Feb. 8, 2009
DERWOOD, Md. - The University of New Mexico was well represented yesterday at the USA Cross Country Championships. Former Lobo All-American Jeremy Johnson finished 12th in the men's open race, while New Mexico freshmen Lacey Oeding and Allen Pittman were 10th and 16th, respectively, in the men's and women's junior races.
Johnson (Albuquerque, N.M.) covered the 12,000-meter Agricultural Heritage Farm Park course in 37:08 - 44 seconds shy of sixth place and a spot on the USA National Team. 2004 Olympic marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi won the individual title with a time of 36:06. The men's open field featured 159 runners.
Earlier in the day, Oeding proved herself to be one of the top young distance runners in the country with a top-10 finish in the field of 62. The Jasper, Ind. product covered the 6K course in 21:50 - just 13 seconds shy of a national team berth. Shippensburg State freshman Neely Spence, the 2008 NCAA Division II cross country runner-up, was the women's Junior winner with a time of 20:42.
Pittman (Los Alamos, N.M.) crossed the line of the 8K course in 25:28 - less than a minute out of the top-six. Oklahoma State standout German Fernandez won his second straight Junior title with a time of 23:20.