Lobos Visit Auburn For Final Tune-Up Before MWC Meet
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  10/07/2005
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics

Oct. 7, 2005


The University of New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams resume competition this Saturday with a rare trip to Alabama for the 13th annual Auburn Invitational. Coming off a strong performance in their last meet at Stanford (Sept. 24), the Lobos will look to keep the momentum going in their last regular season race before the Mountain West Conference Championships.

UNM will be among 29 teams at the event, which will be held at the Indian Pines Golf Course. The competition begins with the men's 8,000-meter run at 8:30 a.m. (MST), followed by the women's 5K at 9:30.


Sr. Jacquelyne Gallegos (2-time NCAA qualifier...1 win, 2-time MWC Athlete of the Week, fastest 8K in the MWC in `05)
Jr. Timmie Murphy (Pair of top-20 finishes this fall...career-best 6K time at Stanford - 4th MWC...redshirt in 2004)
So. Leslie Luna (Scored in both meets in `05...first top-20 finish and career-best 6K at Lobo Invite - 17th MWC)
So. Lindsay Barr (Scored in all 8 career meets...season-best 6K at Stanford - 25th MWC)
So. Melanie Velarde (UNM top-7 both meets in `05...scored for first time in 3 career races at Stanford)
Sr. Janice Tosa (21 career XC races, scoring for the team 19 times...top 6K time of 22:47 in'03)
So. Sheyenne Lewis (4 career races...scored in her lone appearance of `04 at NCAA Pre-Nationals)
Jr. Roxann James (2004 JC All-American at Central Arizona...'00 state XC runner-up at Gallup HS)
Fr. Seny Archuleta (2004 state XC runner-up at Grants HS...only true freshman to run in each meet in `05)

Sr. Cameron Clarke (2-time all-MWC...UNM top runner twice in `05, 5 times in his career...MWC's 8th-fastest 8K)
Sr. Nate Clem (17 career races, scoring 10 times...9th-fastest 8K in the MWC this fall)
Jr. Juan Ortega (Career-best 8K at Stanford...scored 6 times in his career, twice in `05)
Jr. Steven Martinez (Scoring runner in 11 of 14 career races...30th in MWC, 40th at regionals in `04)
So. Joseph Garcia (Career-best 8K at Stanford...scored twice in `05...'04 state XC runner-up at Belen HS)
Jr. Brandon Vigil (Redshirt in `04...3-time Academic All-MWC...scored in 9 of 13 career races)
So. Chris Bratton (Redshirt in `04...UNM top-7 runner 3 times as a true freshman in `03)


Complete results and information about the Auburn Invitational can be found on the official website of the Auburn University Athletic Department: www.auburntigers.com


New Mexico is the only team from the Mountain Region in the field, though several talented squads from the South, South-Central and Southeast Regions will be in attendance. Five teams in the field are ranked in the top-five of their region, including: Alabama men (No. 3 - South), Auburn men (No. 5 - South), Stephen F. Austin men (No. 5 - South-Central), and the Samford women (No. 5 - South). The Alabama men received 34 votes in the latest national poll, the equivalent of a No. 31 ranking.

The women's race should feature a compelling individual battle as New Mexico senior Jacquelyne Gallegos looks to upset Auburn's Angela Homan in the 5,000-meter race. Gallegos, a two-time NCAA individual qualifier and 2004 all-conference runner, has been outstanding in her two races this year, winning the Lobo Invite and placing third at the elite Stanford Invitational, twice earning the MWC Athlete of the Week award for her performances. Homan, meanwhile, has won five of her last six regular season races and nine overall in her career. The Tiger senior has captured back-to-back SEC titles and is also a two-time All-American.


For the first time in sixth-year head coach Matt Henry's tenure, New Mexico has both its men's and women's team ranked among the top-10 in the Mountain Region cross country coaches poll. Entering the weekend, the Lobo women are No. 7, while the men check in at No. 10.

Led by two-time Mountain West Conference Athlete of the Week Jacquelyne Gallegos, the UNM women cracked the regional rankings (7th) for the first time under Henry after their week one performance at home in the Lobo Invitational. UNM defeated regional rivals Texas Tech and UTEP, as well as LSU and Division II power Western State.

The Lobo men, meanwhile, were ranked ninth in the first two regional polls before settling into 10th earlier in the week. New Mexico finished the 2004 ranked 19th in the country and fourth in the Mountain Region. The Lobos ended the season with a ninth place finish at the NCAA Championships, the best performance in school history.

LAST TIME OUT (at Stanford Invitational)

STANFORD, Calif. - Senior Jacquelyne Gallegos continued her stellar start to the cross country season with a third place finish at the elite Stanford Invitational on Sept. 24 at the Stanford Golf Course. Gallegos finished six seconds behind the winner, Cardinal All-American Arianna Lambie, completing the 6,000-meter course in 21:21. Junior Timmie Murphy finished 12th (22:09) in one of the finest races of her career, helping to lead the UNM women to a strong 10th place finish in the 32-team field.

On the men's side, seniors Cameron Clarke (26th) and Nate Clem (27th) led a tight pack of New Mexico runners as the Lobos five scorers finished within 1:20 of each other. Clarke finished the 8K with a time of 24:39, one second ahead of Clem. UNM finished 9th (235 pts.) overall in the 36-team field and downed the only other Mountain Region team in the field, Texas Tech (10th - 253 pts.).

Stanford swept the men's and women's races, winning with scores of 50 and 31 points, respectively.

The UNM women also got solid scoring efforts from a trio of sophomores in Leslie Luna, Lindsay Barr and Melanie Velarde. Luna continued her resurgent season, finishing 64th overall with a time of 23:22, while Barr was 88th (23:43). Velarde, meanwhile, scored for the first time in her Lobo career, finishing 119th overall in the 227-runner field with a time of 24:14. Senior Janice Tosa (143rd - 24:38) and sophomore Sheyenne Lewis (159th - 24:52) rounded out the top-7.

Earlier in the day, freshman Seny Archuleta placed a strong 20th in the women's 5K race, completing the course with a time of 20:48.

Back in the men's race, the Lobos' close group of scorers included juniors Juan Ortega and Steven Martinez, and sophomore Joseph Garcia. Ortega had his best race of the year, placing a strong 69th in the 130-man field with a career-best time of 25:30. Martinez followed in 95th place (25:57) with Garcia three spots behind in 98th (25:59). Junior Brandon Vigil was New Mexico's No. 6 runner (118th - 26:11) in his second race of the year, while sophomore Dylan Rose-Coss ran seventh on the team.


The early season awards continue to roll in for Jacquelyne Gallegos as the University of New Mexico senior was named Mountain West Conference Cross Country Athlete of the Week for the second time this season. Gallegos is the first Lobo ever to earn weekly award twice in the same season and has been honored by the league three times in her career, the most of any UNM cross country runner. The Pojoaque, N.M. native placed third at the Stanford Invitational last weekend and has led the New Mexico women to a No. 7 ranking in Mountain Region.

Gallegos bested 224 other runners at Stanford, only trailing Cardinal All-Americans Arianna Lambie and Katy Trotter. She completed the 6,000-meter course in a season-best 21:21, six seconds behind Lambie and two behind Trotter. Gallegos' performance helped the Lobo women finish 10th in the 32-team field, which included fifth-ranked Stanford and No. 15 UC-Santa Barbara.

Gallegos won her first MWC Athlete of the Week award after finishing third at the 2004 Lobo Invitational and again this year after winning the New Mexico home meet. The UNM women entered the regional rankings for the first time under sixth-year head coach Matt Henry on Sept. 20 of this year.


• Jacquelyne Gallegos' season-opening victory at the Lobo Invitational was the third by a UNM woman since head coach Matt Henry took over the program in the fall of 2000...Sarah Gonzales (2000-03) had the previous two wins...the Lobo men have notched 7 individual race victories under Henry, including a 4 last year...two-time UNM All-American Matt Gonzales has notched the most individual triumphs under Henry with 3 wins since 2000.

• Running cross country for the first time in two years, redshirt junior Timmie Murphy has finished among the top-20 twice this season, shaving time off her fastest 6K time in each race...Murphy finished 12th at the Stanford Invite, clocking a PR of 22:09, after placing 123rd in the same meet as a freshman in 2002...the Farmington, N.M. native redshirted the 2004 season as she recovered from leg and hip injuries suffered in training.

• Sophomores Leslie Luna and Melanie Velarde are neck-and-neck in the early season battle for the team's Most Improved Runner honors...Luna has run third on the team in both meets this year after scoring once in 5 races as a rookie in 2004...the Albuquerque Academy product has bettered her `04 season-best 6K time in each meet this fall and her top-time of 23:19 at the Lobo Invite is ranked 17th in the league...Velarde, meanwhile, appears to be completely healthy and rediscovering her form after a stress fracture in her foot slowed her during her senior year of high school at rookie season at UNM...the former Eldorado HS standout has run in the team's top-7 in each race this fall and scored for the first time at Stanford.

• Junior Brandon Vigil has made a successful return to competition after sitting out all of the 2004-05 cross country and track seasons...the Taos native missed a significant chunk of practice time during the summer of 2004 as he trained with his ROTC unit and has taken some time to get back into racing shape...Vigil made his 2005 season-debut on Sept. 17 at New Mexico State, leading the split-squad team in his first collegiate competition since April 9, 2004 (1 year, 5 months, 8 days) and ran sixth on the team the following week at Stanford...called one of the gutsiest runners on the team by head coach Matt Henry, Vigil has scored in 9 of his 13 career races and is a three-time all-MWC honoree.

• The 2005 UNM men's team could be one of the best group running units in head coach Matt Henry's tenure...in 3 meets this fall, the average time difference between the first and fifth scoring runner has been 1 minute even...the top-5 were separated by a season-low 42 seconds in the season-opener...last year's group had an average pack spread of 1:51...the 2003 Lobos were the tightest running group as the first and fifth runners finished an average of 55 seconds apart during the year, including a low of 19 seconds at a triangular meet in San Diego...Henry said he believes this year's group of men as the comparable talent needed to maintain their pack-running and could make an impact at the MWC and Mountain Region meets if each individual continues to lower their overall time in each race.

• Seven women and four men made their UNM cross country debuts at the Lobo Invite...junior transfer Roxann James ran seventh for the New Mexico women (58th overall), while redshirt sophomore Dylan Rose-Coss (6th UNM, 70th overall) and redshirt freshman Ezra Esquibel (7th UNM, 76th overall) cracked the Lobos' top-seven in their collegiate debuts.


University of New Mexico head coach Matt Henry has built the UNM program by using his greatest natural resource: New Mexico high school distance runners. Of the 42 men and women on the 2005 roster, all but seven are products of New Mexico high schools. Each of the Lobos' NCAA Championship competitors, All-Americans and all-Mountain West honorees during Henry's tenure has graduated from an in-state high school.