Nov. 15, 2008
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - It was a nearly perfect day for the New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams this morning 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).
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.
The NCAA Championship will be held on Monday, Nov. 24 in Terre Haute, Ind. and will be nationally televised live on CBS College Sports at 11:06 a.m. (Mountain).