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Lobos Claim Mountain West Title for Thirteenth Year in a Row

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — For the thirteenth-straight year, the University of New Mexico’s women’s cross country team clinched the Mountain West Title at the MW Cross Country Championships in Las Vegas, Nev. With a spread of 0:30, the Lobos finished with seven runners in the top-15, posting a total of 29 points.

The women’s team, currently ranked third in the Nation in the most recent Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, has held the Mountain West Championship title since 2008, a thirteen-year streak, the longest winning-streak in Mountain West history in any sport.

“To continue our winning tradition for this many years is a testament to the drive and expectations that these women have to be great at the highest collegiate running level,” said head coach Joe Franklin.

“These women have earned the right to wear the turquoise uniform at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 10 days and will do so with pride and honor, representing both UNM and the state of New Mexico.”

Crossing the finish line first for the Lobos was senior Adva Cohen, who finished in second place overall, posting a Mountain West Championship personal-best time of 20:02.3. At the 20:11.7 mark, sophomore Amelia Mazza-Downie completed the race, claiming the fourth place spot overall.

Sophomore Gracelyn Larkin, competing in her second Mountain West Championships, finished in sixth place (20:13.7). Just behind Larkin was Andrea Modin Engesaeth (20:14.3), finishing seventh overall in her first-ever collegiate championship.

Rounding out the scoring runners for the Lobos was senior Annamaria Kostarellis, finishing in tenth place at a time of 20:32.2.

Red-shirt freshman Elise Thorner and freshman Semira Mebrahtu Firezghi finished in sixth and seventh place for the Lobos, respectively. This was just the second collegiate cross country race for both Lobos. Red-shirt senior Hannah Miller (19th, 20:47.8) and newcomers Ali Upshaw (38th, 21:32.8) and Samrawit Dishon (59th, 22:30.8) all made their Mountain West Championship debut in the race as well.

“This group of women continues to grow and get better every week.  The first five (Adva, Amelia, Gracelyn, Andrea, and Anna), led by Adva, are running exceptionally well. The next three (Elise, Semira, Hannah) have gotten significantly better over the last month. ”

The men’s cross country team finished in fifth place with a total of 132 points. Finishing first for the men and in tenth place overall was sophomore Abdirizak Ibrahim at a time of 23:58.5. The second and third runners to finish on the team were junior Awet Yohannes (24:45.5) and red-shirt sophomore Nehemiah Cionelo (24:45.7), claiming 28th and 29th place. In fourth place for the men was freshman Matthew Larkin, finishing 35th overall, adding 33 points to the Lobos score at a time of 25:01.5. Junior Reece Donihi was the final point-earner for the Lobos, finishing in 38th place, adding 36 points to the Lobos’ total. Red-shirt sophomore Harrison Smith III closed out the race for the team, finishing in 44th place overall (25:27.6).

“The men ran very well. To close the gap on Colorado State is quite an accomplishment,” said head coach Joe Franklin. “Abdi ran exceptionally well, placing 10th overall, and should be selected for an NCAA individual spot at the NCAA Championships, an incredible Individual honor.”

The 2021 DI cross country championship selection show will be at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 7. The selection show will be streamed live on The NCAA Championships are set to take place on March 15 at the OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The race will air on ESPNU with coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET.