26th out of 278 runners in the women's blue race at the 2008 NCAA Pre-Nationals Invitational, leading the Lobos to a 10th place showing against a field that included No. 1 Washington, No. 4 Minnesota, No. 6 Stanford and No. 9 Michigan State. The Cheshire, England, product covered the 6K course in an MWC-best time of 20:54.6.

Archer joined Jacquelyne Gallegos (2005) as the only UNM women to earn MWC Athlete of the Week honors twice in the same season. Archer, senior Michelle Corrigan and junior Jacob Kirwa on the men's side have earned the program record four combined MWC awards this fall for the Lobos.

Corrigan was selected on Sept. 30, following her performance at Minnesota's Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 27. Corrigan earned the weekly award for the first time in her career. Archer (Sept. 9) was recognized for the first time after winning the Sept. 6 Lobo Invitational.

After a five-year drought to start its MWC tenure, New Mexico has captured six Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week awards since 2004. Corrigan and Archer are the Lobos' first women's honorees since 2005 and are the only women other than former standout Jacquelyne Gallegos (three from 2004-05) to win the award.

Junior Jacob Kirwa earned the ninth MWC Cross Country Athlete of the Week award for the UNM men - all since 2001 - with his performance at the Lobo Invite. Kirwa became the Lobos' seventh men's runner to earn the award, extending the team's streak to five straight years with at lease one weekly award winnner.