SANTA TERESA, N.M.-The New Mexico State University cross country team notched its first team win of the season when the women's squad finished first overall at the Lori Fitzgerald Invitational on Friday, Sept. 7.
The women's team finished first overall with 25 points, defeating rival UTEP that finished with 43 points. El Paso Community College finished third with 68 points.
Junior Jenna Padilla finished first overall for NM State and fourth overall with a time of 19:06.88 in the 5K. Padilla's finish was the first of seven consecutive Aggies who followed Padilla across the finish line. Freshman Sarabel Bojorquez finished second for NM State and fifth overall with a time of 19:21.78 and sophomore Caroline Lewiecki finished right behind for third for NM State and sixth overall with a time of 19:23.23. Freshman Mayra Chavez finished behind Lewiecki for fourth for NM State and seventh overall with a time of 19:24.33. Sophomore Diana Hawk finished eighth overall and fifth for NM State with a time of 19:27.15. Junior Carly Porter finished ninth overall and sixth for NM State with a time of 19:47.89. Junior Christiana Barela rounded out the top ten and placed seventh for NM State with a time of 19:55.46.
"The women's team ran very strong today," said assistant cross country coach Christopher Huff. "Taking six of the top ten was pretty big for them."
Five seniors from the men's squad helped the Aggies finish second with a score of 32, highlighted by five top-10 finishes by Aggie athletes. Senior Jonah Ruybalid finished first for NM State and fourth overall with a time of 15:27.09 in the 5K. Fellow senior Terry Williams followed by finishing second for NM State and fifth overall with a time of 15:35.56. Senior Kevin Hemphill finished third for NM State and sixth overall with a time of 15:42.54. Senior Ian Ruybalid finished eighth overall and fourth for NM State with a time of 15:47.51. Senior Ryan Fenton cracked the top-10 when he finished tenth and fifth for NM State with a time of 15:56.70.
"The guys ran fairly well today," Huff said. "The 5K was unchartered territory for them, but the speed worked well for them."
The Aggies will now return to Las Cruces for their only home meet of the season with the Kachina Classic on Saturday, Sept. 15. Last season, both the men's and women's team won the Kachina in their respective races.