The WNMU cross country teams headed down in elevation again as they went west to compete in the UC San Diego Classic. Flor Luna paced the Lady Stangs with a 15th place finish running the 6 KM course in 23:40.3 just 1:40 out of first place which was nabbed by Mariaane Hogan of SDSU. Diana Sanchez had another solid performance just about 30 seconds back in 31st place; Nicole Luna was close on her heels at 24:26 in 38th; Viviana and Sheilah finished in 79th and 85th as the Lady Stangs team came in 10th of 13 teams in a DI heavy field.
Luis Figuero continued to improve as the season goes on logging a 33:02.4 time over the men’s 10 KM course to finish 4th overall. Unfortunately his teammates couldn’t match his performance as Anthony Martinez was about 4 minutes back in 35th and Dustin Walthall in 37th. Francisco Damasio was 39th and Michael Lopez 40th to round out the Mustangs’ performance. The men finished 6th as a team.
For the first time this season the Mustang men were able to field a full team for a cross country meet as both the men and women’s CC teams ran in Boulder this weekend. The men finished strong in the non DI category beating Regis and Colorado Mesa but falling to the nationally ranked Western State Mountaineers and Ft. Lewis. Luis Figueroa placed 5th individually with a time of 28:04 behind winner Amos Bowen of Garden City CC, at 27:13 on the 8 KM course. Dustin Walthall was 23rd followed closely by Anthony Martinez in 30th but less than a minute back; Francisco Damasio was 40th at 33:55 and Michael Lopez debuted for the Stangs in 45th with a respectful 42:25 despite not being able to log much practice time.
The Lady Stangs got solid performances from Flor Luna, 8th with a 24:14 time, followed in 11th by Diana Sanchez just :27 back. Nicole Luna was hot on Diana’s heels in 17th at 25:13 followed by Viviana Ruiz in 42nd at 27:32 and Katherine Sanchez in 51st at 28:56; Sheilah Koskey was only 3 seconds behind. The Lady Stangs have the dubious distinction of being the only WNMU team to lose to Colorado Mesa this weekend; CMU won the non DI division race. The Lady Stangs finished in 6th place behind Ft. Lewis and Regis of the RMAC but beating CSU Pueblo.
I’ve come to find out that many of our alumni, boosters, fans and general community do not know that WNMU has a cross country team or for that matter that we have competed in the NCAA national tournaments in softball, golf, tennis; did you realize how good the RMAC is at cross country? Adams State has a zillion national championships; they are comparable to how good UTEP was at track for decades. Adams continues to top the national rankings in DII followed at #2 by Western State (only because as nice as Gunnison is, in the winter the kids want to get away and running over the mountain range is good training). Colorado Mines is ranked #4 in the nation and Metro State (a school with 2 NCAA championships in men’s basketball this past decade) is now a CC powerhouse as well; ranked #15. They must run around downtown Denver dodging cars and jumping over vagrants and the occasional radio guy stumbling out of the Tilted Kilt early in the morning.
DII athletics is pretty impressive and the RMAC is at the top of the that heap.
Going to Las Vegas NM is always an iffy proposition; it might be the coldest place on earth and the town folk aren’t that friendly, to put it mildly; so getting out of Vegas in one piece is always a plus. The women’s team placed fourth in the Cowboy/Cowgirl Jamboree; Flor Luna paced the Lady Stangs finishing 7th with a time just over 20 minutes; Diana Sanchez was just behind sneaking into the top 10 at 20:38 and Nicole Luna was nipping her heels in 13th place just 18 seconds behind. Katherine Sanchez landed in 31st place and Shellah Koskey was in 33rd to round out the Lady Stang runners.
The men competed as individuals with Luis Figueroa leading the Mustangs in 12th place with a 26:33 pace; Anthony Martinez outpaced Dustin Walthall for 30th in 28:44:98; Dustin was just 18 hundreths of a second behind in 31st. Francisco Damasio was 43rd with a time of 35:01. The nationally ranked Cowboys were 2nd behind ENMU. As usual the NMHU website was a fountain of information; not really…
The men’s cross country team went west to get some more oxygen and compete against a tough regional field. Both competed against some strong DI programs and independent clubs; the men did not have enough runners to compete as a team but got some solid results individually. Luis Figueroa topped the men’s results with a 52nd place finish just 2 minutes behind Cam Levins of Southern Utah, who was a full minute ahead of the rest of the pack. Not too far behind on the clock was Dustin Walthall but he was in 192nd place; this was a huge meet! Anthony Martinez was just a few seconds back in 205th while Francisco Damasio brought up the rear for the Mustang squad in 235th place.
Both men and women will be in Las Vegas, the bad one, for the Highlands University Invitational on the 24th.
WNMU cross country teams headed northwest to compete in the George Kyte Classic at Northern Arizona University and came away with pretty solid performances. WNMU men finished strong. JR Luis Figueroa paced the Mustangs with a 24th place finish in 28:26 under 3 minutes behind the winner. Just a couple of minutes behind was SO Anthony Martinez in 38th place and SO Dustin Walthall in 44th followed closely by SO Francisco DAmasio in 47th. The Mustangs only fielded 4 runners and need 5 to be considered in the team competition.
The Lady Stangs faired well finishing as the top DII team in the competition beating out Grand Canyon and Dixie State along with JC Pima CC and Scottsdale CC. They only lost to the 3 DI teams, Arizona State, U of A and NAU. SR Flor Luna just nipped JR Diana Sanchez for top Lady Stang finisher; they came in at #31 & 32 respectively in a very tough field. Flor ran a 19:56 only 10 seconds ahead of Diana. JR Nicole Luna close behind at #37 finishing at 21:00 while Viviana Ruiz, a FR, followed :28 behind to finish in 39th place. FR Katherine Sanchez trailed close behind Viviana to finish in 42nd place. Samantha Lopez, SR, rounded out the Lady Stangs in 56th place with a 26:47 performance.
Coach Campos has to be pleased with the performance; the teams will be in El Paso this Saturday for the UTEP for the Lori Fitzgerald Invite, another good test for the Mustangs.