Nov. 20, 2008
UPCOMINGThe No. 21 University of New Mexico women return to the NCAA Cross Country Championships for the first time in 23 years when they step to the line at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind. for Monday's nationally-televised meet. The Mountain West Conference champion Lobos secured their place among the 31-team field (255 runners) for the first time since 1985 with a second place finish at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships on Nov. 15. CBS College Sports (Comcast ch. 274, DirecTV ch. 613, Dish Network ch. 152) will broadcast the meet live beginning at 10 a.m. (Mountain).
It's the third NCAA appearance in UNM women's history (1981, `85) and seventh time second-year head coach Joe Franklin has led a team to the national meet. Franklin, the 2004 NCAA Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year, qualified six men's teams and two women's squads from 1998-2006 while he was at Butler University.
New Mexico has had a men's or women's representative in six of the last eight NCAA Championship meets, including the 2004 men's team, which finished a program-best ninth.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS AT A GLANCECourse: LaVern Gibson Championship Course (sea level; some hills)
The LaVern Gibson Course is one of the nation's only courses designed specifically for cross country racing. Built on reclaimed mining land, the course was dedicated in 1997 and hosted its first NCAA Championships meet in 2002. It has been the site of the national meet every year since 2004.
Women's 6K - 10:06 a.m. (MT)/12:06 p.m. (ET)
Race Conditions: The weather forecast for Monday afternoon calls for highs in the mid 40s, 13 mph winds, 30% chance of showers and humidity reaching 71%.
The Field: 31 teams - 255 runners (38 individuals)
Scouting The 2008 Lobos: New Mexico's strength is its high quality depth throughout the lineup. Senior Michelle Corrigan owns the team's fastest 6K (20:44.8), but junior Nicky Archer and freshman Lacey Oeding have also led the team this fall with a different No. 1 in each of the last three meets. New Mexico's five scoring runners have never finished with more than a minute separating them and boast an average pack spread of 38 seconds this season. Each of the Lobos' seven runners will be making their NCAA Championships debut on Monday.
NEW MEXICO TRAVEL SQUADWOMEN:
Sr. Michelle Corrigan (2x all-MWC...has led team in 7 of 10 races at UNM...5th at `08 Mtn. Regional - PR 20:45)
Fr. Lacey Oeding (MWC Fr. of the Year (2nd)...11th at Mtn. Regional - PR 20:56...2x all-state at Jasper (Ind.) HS)
Jr. Nicky Archer (Tr. from U. of Birmingham (England)...all-MWC (7th)/all-Mtn. Reg. (17th)...26th (20:55) at `08 Pre Nat'ls)
Sr. Carolyn Boosey (Scored in all 11 career races...'08 all-MWC (3rd)/all-Mtn. Reg. (18th) - PR 21:08)
Sr. Leslie Luna (22 career races...3x all-MWC & all-Mtn. Reg...19th at `08 Mtn. Reg. - PR 21:09...medical RS in `07)
Jr. Ashley Gibson (Tr. from Loughborough Univ. (England)...has scored in 3 of 6 meets...all-Mtn. Reg. (20th) - PR 21:09)
So. Emma Reed (Trans. from Boston U...5 meet appearances in `08...PR 21:55 at `08 Mountain Regional)
MEET INFORMATION/RESULTSComplete coverage of the 2008 NCAA Championships can be found on the following websites:
2008 Championships Central
NEW MEXICO WOMEN NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORYThe UNM women will be making their third trip to the NCAA Cross Country Championships and first since 1985. New Mexico finished a program-best 11th (284 pts.) at the 1981 NCAA meet - the first year the women's meet was sponsored by the NCAA. The Lobos returned four years later and finished 14th (296 pts.).
LOBO WOMEN'S ALL-AMERICANSTwo New Mexico women have earned All-America honors at the NCAA Championships, but none since Gwen Willink in 1988 (36th). Carole Roybal established herself the greatest cross country runner in UNM women's history with All-America finishes in 1984 (19th), `85 (13th) and `86 (28th). The top-30 finishers and top-30 U.S. citizens at the NCAA Championships earn a spot on the All-America team.
FRANKLIN AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPSSecond-year UNM head coach Joe Franklin is taking a team to the NCAA Championships for the seventh time in his career after leading Butler University to the meet six times between 1998 and 2006. The Butler women advanced to the NCAA meet in both 2004 (31st) and `05 (24th). Franklin was named NCAA Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2004 after leading the Bulldogs to a program-best fourth place finish - five spots head of the Lobo men who finished a program-best ninth under former head coach Matt Henry.
In his first season at New Mexico Franklin helped senior Jeremy Johnson qualify as an individual for the NCAA Championships, where he went on to finish 20th and earn All-America honors in his debut NCAA Cross Country meet performance.
Joe Franklin's Butler Teams At the NCAA Championships
1998: Men - 16th
2001: Men - 23rd
2002: Men - 19th
2004: Men - 4th; Women - 31st
2005: Men - 25th; Women - 24th
2006: Men - 25th
MIDWEST TIESAlbuquerque and Terre Haute may be separated by 1,200 miles, but don't be surprised if the Lobos have a small cheering section in the crowd on Monday. Freshman phenom Lacey Oeding (Jasper) and head coach Joe Franklin (Greencastle) are both Indiana natives, while assistant coach Erin Howarth is product of nearby New Lenox, Ill. and competed at Butler, Senior Michelle Corrigan is from Green Bay, Wisc. - about a day's drive north of Terre Haute.
1985 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP REWINDThe 1985 Lobos were the last UNM women's team to advance to the NCAA Championships, finishing 14th (296 pts.) in a field of 16 on a frigid Monday (Nov. 25) in Milwaukee, Wisc. The race time temperature was 33 degrees, winds were blowing at 15 mph, and the course at Dretzka Park was covered in ice and snow.
The conditions didn't bother junior Carole Roybal (Albuquerque, N.M.), who led the Lobos and earned the second of her third All-America certificates with a 13th place finish - her best in three NCAA Championship appearances. Roybal covered the 5,000-meter course in 16:49.7 - just 27 seconds behind the winner, North Carolina State's Suzie Tuffey.
Unfortunately, Roybal's teammates were unable to keep pace. Sophomore Dawn Eriacho (Zuni, N.M.) was the nearest Lobo, finishing 74th (17:42.5). Freshman Julie Farer (Las Cruces, N.M.) was 96th, sophomore Diana Baca (Albuquerque, N.M.) was 105th, and freshman Yvette Haran (Albuquerque, N.M.) was 107th to cap the scoring. Sophomore Dolores Zamora (Albuquerque, N.M.) was the Lobos' No. 6 runner, finishing 124th.
LAST TIME OUT: NCAA MOUNTAIN REGIONAL (Nov. 15)It was a nearly perfect day for the New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams on Nov. 15 at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships. The No. 23 UNM women finished second to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championship meet - their first NCAA berth since 1985. The surprising Lobo men finished fourth - three spots above their regional ranking - but likely on the outside looking in when the NCAA field is announced tomorrow.
Both the men's and women's teams turned in record-setting performances at the Collindale Golf Course. The Lobo women put a school record six runners on the all-region team en route to a 70-point score - their lowest at the regional or district meet since 1981. The men, meanwhile, had four all-region honorees - doubling their previous best at the Mountain Region meet - and finished with a score of 93 - their lowest ever t the regional or district meet.
The UNM women finished just 28 points behind No. 9 Texas Tech and 22 points ahead of No. 28 Northern Arizona. No. 26 BYU was fifth with a score of 152.
After its narrow loss to Air Force at the Mountain West Conference Championships the men's team trounced the fifth place Falcons by 80 points and were less than 30 points behind No. 11 BYU and No. 7 Northern Arizona. Unranked Colorado was a surprising winner with a final score of 42 and No. 30 UTEP didn't record a team score.
Senior Michelle Corrigan led the tight Lobo pack, finishing fifth - matching Timmie Murphy (2006) for the highest finish by a UNM runner at the Mountain Region meet. Corrigan completed the 6,000-meter course in 20:44.8 - 1:03 behind the race winner, Texas Tech national champion Sally Kipyego.
Rookie Lacey Oeding was the No. 2 freshman in the field, finishing 11th overall (20:55.9). Junior Nicky Archer then led an impressive parade of five straight UNM finishers. Archer finished 17th (21:06.3), followed by senior Carolyn Boosey (18th - 21:08.1), senior Leslie Luna (19th - 21:08.5) and junior Ashley Gibson (20th - 21:09.0).
All seven UNM runners, including sophomore Emma Reed (57th - 21:55.0), ran the fasetest 6K times of their collegiate careers.
Luna earned all-Mountain Region honors for the third time in her career, matching Jacquelyne Gallegos for the most in program history.
On the men's side, junior David Bishop and senior Lee Emanuel turned in their finest race of the season. Bishop, who was the Lobos' No. 4 runner two weeks ago at the MWC Championships, led the team with a 14th place finish (30:06.0). Emanuel, meanwhile, crossed the line 17th (30:09.7) - 19 places above his 2007 regional finish.
LAST TIME IN TERRE HAUTE: Pre-Nationals (Oct. 18)Junior transfer Nicky Archer finished 26th to lead the then 27th-ranked New Mexico women to an impressive 10th place showing on Oct. 18 at Indiana State's Pre-Nationals Invitational. New Mexico defeated 31 teams in the Blue section field, including No. 18 North Carolina State, No. 21 Providence and No. 26 BYU.
Archer led all Mountain West Conference and Mountain Region competitors in a field of 278 runners. The product of Cheshire, England covered the 6,000-meter course in a season-best 20:54.6 to lead the Lobos for the third time this fall.
Senior Michelle Corrigan ran a second on the team, placing 41st overall with a time of 21:13.4. True freshman Lacey Oeding and senior Carolyn Boosey ran side-by-side, finishing 60th and 66th, respectively. Oeding covered the course in 21:23.6 - two seconds ahead of Boosey.
Senior Leslie Luna crossed the line in 21:54.4 (103rd) to give the Lobos' scoring five a pack spread of one minute.
WOMEN CAPTURE FIRST CONFERENCE TITLESome 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.
RECORD NUMBER OF ATHLETES OF THE WEEK IN `08Junior 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.
GRIAK PERFORMANCE EARNS NATIONAL ATTENTIONThe New Mexico women's cross country team entered the week hovering outside of the national top-30 rankings. After its performance on Sept. 27 at Minnesota's elite Roy Griak Invitational, the Lobos proved they belong among the top teams in the country.
New Mexico placed its top four runners in the top-25 en route to a third place finish (89 points) in the field of 23 at the Les Bolstad Golf Course. The Lobos knocked off No. 20 Duke (105) and finished behind only No. 9 Minnesota (31) and No. 5 Arizona State (46).
The then 15th-ranked UNM men finished tied for sixth (215) in a field of 25, despite two of its top three runners - senior Mat Ashton and junior Rory Fraser - slowed by a week-long bout of the flu. Division II power Adams State was a surprise winner (75), while No. 30 BYU was third (91).
Seniors Michelle Corrigan and Carolyn Boosey finished eighth and 10th, respectively, to lead the New Mexico women. Corrigan moved up 12 spots over the second half of the 6,000-meter race, finishing with a time of 21:39.9 in her season debut. The Green Bay, Wisc. product has led the Lobos in every race since joining the program last fall.
Boosey, meanwhile, passed seven runners over the final 3K, crossing the line with a time of 21:43.8. Junior transfer Nicky Archer paced the Lobos' early, running with the top five runners much of the race before placing 16th - just eight seconds behind Boosey.
True freshman Lacey Oeding had perhaps the most impressive performance of the day for UNM, moving up 39 spots over the final 3,000 meters to place 23rd overall with a time of (22:04.8). Junior transfer Ashley Gibson capped the Lobo scoring with a 34th place finish (22:21.4).
Junior transfers David Bishop and Jacob Kirwa finished 17th and 18th, respectively, to pace the New Mexico men. Bishop, who was third on the team three weeks ago at the Lobo Invitational, passed 17 runners over the final 3,000 meters, completing the 8K course in 24:49.8. Kirwa was just over a second behind at 24:51.2.
As Franklin had feared earlier in the week, a flu bug hampered the men's team considerably. Team leader Mat Ashton ran sixth on the team and 76th overall, while Fraser was well off the pace he established in his debut race on Sept. 6 in Albuquerque when he ran right behind Kirwa.
HOSTS DOMINATE LOBO INVITATIONALAlthough no official team scores were kept, the University of New Mexico men and women left little doubt which program was the class of the 2008 Lobo Invitational cross country meet on Sept. 6 at the UNM North Golf Course.
Junior transfer Nicky Archer (Cheshire, England) was a wire-to-wire winner in the women's 5,000-meter race while fellow junior transfer Jacob Kirwa (Eldoret, Kenya) finished a strong second in the men's 8K to pace New Mexico in front of a large crowd of several thousand spectators.
Kirwa (24:44.78) helped the new-look Lobos make a strong statement against a field that included national power UTEP - the two-time defending Conference USA champions and preseason C-USA favorites. Kirwa was one of four Lobos to place among the top-10 with No. 5 man Lee Emanuel (Hastings, England) a close 12th.
While it won't count officially, New Mexico's hand-tallied score of 39 was 15 points better than the Miners who had won back-to-back Lobo Invitational team titles.
UNM also received a strong performances from junior transfers Rory Fraser (Leicester, England) and David Bishop (Chippenham, England), who finished sixth and ninth, respectively, in their first race at high altitude. Junior Alex Willis (Leadville, Colo.) - who ran unattached - was 10th, while Emanuel was 12th.
On the women's side, Archer clocked a sizzling time of 18:17.66 - six seconds ahead of senior teammate and runner-up Carolyn Boosey (London, England) - in her first race at altitude. Archer and Boosey led a group of seven Lobo women in the top-11.