ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico women's cross country team opened the 2014 season ranked 11th in the preseason National Coaches Poll, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Tuesday.
The Lobo women have been ranked or receiving votes in the USTFCCCA preseason poll for seven straight years. Additionally, New Mexico is the only Mountain West institution ranked on the women’s side.
“What an honor,” New Mexico head coach Joe Franklin said. “Over the last eight years, the women have had very high goals and have done everything they can to achieve those goals.
It started 8 years ago with Nicky Archer, Michelle Corrigan, Lacey Oeding, Carolyn Boosey, Ashley Gibson, Leslie Luna, Emma Reed, Kara Henry, Vanessa Ortiz, Sheyenne Lewis and Stasia Ploskonka all believing we could build something special in cross country at New Mexico. To now be considered one of the top teams in the country by other coaches in the NCAA shows that their hard work built the foundation for Lobo Cross Country.”
The women — who bring back virtually their entire squad from 2013, including All-American Charlotte Arter — claimed their highest preseason rank since 2011 when they were tabbed second.
New Mexico, which placed 10th at the 2013 NCAA Championships, was slotted second in the Mountain Region’s preseason rankings released Monday.
The Lobos' men’s squad was also ranked in the national poll, as they were ranked 17th. This makes UNM one of only 10 Division I institutions with both their men and women teams ranked in the top 20, joining Arkansas, Colorado, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Providence, Stanford, Syracuse, Villanova, Virginia and Wisconsin.Both teams will make their season debuts next weekend, Sept. 6, in Albuquerque at the Lobo Invitational.