Lobo Rookies Impress At NMSU Kachina Classic
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/23/2006
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 23, 2006

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University of New Mexico freshmen Jason Petty and Rachelle Billie both finished seventh to lead a strong performance by the Lobos' split squad on Sept. 23 at New Mexico State's Kachina Classic meet. The UNM men (57 pts.) finished second behind No. 13 UTEP (15), which competed with all of its top runners, while the New Mexico women were third (94).

UNM head coach Matt Henry rested his top four on the men's side (Jeremy Johnson, Juan Ortega and Joseph Garcia and Brian Vallie) and six best runners on the women's side (Timmie Murphy, Leslie Luna, Vanessa Ortiz, Melanie Velarde, Sheyenne Lewis and Roxann James).

Petty completed the 7,400-meter course in 23:45.6 in his second collegiate race. Freshman Alex Willis and junior Chris Bratton finished 10th and 11th, respectively. Rookie Jeremy Newland was 13th and junior Dylan Rose-Coss crossed 16th to cap the scoring for the men. Bratton and Rose-Coss both notched their best career finishes. Sophomore Ezra Esquibel (17th) and junior Michael Deason (22nd) rounded out the Lobos' top-7.

Billie enjoyed a strong collegiate debut, finishing the 5K course in 19:49.5, just 18 seconds behind the winner, Kelly Young of UTEP. Juniors Lindsay Barr and Stasia Ploskonka crossed in 15th (20:29.7) and 20th, respectively, while rookie Lynn Brasher was 24th (20:57.9). Sophomore Becky Green was the Lobos' fifth scoring running, finishing 31st (21:48.6), while second-year runner Carolyn Romero was the team's No. 6 runner (38th, 22:35.6).