Lobo Men Romp Again At Lori Fitzgerald Invitational
SANTA TERESA, N.M. – Junior Ben Ortega led another route by the University of New Mexico men’s cross country team at the Lori Fitzgerald Invitational on Friday evening in Santa Teresa, N.M. Ortega edged 2001 Western Athletic Conference champion Bashar Ibrahim of UTEP by 2.78 seconds to capture his first collegiate cross country victory. Meanwhile, sophomore Jacquelyne Gallegos finished fourth to lead the women’s squad to a second place finish.
Ortega, who had been battling a minor knee injury prior to the meet, was one of five scoring UNM runners among the top-ten, completing the 6,758-meter course in 21:32.14. The Lobos tallied 19 points, just four points shy of a perfect score, en route to a 36-point victory over UTEP and an 87-point margin over rival New Mexico State. Fellow junior Matthew Gonzales finished third, followed by sophomore Cameron Clarke, freshman Jeremy Johnson and junior Nick Martinez in fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Juniors Leighton Katsuda and Sean Flaherty were 9th and 10th, respectively, to round out the UNM top-seven.
On the women’s side, Gallegos recorded a time of 18:46.39 over the 4,666m course to pace the Lobos. NMSU edged New Mexico by 10 points to take the team title. Sophomore Racqel Ricci was seventh, followed by junior-transfer Amanda Swann in 11th. Freshmen Timmie Murphy and Janice Tosa capped the New Mexico scoring in 13th and 15th place, respectively. Sophomore Vanessa Funston and freshman Karina Hill-Hurtado were not far behind in 19th and 20th, respectively, to round out the top-seven.
The UNM men and women take a week off before returning home to Albuquerque for the UNM Lobo Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 14. New Mexico will welcome 13 teams to the UNM North Golf Course, including UTEP and NMSU, with the action getting underway at 10 a.m.
MEN'S TEAM RESULTS |Pl.|Team|Score| |1.|NEW MEXICO|19| |2.|UTEP|55| |3.|N.M. Highlands|72| |4.|NMSU|106| |5.|El Paso CC|108|
WOMEN'S TEAM RESULTS
|4.|El Paso CC|94|
|5.|New Mexico JC|96|Q