Sept. 6, 2008
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Although 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 this morning 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.
True freshman Lacey Oeding (Jasper, Ind.) and sophomore transfer Emma Reed (Clevedon, England) placed fourth and fifth, respectively, while competing unattached. Senior Leslie Luna (Albuquerque, N.M.) made a solid return after taking a medical redshirt season in 2007, finishing ninth. Juniors Ashley Gibson (Newcastle, England) and Polina Ermoshina (Moscow, Russia) were 10th and 11th, respectively.
New Mexico is slated to compete at full strength for the first time on Sept. 27 at Minnesota's Roy Griak Invitational. The UNM "B" team will travel to Las Cruces for New Mexico State's Kachina Classic on Sept. 20.