Sept. 3, 2011
Albuquerque, N.M. --- Nicholas Kipruto won the Lobo Invitational for the second straight year, turning in a time of 24:19.0 over the 8K course. The No. 2 ranked Lobo women had six finishers in the top 15 and seven in the top 20. The Lobos did not run returning All-American Natalie Gray. UTEP's Risper Kimaiyo won the women's side by 12.4 seconds with a time of 17:16.2 in the 5K race. No team scores were kept.
The two collegiate races were part of a full day of action at the UNM North Golf Course, which also featured five high school races and a community fun run.
On the men's side, Kipruto picked up his second title in the Lobo Invitational in as many years, after winning last year as an unattached runner. This year he blitzed the entire field, winning by 59 seconds over second place Kip Mutai of Fort Lewis College. Elkana Rotich of UTEP was third at 25:19.9 in a tight battle as the second through fifth runners all finished within 3.8 seconds of each other.
Top 20 NM Women
2. Ruth Senior
3. Kirsty Milner
7. Kirsten Follett
9. Kaitlyn Barry
14. Janna Mitsos
15. Sophia Torres
20. Ashlee Smalley
On the ladies side of things, the Lobos sat out top runner Natalie Gray, but it didn't matter as the second-ranked Lobos looked the part. Despite Kimaiyo winning the meet, Ruth Senior finished a close second at 17:29.3, and Kirsty Milner finished third at 17:43.3, each improving one slot from last year's Lobo Invitational, when they finished third and fourth.
Gray also skipped the Lobo Invitational in 2010.
Kirsten Follett was seventh as she couldn't quite get past New Mexico State sisters Courtney and Samille Schultz, who finished fourth and fifth, and UTEP's Karina Garcia, who finished 6th. Follett clocked an 18:51.4, and Kaitlyn Barry came in ninth with an even 19 minutes flat.
The Lobos have a week off before competing on September 17 at the Kachina Invitational in Las Cruces, hosted by New Mexico State.