ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams both check in as the ninth-ranked teams in the nation in the most recent edition of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national rankings released Tuesday.
After a stellar performance by both squads at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational last Saturday—which included a fifth-place finish by the men and sixth-place by women—the Lobos have both their teams ranked in the top 10 for the first time in three years.
“It shows that the coaches think we’re doing a good job, since it’s a United States Track & Field coaches’ poll,” UNM head coach Joe Franklin said. “And we talk about this all the time: it’s consistency and expectation. And now we’ve been consistent for five or six years.”
The last time New Mexico had both the men and women ranked in the top 10 was the final regular-season poll in 2010 on Nov. 16, 2010, when both teams were ranked fifth in the nation. Both teams occupied the top 10 simultaneously five weeks in 2010, which was the only time in program history both teams ranked top-10.
The men have earned their highest ranking since the final regular season poll in 2010. It’s the first time the men have broken into the top 10 since then, as well.
For the women, It’s the first time in two years that they were ranked in the top 10 in consecutive polls after ranking seventh in the last poll. The last time UNM did that was Oct. 4 and Oct. 11, 2011, when they were ranked seventh in back-to-back weeks.
These top-10 rankings also make New Mexico the only institution in Division I to have both teams ranked in the top 10.
“That’s what we talk about everyday,” Franklin said. “Doing everything you can to be one of the best teams in the country. And not only a good team on the women’s side or a good team on the men’s side, but we have two solid teams."
New Mexico is also the just one of two Mountain West institutions to place both its teams in the national rankings, along with Boise State. The men’s side of the polls is packed with four MW teams (including No. 20 Boise State, No. 22 Colorado State and No. 28 Air Force), and the women’s side feature No. 25 Boise State along with the Lobos.
On top of that, the Lobos are showing well in the regional rankings as well, with the women holding firm to the top spot in the women’s rankings and the men climbing to fourth in their version.
The Lobos will return to action on Nov. 1 as they head to the MW Cross Country Championships hosted by the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.