LAS CRUCES, N.M. -- The New Mexico State cross country team had another strong performance when they hosted the Kachina Classic on Saturday, Sept. 28, at Centennial High School. The women’s team took first place and had the top three finishers, while the men finished second against the UTEP Miners.
The Aggies were surrounded by several high schools from New Mexico and El Paso. Centennial High School was hosting the 2013 Centennial Hawk Challenge and there were plenty of fans from the community supporting local high schools as well as their Aggie athletes.
The Aggie women took four of the top five spots and swept the top three for the third time this season. The Aggies were paced by junior Diana Hawk, who finished first overall with a time of 19:11.90. Hawk finished first overall in each of her four races this season.
Junior Megan McNally finished second overall with a time of 19:26.85. She was followed by senior Sarabel Bojorquez, who finished with a time of 20:00.10.
Seniors Christiana Barela and Gael Sanchez finished fifth and sixth respectively. Barela finished with a time of 20:28.92 and Sanchez finished with a time of 20:42.71.
The women totaled 17 points, which defeated UTEP’s 40 points for the first-place finish.
“We did well. Our girls took the top three spots in front of the Las Cruces crowd,” assistant coach Christopher Huff said. “We’re usually in the shadows sometimes, but this was a great atmosphere for our girls and our guys.”
On the men’s side, the Aggies were led by junior Nathan Starr, who finished fourth with a time of 16:37.07. He was followed by junior Hab Rubio, who finished with a time of 16:43.03.
Junior Erik Perez finished seventh with a time of 17:03.90, and rounded out the Aggies’ top 10 finishers. Junior Evan Bekes finished 11 overall with a time of 17:17.99.
The men’s team finished with 43 points, which was second to UTEP’s 21.
“Today was challenging for us,” Huff said. “It wasn’t manicured lawns, so the terrain that we had here today will bode well for competitions down the road. This stuff here was hard to run in and it will make our men and women a lot stronger.”
The Aggies will be back in action on Oct. 5, when they travel to Lawrence, Kan. for the Rim Rock Collegiate Classic.