Nov. 13, 2010
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah--- Is it possible that Joe Franklin's Lobo cross country teams should bring a broom to Indiana in preparation for another sweep? Maybe. One thing is for certain: It's been a heck of a ride and a run so far in the 2010 cross country season.
About the only thing the Lobos can do to best what they have done this season at the Mountain West Championships and the NCAA Mountain Regional is to tag on dual NCAA titles. And why not? The stars seem to be aligning for these talented Lobos.
The Lobos backed their second consecutive men's and women's MWC sweep with a first-ever sweep at the NCAA Mountain Regional this past Saturday. It also was the highest finish ever for either team at a regional run.
Franklin expects his two teams to at least crack the Top 10 at nationals, but is it possible that these Lobos are overplaying that underdog role that Franklin so loves to wear?
These Lobos can run and they'll take a strong shot at NCAA titles Monday in Terre Haute, Ind.
Heading the Lobo seven-man squad at the Mountain Regional was senior Keith Gerrard, who picked up fourth place with a time of 29:45:9. David Bishop (29:58:4), Rory Fraser (30:01:9), and Ross Millington (30:4) followed right behind him taking the next three places and rounding out the top ten for the Lobos. Northern Arizona's David McNeill claimed the top individual title at 29:24:1.
The men's combined efforts gained them first place with 45 points, putting a steady gap between themselves and Colorado (66) and BYU (80).
For the women, junior Natalie Gray led the pack again for the Lobos taking the fourth spot with 20:28:6. Right behind her were Sarah Waldron (20:30:8) and Ruth Senior (20:32:9) in fifth and sixth place. Taking the women's title was Risper Kimaiyo from UTEP with 20:02:5.
The women's finishes earned them the title with 53 total points, edging out Texas Tech with 55 and Colorado with 59.
For New Mexico this week, it wasn't just the outstanding showing of one runner who pushed them to the top. It was the outstanding effort and performance of the entire team.
"I don't think there was just one because they all ran very well and it's a team sport so you're only as good as your seven. Everybody just ran great from one to seven on both sides," Head Coach Joe Franklin said of his team.
With two weeks of phenomenal finishes behind them, the Lobos have set the stage for the NCAA Championships and have new goals to reach. The NCAA finals, which takes the top two teams from the nine regional meets plus 13 at-large teams, is set for Monday Nov. 22, in Terre Haute, Ind.