June 12, 2012
NEW ORLEANS — The University of New Mexico women's cross country and track & field teams finished 16th in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association's Terry Crawford Program of the Year award final standings for the 2011-2012 academic year. After placing ninth at the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championships this past November, the Lobos were able to notch their first recognition for the award.
Lead by head coach Joe Franklin, the Lobos combined to gain 129 points to place 16th in the final standing. Along with its ninth-place cross country finish, New Mexico added a 62nd-place finish at the indoor track & field championships along with a 55th-place finish at the outdoor track & field championships to earn its first finish for the award.
"It shows that our comprehensive track and field team is one of the best in the nation," Franklin said.
The 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championships saw four Lobos place in the top 100 in the 6K race, including Ruth Senior (41st place), Natalie Gray (81st), Kirsty Milner (91st), and Imogen Ainsworth (94th). Together with Josephine Moultrie (131st), Sarah Waldron (148th) and Shawna Winnegar (213th), the Lobos combined to finish ninth.
At the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships, the Lobos were paced by USTFCCCA First-Team All-American Waldron and her eighth-place finish in the 5000-meter run. Waldron again lead New Mexico earlier this month at the outdoor championships, where she placed sixth in the women's 10000 and earned another All-American selection.
Presented annually, the NCAA Division I Program of the Year Award recognizes the most outstanding cross country and track & field programs in Division I based on the institution's performance through the academic year. Final standings are predicated on the institution's combined finishes at the NCAA Division I Championships in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field.
To be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for all three NCAA Championships. Scores for award are calculated from the team's each finish at those championships (i.e., first place earns one point, second place two points, 31st place 31 points, etc.). The team with the lowest total score for all three championships receives the award.
Only 16 women's teams scored at all three 2011-2012 championships. The New Mexico men's cross country and track & field teams also placed in the finals standing of the award, which is in its fourth year of existence.