Oct. 15, 2008
UPCOMINGThe University of New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams return to action on Saturday when they take on another big, elite field at Indiana State's Pre-Nationals Invitational at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Ind. The meet will be the Lobos' third straight competition in the Midwest after visits to Minnesota and Notre Dame in previous weeks. The UNM women remain No. 27 in the national top-30 poll, while the men are receiving votes and unofficially ranked 35th.
The women's team will run in the 6,000-meter (3.7 miles) Blue section race at 9 a.m. (Mountain), followed by the men's 8,000m (5 miles) Blue race at 10:10. Each race will feature 12 nationally ranked squads.
The Lobo men and women, which have both been ranked among the nation's top-20 this fall, have been hit hard by illnesses in recent weeks. The men's side was slowed considerably in its Sept. 27 race at Minnesota and now, according to head coach Joe Franklin, the women are battling the flu this week.
The LaVern Gibson Course, which is the site of the 2008 NCAA Championships, is one of the nation's only courses built specifically for cross country racing. Built on reclaimed mining land, the course was dedicated in 1997 and hosted its first NCAA Championships meet in 2002. It has been the site of the national meet every year since 2004.
PRE-NATIONALS INVITATIONAL AT A GLANCECourse: LaVern Gibson Championship Course (sea level; some hills)
Schedule (Mountain Time):
Women's Blue Division 6K Race - 9 a.m.
Men's Blue Division 8K Race - 10:10 a.m.
Race Conditions: The weather forecast for Saturday afternoon calls for sunny skies with temperatures around 61 degrees and light winds. Humidity could be a factor though with levels reaching 72%. There is a 20% chance of precipitation.
The Fields: The men's and women's Blue section races will each feature 41 teams.
Nationally Ranked Teams:
Women's (12) - No. 1 Washingon, No. 4 Minnesota, No. 6 Stanford, No. 9 Michigan State, No. 13 Villanova, No. 15 Florida, No. 16 Wisconsin, No. 18 North Carolina State, No. 21 Providence, No. 24 Rice, No. 26 BYU, No. 27 New Mexico.
Men's (12) - No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 6 Alabama, No. 9 Michigan, No. 13 Florida State, No. 14 Minnesota, No. 15 North Carolina State, No. 16 Northern Arizona, No. 22 Providence, No. 24 William & Mary, No. 25 Cal, No. 26 Syracuse, No. 29 Cal Poly.
NEW MEXICO TRAVEL SQUADWOMEN:
Jr. Nicky Archer (Transfer from U. of Birmingham (England)...has led the team in 2 meets...won Lobo Invite)
Sr. Carolyn Boosey (Scored in all 8 career races...10th at Roy Griak Invite...'08 team captain)
Sr. Michelle Corrigan (1st team all-MWC...has led Lobos' in 6 of 7 meets...MWC Athlete of the Week - Sept. 30)
Fr. Lacey Oeding (2x class 3A all-state XC at Jasper (Ind.) HS...has scored in both official appearances this fall)
Jr. Ashley Gibson (Trans. from Loughborough Univ. (England)...scoring runner in all 3 meets this fall)
Sr. Leslie Luna (2-time all-MWC & all-Mountain Region...medical redshirt in `07...9th at `08 Lobo Invite)
So. Emma Reed (Trans. from Boston U...2 meet appearances...52nd in official debut at Griak Invite)
Jr. Jacob Kirwa (Trans. from Diné College (Shiprock, N.M.)...2x USCAA nat'l XC champ...led the team in 2 meets)
Jr. David Bishop (Trans. from U. of Wales Institute, Cardiff...British Univ. 3K champ...led team (17th) at Griak Invite)
Jr. Brock Hagerman (2x all-region...2nd team all-MWC...48th (team No. 3) at Notre Dame...13 career races)
Jr. Rory Fraser (Trans. from Leeds Metropolitan U. (England)...6th (team No. 2) at `08 Lobo Invite)
Sr. Lee Emanuel (Scored 7x in 9 career races...MWC 1,500m champion/NCAA qualifier...66th at Notre Dame Invite)
Jr. Alex Willis (Scored 4x in 13 career races...top-7 in all 6 races in `07...10th running unattached at `08 Lobo Invite)
So. Jason Petty (Scored 7x in 8 career races...22nd at `08 Lobo Invite...redshirt in `07)
MEET INFORMATION/RESULTSComplete information and results from the 2008 Pre-Nationals Invitational can be found on the official athletic department website of the Indiana State Sycamores:
FROM HEAD COACH Joe Franklin"This is another huge meet with a lot of good team and a big field. We're going to rest Mat Ashton to help get him going again for the Mountain West Championships in two weeks and our women's team is now dealing with the flu. There's nothing much we can do at this point, but go compete, no matter how we feel. We're not targeting any teams in particular this week, we're just going to go out there and race. We've run pretty well this year and put ourselves in good position so far to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships. Now we just need to go race. I still think both sides can be in the top-15 on Saturday and even top-8 if everything comes together."
LAST TIME OUT: at the Notre Dame Invitational (Oct. 3)The New Mexico men and women finished eighth and tied for ninth, respectively, at the 53rd running of the Notre Dame Invitational. The 29th-ranked New Mexico men (240 points) knocked of No. 8 Michigan (276), while the 18th-ranked UNM women (257) tied No. 10 Illinois. The men's and women's field featured 18 nationally ranked squads.
New Mexico, which competed just six days earlier at Minnesota's Roy Griak Invitational, ran on short rest for the only time this fall. Collegiate cross country teams generally get 14 days rest between meets.
Both Lobo sides relied on tight grouping to stay among the top half of the elite fields. Neither squad placed a runner in the top-25, but both were within striking distance of some of the premier teams in the nation.
The UNM men finished just 32 points out of fifth place, while the women's team was a mere 12 points out of sixth. The New Mexico women - who entered the national top-30 poll for the first time in 21 years this week - defeated three ranked teams in No. 20 Texas Tech, No. 25 Boston College and No. 28 North Carolina.
No. 3 Florida State (88) was an easy winner over No. 6 Princeton (124) on the women's side. The 26th-ranked Seminole men (81) completed the sweep, cruising to victory over upstart Tulsa (126).
Junior transfer Jacob Kirwa led the Lobo men for the second time in three meets this fall, finishing 33rd overall (24:24) in the 8,000-meter race. Fellow junior David Bishop was 37th (24:27), while junior Brock Hagerman was 48th (24:34) in his return to South Bend. Hagerman was the Big East Conference Freshman of the Year while running for Notre Dame in 2006.
On the women's side, junior Nicky Archer paced UNM with a 27th place finish, completing the 5,000-meter course in 17:13. Senior Carolyn Boosey ran second on the team for the third-straight meet, finishing 44th with a time of 17:23. True freshman Lacey Oeding continued her stellar rookie season, placing 52nd (17:31), while senior Michelle Corrigan was 59th (17:36). It was the first time in seven career meets at New Mexico that Corrigan was not the Lobos' top runner.
Junior transfer Ashley Gibson was 75th (17:45) to cap the UNM scoring. The Lobos' pack spread was a season-low 32 seconds. .
MEN AND WOMEN EARN HISTORIC RANKINGSOn Sept. 30, the New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams both appeared in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association top-30 poll - the first time both teams had ever been nationally ranked at the same time. The women's team debuted at No. 18 - their first appearance in the national rankings since 1987 - following their impressive performance at Minnesota's Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 27. The men's team, meanwhile, checked in at No. 29.
The women of New Mexico also sat atop the NCAA Mountain Region rankings for the first time in program history the week of Sept. 29.
New Mexico was ranked among the women's top-20 for five consecutive years between 1983-87, climbing as high as 10th in the national poll in 1983.
The men's team, meanwhile, opened at No. 15 in the preseason poll (Sept. 16), marking their return to the top-30 for the first time since 2004. It was the highest ranking for the men since the 1989 team climbed as high as 14th. In 2004, the Lobos reached 19th in the national poll, but went on to finish a program-best ninth at the NCAA Championships.
UNM opened at No. 2 in the preseason Mountain Region rankings, behind only powerhouse Colorado.
THREE LOBOS NAMED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK IN `08New Mexico has tied its program record (2004, 2005) with three runners earning Mountain West Conference Cross Country Athlete of the Week awards this fall. Saturday's Pre-Nationals Invitaitonal will be the final chance to break the all-time mark.
Senior Michelle Corrigan was selected on Sept. 30, following her performance at Minnesota's Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 27. Corrigan earned the weekly award for the first time in her career. She joined junior Nick Archer (Sept. 9), who was recognized after winning the Sept. 6 Lobo Invitational.
After a five-year drought to start its MWC tenure, New Mexico has captured five Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week awards since 2004. Corrigan and Archer are the Lobos' first women's honorees since 2005 and are the only women other than former standout Jacquelyne Gallegos (three from 2004-05) to win the award.
Junior Jacob Kirwa earned the ninth MWC Cross Country Athlete of the Week award for the UNM men - all since 2001 - with his performance at the Lobo Invite. Kirwa became the Lobos' seventh men's runner to earn the award, extending the team's streak to five straight years with at lease one weekly award winnner.
GRIAK PERFORMANCE EARNS NATIONAL ATTENTIONThe New Mexico women's cross country team entered the week hovering outside of the national top-30 rankings. After its performance on Sept. 27 at Minnesota's elite Roy Griak Invitational, the Lobos proved they belong among the top teams in the country.
New Mexico placed its top four runners in the top-25 en route to a third place finish (89 points) in the field of 23 at the Les Bolstad Golf Course. The Lobos knocked off No. 20 Duke (105) and finished behind only No. 9 Minnesota (31) and No. 5 Arizona State (46).
The then 15th-ranked UNM men finished tied for sixth (215) in a field of 25, despite two of its top three runners - senior Mat Ashton and junior Rory Fraser - slowed by a week-long bout of the flu. Division II power Adams State was a surprise winner (75), while No. 30 BYU was third (91).
Seniors Michelle Corrigan and Carolyn Boosey finished eighth and 10th, respectively, to lead the New Mexico women. Corrigan moved up 12 spots over the second half of the 6,000-meter race, finishing with a time of 21:39.9 in her season debut. The Green Bay, Wisc. product has led the Lobos in every race since joining the program last fall.
Boosey, meanwhile, passed seven runners over the final 3K, crossing the line with a time of 21:43.8. Junior transfer Nicky Archer paced the Lobos' early, running with the top five runners much of the race before placing 16th - just eight seconds behind Boosey.
True freshman Lacey Oeding had perhaps the most impressive performance of the day for UNM, moving up 39 spots over the final 3,000 meters to place 23rd overall with a time of (22:04.8). Junior transfer Ashley Gibson capped the Lobo scoring with a 34th place finish (22:21.4).
Junior transfers David Bishop and Jacob Kirwa finished 17th and 18th, respectively, to pace the New Mexico men. Bishop, who was third on the team three weeks ago at the Lobo Invitational, passed 17 runners over the final 3,000 meters, completing the 8K course in 24:49.8. Kirwa was just over a second behind at 24:51.2.
As Franklin had feared earlier in the week, a flu bug hampered the men's team considerably. Team leader Mat Ashton ran sixth on the team and 76th overall, while Fraser was well off the pace he established in his debut race on Sept. 6 in Albuquerque when he ran right behind Kirwa.
HOSTS DOMINATE LOBO INVITATIONALAlthough no official team scores were kept, the University of New Mexico men and women left little doubt which program was the class of the 2008 Lobo Invitational cross country meet on Sept. 6 at the UNM North Golf Course.
Junior transfer Nicky Archer (Cheshire, England) was a wire-to-wire winner in the women's 5,000-meter race while fellow junior transfer Jacob Kirwa (Eldoret, Kenya) finished a strong second in the men's 8K to pace New Mexico in front of a large crowd of several thousand spectators.
Kirwa (24:44.78) helped the new-look Lobos make a strong statement against a field that included national power UTEP - the two-time defending Conference USA champions and preseason C-USA favorites. Kirwa was one of four Lobos to place among the top-10 with No. 5 man Lee Emanuel (Hastings, England) a close 12th.
While it won't count officially, New Mexico's hand-tallied score of 39 was 15 points better than the Miners who had won back-to-back Lobo Invitational team titles.
UNM also received a strong performances from junior transfers Rory Fraser (Leicester, England) and David Bishop (Chippenham, England), who finished sixth and ninth, respectively, in their first race at high altitude. Junior Alex Willis (Leadville, Colo.) - who ran unattached - was 10th, while Emanuel was 12th.
On the women's side, Archer clocked a sizzling time of 18:17.66 - six seconds ahead of senior teammate and runner-up Carolyn Boosey (London, England) - in her first race at altitude. Archer and Boosey led a group of seven Lobo women in the top-11.
A LOOK BACK AT 2007The 2007 UNM cross country season will go down as one of the more memorable campaigns in school history. Joe Franklin built upon the strong foundation laid down by retired head coach Matt Henry and gave the program a shot of energy in his first season at New Mexico.
Here are some of the highlights from the 2007 season:
Senior Jeremy Johnson (Albuquerque Manzano) earned All-America honors with a 20th place finish in his NCAA Cross Country Championships debut...it was the fourth-highest finish in program history.
Johnson and sophomore Brock Hagerman both earned all-NCAA Mountain Region honors to help the men's team finish fifth - its best at the regional meet since 2004, but just shy of the NCAA qualifying cut...Johnson's third place finish was the second-highest in program history.
Johnson turned in a wire-to-wire victory at the Mountain West Conference Championship meet in Albuquerque to lead the UNM men to a second place finish (51 points) - just five points behind BYU - in its best conference performance since 1988...the men recorded their best score at the conference meet since 1965...Johnson became the first native New Mexican to win a conference cross country title for the Lobos since John Baker in 1964 and was the second UNM champion in the last 41 years...senior Mat Ashton and sophomores Brock Hagerman and Brian Vallie earned second team all-MWC honors.
Junior Michelle Corrigan finished fifth to help the women's team place third at the MWC Championships...New Mexico placed both its men's and women's team among the top-three at the conference meet for the first since `88...Corrigan gave the Lobos a first team all-conference runner for a fifth-straight season - the longest streak in program history...the women placed all five scoring runners in the top-30 at the conference championships for the first time since 1986.
Johnson took home back-to-back MWC Athlete of the Week awards on Oct. 3 and Oct. 17, becoming the first UNM men's runner to earn Athlete of the Week honors twice in the same season...Johnson and Jacquelyne Gallegos are the only New Mexico runners to win the award three times in a career.
The UNM women's team opened the season with a bang, winning the Lobo Invitational for the first time since it moved to campus in 2000...New Mexico matched the meet record set by Division II power Western State in 2000 with a score of 21 points - 24 ahead of runner-up UTEP.