Sept. 11, 2012
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After strong performances to open the season, the University of New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams are both ranked in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association national rankings released Tuesday. Both squads check in at 24th in the nation and are the only Mountain West institutions in the poll.
The Lobos are one of 12 schools to have both its men's and women's teams rank in the top 25. Only Oklahoma State, Colorado, Stanford, Florida State, Syracuse, Georgetown, Villanova, Michigan, Oregon, Arkansas and Notre Dame accomplished this feat for the Week 1 poll released Sept. 11.
The men opened the 2012 cross country campaign ranked 24th in nation, their fifth-straight year starting a season ranked in the top-30 nationally. The Lobos maintained their spot in the latest poll, remaining at 24th. New Mexico also placed second in the Mountain Region Poll releases Monday for the second straight week.
Led by reigning MW individual champ Ross Millington and 2011 All-MW runner Sean Stam, New Mexico is coming off MW and Mountain Region championships in 2011. The men opened the 2012 season resting most of its top athletes (including Millington, Sam Evans and newcomers Adam Bitchell and Logan Rosenberg), but still registered four top-20 runners at the nighttime Lobo Invitational.
The women debuted at 24th Tuesday after receiving votes to start the season. It was the first time since 2008 that the women opened the season unranked. Still, the women ranked fifth in the preseason regional poll and climbed up to second in the latest rankings.
After losing a number of key starters from last year’s MW and Mountain Region championship team, the women have jumped back into the national spotlight behind seniors Josephine Moultrie and Lacey Oeding. The pair led the Lobos at the Lobo Invitational—taking third and fourth, respectively—spearheading an effort that saw five Lobos place in the top ten.
For an encore, Lobo head coach Joe Franklin will send primarily alternates down to Las Cruces on Saturday morning to compete in the annual Kachina Classic.