Oct. 21, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. - The University of New Mexico swept the men's and women's team titles last Saturday (Oct. 18) at the Canyon West Cross Country Classic. Senior Sarah Gonzales picked up her second career victory to lead the Lobo women to their first team victory under head coach Matt Henry, while fellow senior Sean Flaherty led the men to their second straight win.
Technical difficulties delayed the prompt release of results. Complete team and individual results were released this afternoon and can now be found at official website of the Canyon West Classic (http://members.cox.net/canyonwestclassic/).
Gonzales led a pack of four runners in the top 11, completing the Kiwanis Park 5,000-meter course in a personal-best 18:43. Gonzales finished nearly eight seconds ahead of her nearest competitor, to notch her first victory since winning the 2001 Lobo Invitational in Albuquerque.
After finishing second in five meets over the past four years of Henry's tenure, the New Mexico women finally broke through against the 10-team field to capture their first team title since the 1998 season-opener at UTEP. The Lobos claimed the Canyon West crown with a season-low 31 points, 30 ahead of second place Yavapai College.
New Mexico finished with a season-best team pack spread (time difference between the team's first and fifth scoring runners) of 55 seconds. Sophomore Timmie Murphy placed fourth with a time of 19:09, just 26 seconds behind Gonzales. Freshman Riann Lucy (19:21) and sophomore Janice Tosa (19:24) continued their strong running, finishing 10th and 11th, respectively. Meanwhile, freshman Myrriah Gomez turned in a fine performance as the team's fifth scoring runner, placing 17th with a time of 19:38. Senior Brooke Gosling (23rd - 19:54) and junior Vanessa Funston (29th - 20:15) rounded out the top seven.
In the men's 8,000-meter race, Flaherty paced the Lobos for the fourth consecutive meet, clocking a time 25:22 to finish second in the 112-man field. Four New Mexico runners placed among the top 10, while No. 5 man Juan Ortega placed 12th to help the Lobos hold off Paradise Valley Community College, 32-42, for their second win of the season. Arizona State's "B" team finished third with 138 points.
Sophomore Brandon Vigil (25:48), junior Nate Clem (25:51) and senior Leighton Katsuda (25:53) joined Flaherty in the lead pack, finishing sixth, seventh and ninth, respectively. Ortega crossed then line in 26:02, ten seconds ahead of Paradise Valley's fifth and sixth runners. Senior Chris Rogers (16th - 26:16) and freshman Steven Martinez (18th - 26:16) were the sixth and seventh UNM runners to finish among the top 20.
New Mexico will look to keep its momentum going when it returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 1 in San Diego for the 2003 Mountain West Conference Championship meet.