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CrossSweep

The UNM cross country teams swept the individual and team MWC championships for the fourth-straight year on Friday in Reno, Nev.

Fastest four years running

sports@dailylobo.com

UNM cross country still rules the Mountain West.

The Lobos swept the MWC crowns for the fourth straight year Friday, claiming the team and individual titles in the men’s and women’s races.

UNM had a strong showing at the conference meet even though several runners were sick with the flu.

“Our sport is not a sport where you can have the flu, and we had a lot of sickness last week,” UNM head coach Joe Franklin said in a news release. “For them to do what they did is really impressive.”

Redshirt senior Lacey Oeding earned Mountain West Women’s Athlete of the Year honors after winning the women’s 6-kilometer race in 20:49.965. Her time is the fifth fastest in meet history.

Her performance spearheaded the No. 17 UNM women to their fifth consecutive team title. The Lobos won the women’s race with 35 team points. Colorado State placed second in the team standings with 63 points, followed by Boise State (72), Air Force (92), Nevada (149), Wyoming (151), Fresno State (204), San Diego State (210) and UNLV (278).

“Lacey is an incredible athlete,” Franklin said. “She is a very determined woman who will absolutely wreck herself. She gets everything out of her body and works very hard.”

Junior Charlotte Arter was the runner-up behind Oeding, crossing the finish line in 20:51.620. Senior Josephine Moultrie also cracked the top five with a time of 21:05.279.

Other UNM women’s runners at the meet were redshirt senior Shawna Winnegar (13th, 21:31.739), senior Imogen Ainsworth (14th, 21:32.323), junior Chloe Anderson (15th, 21:34.891) and redshirt junior Janna Mitsos (18th, 21:42.187).

The No. 12 UNM men won the team title with 22 points, finishing 27 points better than runner-up Air Force. Colorado State was third in the men’s event with 75 points, followed by Boise State (102), Wyoming (147) and Fresno State (154).

Led by junior Luke Caldwell, the Lobos had five of the top eight finishers. Caldwell won the men’s race for the third time in four years, clocking a time of 24:26.698 for 8 kilometers.

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Junior Pat Zacharias finished third in 24:38.492, while Mountain West Freshman of the Year Elmar Engholm took fourth in 24:39.756.

Juniors Adam Bitchell (24:42.737) and Sean Stam (24:43.525) were sixth and eighth, respectively. Also for UNM, redshirt freshman Donovan Torres was 17th in 25:01.375 and junior Sam Evans was 18th in 25:05.011.

“We had some guys just make some jumps and step up,” Franklin said. “It was a really solid group effort.”

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