Powerful New Mexico Hosts 10th Lobo Invitational On Saturday
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  09/03/2009
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Sept. 3, 2009

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The University of New Mexico opens its highly anticipated 2009 season on Saturday with the 10th annual Lobo Invitational meet. Host New Mexico returns five of the top-seven runners from its 2008 Mountain West Conference women's team and six starters from its powerful men's team. Both UNM squads were picked to finish second in the MWC in the preseason coaches' poll and are expected to appear in the preseason national top-30 rankings in two weeks.

New Mexico, which will hold out a several of its top runners on Saturday, welcomes a regional field for Saturday's non-scored collegiate races, including traditional national power UTEP, New Mexico State, New Mexico Highlands and Diné College. It's the first of two home meets for the Lobos at the UNM North Golf Course along with the NCAA Mountain Region Championships on Nov. 14.

Twenty New Mexico high schools will also be competing in the five prep races. The high school varsity races begin at 8:45 a.m., followed by the collegiate competition at 9:45. All races will be 5,000 meters, except for the collegiate men, who will run a 6K. Admission is free.


So. Lacy Oeding (1st team all-MWC (2nd)...MWC Freshman of the Year...NCAA all-region)
Sr. Ashley Gibson (NCAA all-region...scored in 4 of 7 races in `08...NCAA 1,500m qualifier in `09)
Jr. Vanessa Ortiz (RS all of 2008-09...has scored in all 10 career races...'06 MWC Freshman of the Year)
Sr. Laura Bowerman (UNM XC debut...all-MWC honors in outdoor 5K in `09...'05 NCAA XC qual. at Florida State)
Sr. Polina Ermoshina (Scored twice in 7 career XC races...nordic All-American for Lobo ski team)
So. Alex Darling (Former multi-event athlete making her XC debut...Lobos' top (MWC No. 6) 3K steeplechase runner in `09)
Sr. Kelly McCabe (Six career XC races...MWC steeplechase finalist in 2007)

Jr. David Bishop (NCAA all-region...led UNM 2x and scored in all 5 races in his `08 debut...NCAA reg'l qual. in the 1,500m in `09)
RS-Fr. Allen Pittman (RS in `08 XC...No. 1 runner for nationally ranked Los Alamos HS in `06 & `07)
So. Patrick Ortiz (No. 2 freshman in the MWC in `08, finishing 35th...4 races last year as a RS-Fr.)
Jr. Brian Vallie (RS in `08...scored 3x in 7 career races...2007 2nd team all-MWC...all-MWC 800m in `07)
So. Jason Petty (Has scored in all 8x in 10 career races...team's No. 5 at `08 Pre-Nationals...redshirt in `07)
So. Cory Kalm (Team's No. 2 and 25th overall at NMSU, his lone appearance as a RS-Fr. in `08)
So. Matt Everett (Raced twice in his debut XC season in `08...middle distance runner on the track)


Complete registration information and history of the Lobo Invitational Cross Country Meet

Lobos To Watch in '09
Senior Nicky Archer
• 1st team all-MWC; all-region; NCAA 10K qualifier

Senior Jacob Kirwa
• 1st team all-MWC; all-region; MWC 5K champion

Sophomore Lacey Oeding
• 1st team all-MWC; all-region; MWC Fresh. of the Yr.

Senior Carolyn Boosey
• 1st team all-MWC; all-region

Senior Chris Barnicle
• 2x all-region at Arkansas; UNM 10,000 All-American

Senior Lee Emanuel
• XC all-region; NCAA mile champion; 1,500 All-American

Senior Rory Fraser
• 2nd team all-MWC; all-region; NCAA 5K qualifier

Senior David Bishop
• XC all-region; NCAA regional qualifier (1,500m)

Senior Ashley Gibson
• XC all-region; NCAA 1,500 qualifier




Collegiate Teams (6):
Diné College (defending men's and women's USCAA national champions);
Navajo Technical College (first-year program);
New Mexico (11 men's & women's starters returning, preseason top-2 MWC);
New Mexico Highlands (men 5th, women 10th in RMAC in `08);
New Mexico State (women 4th, men 6th in WAC in `08);
UTEP (men 2nd, women 7th in C-USA in `08).

High School Teams (23): Albuquerque Academy; Albuquerque HS; Bosque School; Chaparral HS; Cibola HS; Cleveland HS; Cuba HS; Eldorado HS; Highland HS; Hope Christian HS; Jemez Valley HS; La Cueva HS; Los Alamos HS; Manzano HS; Miyamura HS; Rio Rancho HS; Sandia HS; Sandia Prep HS; St. Michael's HS; St. Pius X HS; To"Hajiilee HS; Valley HS; Volcano Vista HS.


University of New Mexico runners have the luxury of competing in one of the top cross country environments in the nation. Located 5,085 feet above sea level in the heart of Lobo country, the UNM North Golf Course has been the home of Lobo cross country since the 2000 season.

Over past nine years Albuquerque has been re-established as one of the premier cross country running locations in America. Blessed with excellent weather throughout much of the fall, the Duke City has been the site of three Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships, the 2002 and 2006 NCAA Mountain Region Championships as well as the biggest cross country meets in the state each year, the annual Lobo Invitational. The NCAA Mountain Region Championships will return to the UNM North Course in 2009.

Each year thousands of vocal and knowledgeable New Mexico distance running enthusiasts pack the North Golf Course to see their Lobos compete against some of the finest teams in the region and the country. The spectator-friendly course winds its way over gentle grassy slopes, around majestic trees and through the cheering crowd several times, giving athletes a tremendous boost. And with its ideal location, less than a mile from the main campus, many UNM runners can simply jog home after competition.

In 2007, the UNM North Course began to offer another benefit to Lobo cross country runners. Head coach Joe Franklin has secured the course for weekly team training sessions, giving New Mexico athletes exclusive access to the pristine training location.

Built in 1942, the nine-hole UNM North Golf Course is a picturesque urban oasis that has been called "Albuquerque's Central Park."


Registration is now available for the University of New Mexico Community 5K Fun Run on the GoLobos.com cross country page. For just $10, runners of any age and ability can be a part of the Lobo Invitational - one of the biggest cross country meets in the state of New Mexico - and race on one of America's finest on-campus courses as they support the UNM cross country/track and field program.

The Lobo Invitational opens with the Community Fun Run at 8 a.m., and continues with five high school races and two collegiate races. Official times for the Fun Run, will be available on Saturday afternoon on www.GoLobos.com.

Registration is $10 (cash or check can be paid at the course) and is due by 7:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. All proceeds go toward the UNM cross country/track & field program.


Take one look at the 2009 men's and women's roster and it's clear that third-year head coach Joe Franklin is building a national cross country powerhouse at the University of New Mexico. Both teams return a slew of experienced runners and have added several impact newcomers. Both were also picked to finish second in the preseason Mountain West Conference coaches poll and are expected to be ranked among the top-30 when the national preseason poll comes out in two weeks.

The Lobo women broke through for their first conference cross country title last year, defeating eight-time champion BYU, 31-33, in the closest championship meet in MWC history. New Mexico went on to finish second at the NCAA Mountain Regional and 18th in their first NCAA Championship appearance since 1985.

Senior Nicky Archer leads a group of four returning NCAA all-region runners and is one of three first team all-MWC honorees back this fall. Archer, a two-time MWC Athlete of the Week, led the Lobos' in four of seven meets in 2008 and followed that with strong indoor and outdoor track seasons, including an NCAA berth in the 10,000m (14th). Fellow all-region and first team all-MWC honorees Lacey Oeding (So.) and Carolyn Boosey (Sr.) also return after excellent 2008 campaigns.

Oeding shocked the league with a second place at the MWC Championships, leading the team to the conference title en route to MWC Freshman of the Year recognition. She went on to finish 10th at the USA Junior Cross Country Championships in February. Boosey, meanwhile, was third at the MWC Championships and 18th at the NCAA Mountain Regional meet during a breakthrough fall.

Senior Ashley Gibson earned all-region honors as the Lobos' No. 6 runner last fall and, according to Franklin, is in the best shape of her career. An NCAA Championships qualifier in the 1,500 last spring, Gibson could be one of the most improved runners on the team this fall.

Junior Vanessa Ortiz - the 2006 MWC Freshman of the Year - also returns after redshirting all of 2008-09. Like Gibson, Franklin says Ortiz has never been in better shape and could give the Lobos a major scoring punch in `08. Franklin is also looking for rejuvenated senior Laura Bowerman to make a big impact after overcoming a serious foot injury to earn all-MWC honors in the 5,000 during the outdoor season.

Several newcomers will push for top-seven spots as well. Junior transfer Ruth Senior is a top flight steeplechase runner, freshman Sarah Higgens was the top prep steeplechase runner in the country last spring and owns the Indiana state meet record in cross country, and fellow freshman Janna Mistos has also been impressive during summer training.

The deep, talented men's team will be led by five outstanding seniors in Jacob Kirwa, Chris Barnicle, Rory Fraser, David Bishop and Lee Emanuel.

Kirwa enters the 2009 season in fantastic condition, following a stellar outdoor track season. Kirwa captured the MWC 5,000m title and was the NCAA Midwest Region runner-up in the event after leading the Lobos in four of six meets during the cross country season. The Diné College transfer was fifth at the MWC Championships to earn first team all-MWC honors and was an all-region selection as well.

Barnicle, an Arkansas transfer, made his UNM debut during the outdoor season and went on to earn All-America honors with a 13th place finish in the 10,000m at the NCAA Championships. He was a two-time all-region runner for the Razorbacks and helped the team advance to the 2007 NCAA Championships.

Fraser was an all-region and second team all-MWC runner for the Lobos last fall and went on to compete in the 5,000 at both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. A strong middle distance man on the track, Bishop led the team in two meets last fall, including the NCAA Mountain Region Championships where he earned all-region honors with a 14th place finish.

Emmanuel, meanwhile, was a surprising 17th at the NCAA Mountain Championships before turning in the greatest track and field campaign ever by a UNM middle distance runner. The two-time All-American won gold in the mile at the NCAA Indoor Championships after rewriting the UNM record book at every distance from 800 to 3,000 meters during the winter, then followed with a bronze medal performance in the 1,500 at the NCAA Outdoor meet.

Promising redshirt freshman Allen Pittman, junior Brian Vallie - a second team all-MWC runner in 2007 - and junior transfer Keith Gerrard have all shown the ability to be elite scoring runners for the Lobos as well.