University of New Mexico cross country qualified its women’s team as well as an individual on the men’s side for the NCAA Championships next week after a solid showing at the Mountain Region Championships on Friday.
The women’s race was won by UNM sophomore Ednah Kurgat, who took home an individual win for the fourth straight time despite the level of competition presumably rising each meet.
She paced the field with a finishing time of 20:01.4 and seems to be primed for success and figures to be one of the top candidates with a shot at an individual win on the national stage on Friday.
Winning and going to the NCAA Championship is nothing new for the New Mexico women, as the team qualified for its 10th consecutive trip to compete for a national championship.
Despite the decision to leave Alice Wright back in Albuquerque, New Mexico to train for the NCAA Championships, the Lobos still place three runners in the top five of the meet.
Weini Kelati finished in third place with a time of 20:05.5, and Charlotte Prouse’s run of 20:15.3 was good for a fifth place finish.
The other scorers for the women’s team were Alex Buck, who finished 27th with a time of 20:57.7 and Alondra Negron Texidor with a run of 21:04.3 to place 34th.
Kieran Casey and Sophie Eckel also ran the meet and finished 36th and 61st, with a time of 21:06.4 and 21:28.0, respectively.
According to a release, the women’s total team score of 70 was the best finishing score since 2015, when it registered a mark of 50 points. Colorado State took home the top spot overall with a score of 62.
The men’s side did not seem to do enough to qualify to advance to the national championships, but did turn in its best performance since 2014.
Josh Kerr will likely qualify as an individual with a 15th place finishing time of 30:43.5 to help earn the team an 8th place overall finish.
The other men who scored for New Mexico were Alexander Palm, who finished 42nd at 31:26.9, Jonny Glen who ran 32:07.3 to finish 61st, Jacob Simonsen right on his heels for a 62nd place finish at 32:08.0 and Linton Taylor, who was 80th with a time of 32:34.5.
Jared Garcia and Tyler Valdez also ran the 8-kilometer race, but did not figure into the team score.
Northern Arizona had a total of 49 points to earn the team win, followed by BYU with a tally of 79 points.
The 8th place UNM finish was a solid performance in a field of 18 and with a lot of youth on the team; the future should be bright moving forward.
For this season though, Josh Kerr and the women’s team will continue the journey.
The NCAA Championships will be held in Louisville, Kentucky on Nov. 18 and is slated to have the women begin at 8:45 a.m. and the men compete an hour later.
Tyrell Natewa is a freelance sports reporter at the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers men’s and women’s cross country and track and field. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @DailyLoboSports.
Robert Maler is the sports editor for the Daily Lobo. He primarily covers basketball, football and tennis. He can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @Robert_Maler.