Johnson, Murphy Pace Lobos At Pre-Nationals Meet
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/14/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 14, 2006

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - Team leaders Jeremy Johnson and Timmie Murphy turned in solid performances once again to lead the University of New Mexico men's and women's teams, respectively, this morning at the elite Indiana State Pre-Nationals Meet at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center. Johnson finished 48th out of 246 runners to lead the UNM men to a 27th place finish (out of 36 teams), while Murphy was 44th in a field of 245, helping the women finish 30th (out of 36).

Johnson, a junior from Albuquerque, completed the 8,000-meter LaVern Gibson Course in 24:24.5, 17 seconds ahead of senior teammate Juan Ortega, who was 74th (24:41.1). Junior Joseph Garcia was a solid 144th (25:11.0), while true freshman Nick Argüelles was 195th (25:43.9) in his first career 6K. Fellow rookie Jason Petty capped the Lobos' scoring, placing 227th (26:23.7), followed closely by freshmen Jeremy Newland (229th - 26:27.4) and Alex Willis (234th - 26:37.8).

UNM was fifth among the Mountain Region teams in the men's White Race, knocking off Mountain West Conference rival Colorado State (29th). CSU entered the meet ranked fifth in the region and was picked to finish third in the MWC preseason coaches poll, two spots higher than New Mexico. The Lobos were ranked 11th in the Oct. 10 Mountain Region rankings.

Earlier in the women's Blue Race, Murphy and junior teammate Leslie Luna both finished among the top-60 and less than a minute behind the winner, Wake Forest's Michelle Sikes. Murphy, a senior from Farmington, N.M., finished in 21:03.4, the second-fastest 6K time of her career, while Luna sliced nearly four seconds off her personal best, placing 57th with a time of 21:13.7.

The Lobo pack spread a bit to far behind the lead runners, however, as freshman Vanessa Ortiz finished nearly a minute behind Luna in 158th place (22:10.3) and 4-5 runners Sheyenne Lewis (221st - 23:10.4) and Melanie Velarde (230th - 23:25.0) crossed the finish line a minute after Ortiz.

The UNM women (No. 7 regionally), were fourth among the five Mountain Region teams in their race. Downing the region's No. 10 team, Montana State, but falling to second-ranked BYU, fifth-ranked Weber State and the No. 6 squad in the region, Northern Arizona.