Pete has got a tale to tell you about a great start for some Aggie teams that don’t always get the headlines. Tennis coach Don Ball has been a regular around the Aggie campfire longer than any other coach on the staff. His men’s team has received some lofty praise at the start of the season. The No. 1 doubles pair of senior Roman Stoisavljevic and junior Eduardo Salas along with junior Gustave Diep, its No. 1 singles player, have been selected in the 2008 preseason rankings by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.
Stoisavljevic and Salas came in at No. 30 in the first poll of the season while Diep was No. 107 in the nation. Three other Aggies play in the prestigious All-American Championships, in Tulsa, Okla. Last season, Stoisavljevic and Salas became the first ranked doubles team since the end of the 2000 season. They spent two weeks at No. 52 after they beat the No. 2 team from Texas Tech, Feb. 24. Diep becomes the first Aggie singles player to be ranked since Marc Legris appeared there in 2000.
While the men’s tennis team is getting ready to serve and volley, the Aggies cross country teams are getting high marks too. Junior distance standout Ingrid Flores led the New Mexico State women’s team across the finish line at the ninth annual Lobo Invitational in Albuquerque. Flores brought home the bronze medal in the 5k race with a time of 18:45.00. Ian Ruybalid led the men in his Aggie debut when he recorded a 16th-place finish with a time of 26:45.96 in the 8k race. There wasn’t formal team scoring but multiple Aggies set personal bests.
Sophomore Amy Arenas was three spots behind Flores as she significantly improved her personal-best time by more than a minute. Sophomore Brandi Gutierrez was the third Aggie to cross the line and finished eighth. Junior Brittany Hurtado claimed 13th place, while senior Christina Herrera was 16th. On the men’s side, sophomore Michael Hart came in second for the Crimson and White and 18th overall. Two NMSU freshmen rounded out the top 20. Victor Sanchez placed 19th and right on his heels was Anthony Ellis with a time of 27:04.35. The Aggies run again Friday, Sept. 12, at the Lori Fitzgerald Invitational in Santa Teresa, N.M.
This is one of Pete’s favorite times of the year because there are so many great sporting activities going on. You can’t go wrong taking the time to see any Aggie team in action.