Lobos Complete Competition in the Midwest and Southwest
South Bend, Ind. — The University of New Mexico cross country team finished their campaign at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational on Friday with a second-place finish for the women (94 points), just behind No. 1 NC State with 38 points.
Senior, Stefanie Parsons, dominated the women’s race from the beginning to finish fourth with a time of 16:18.3, positioning her just eight seconds off the top finisher Mercy Chelangat from No. 6 Alabama.
Finishing next for the Lobos was freshman Emma Heckel, with a time of 16:40.0 placing her 16th on the overall leaderboard.
A trio of Lobos was the next to cross the finish line with senior Adva Cohen, leading the pack with a time of 16:45.0 (23rd), followed by freshman Amelia Mazza-Downie and sophomore Gracelyn Larkin with times of 16:47.9 (25th) and 16:48.4 (26th), respectively. The Lobo trio scored a total of 23 points to round out the final team score.
Sophomore Andrea Modin Engesaeth followed just two seconds behind teammate Larkin in 29th with a time of 16:50.1. Rounding out the Lobos were junior Abbe Goldstein (40th, 16:55.8) and senior Hannah Miller (120th, 17:35.4).
“The women ran exceptionally well even though they were buried in the back of the pack the first 800 meters. Stefanie, Emma, and Adva (who is just starting to build off of the Olympics) were right on point with how they ran and progressed through the race,” stated head coach Joe Franklin.
“Gracelyn, Amelia, Andrea, and Abbe really worked well together. So in our first meet, when you add in three new Lobos along with the returners, it was a very good day.”
In the women’s Open Division, freshman Samree Dishon finished fourth for the Lobos with a time of 17:20.6. A trio of the Lobos followed with freshman Elise Thorner and Aliandrea Upshaw and senior Juanita Johnson finishing back-to-back-to-back in sixth (17:24.8), seventh (17:26.4), and eighth (17:27.9) place respectively.
“Samree, Juanita, Ali, and Elise ran brilliantly in the open race. That shows we have excellent depth on the team.”
The men’s cross country team finished 23rd (561 points) in the team standings, with sophomore Abdirizak Ibrahim leading the squad with a time of 24:04.6, placing time 25th on the overall leaderboard. Junior Awet Yohannes was next to finish for the Lobos in 94th (24:59.2) overall.
Junior Reece Donihi and senior Iolo Hughes finished with times of 25:36.0 (139th) and 25:51.1 (149th). The last Lobo to score was freshman Matthew Larkin with a time of 26:10.7 (154th).
Rounding out the men’s squad was junior Nehemiah Cionelo in 159th with a time of 26:29.5.
“Abdizirak showed why he is one of the upcoming distance runners in the country. His progression last year was amazing, where he ended up all American in cross country. He will continue to get better just like the team that he leads.”
The women’s cross country team also sent seven athletes to the Four Corners Cross Country Classic in Durango, Colo., hosted by Fort Lewis College, where they finished first in the competition with 24 points.
“Semira got her first win in a college race, and the team also got a victory. To run a race at a 7,000 feet elevation is challenging, and they came out on top,” stated Franklin.
Freshman Semira Mebrahtu Firezghi took the top spot on the overall leaderboard with a time of 18:34.7. Finishing third and fourth were senior Brenda Rosales-Coria and freshman Celeste Martinez with times of 19:13.7 and 19:30.5, respectively.
Freshman Lauren Bettencourt was the next Lobo to finish with a time of 20:11.8 (7th). Fellow freshman Cora Cooke followed close behind with a time of 20:40.9 to round out the top ten. Rounding out the squad was freshman Madeleine Velasquez and sophomore Cassandra Campanozzi finishing 16th (21:37.5) and 20th (25:09.4), respectively.
The Lobos head to Madison, Wis. for the Nuttycombe Invitational on Friday, Oct. 15.