The New Mexico State University men's and women's cross country team wrapped up the annual Kachina Classic on Saturday, Sept. 15th, with a first place finish in the women's 5K and a close second place finish in the men's 8K.
The women's team finished with an overall score of 32 points, an impressive 16 points ahead of New Mexico's second place total of 48 points. UTEP finished third with 53 points and El Paso Community College finished fourth with 96 points.
"The women's team winning over UTEP is big," said assistant cross country coach Christopher Huff.
NM State finished the event with two of the top five runners and four of the top 10. All top seven runners for NM State finished in the top 15.
Senior sisters Courtney and Camille Schultz finished their last Kachina Classic as an Aggie by finishing second and third overall respectively. Courtney finished first for NM State with a time of 17:28 and Camille finished second for NM State with a time of 17:59. The end results for the twins in regards to the team were a reversal of last year's results. Last year Camille finished third overall and first for NM State with a time of 17:28.5 and Courtney finished fourth overall and second for NM State with a time of 17:28.8. Kimaiyo Risper from UTEP finished first overall with a time of 17:18.
Junior Jenna Padilla helped solidify her status as a top five runner by finishing seventh overall and third for NM State with a time of 18:50. Sophomore Diana Hawk finished close behind Padilla with a placing of ninth overall and fourth for NM State with a time of 18:56. Freshman Sara Bojorquez rounded out the top five for NM State when she finished 11th overall and fifth for NM State with a time of 19:01.
Freshman Mayra Chavez finished in the top 15 overall for the third time this season when she finished 12th overall and sixth for NM State with a time of 19:12. Sophomore Caroline Lewiecki also placed in the top 15 overall for the third time this season when she placed 14th overall and seventh for NM State with a time of 19:18.
Junior Rylie Hightower and junior Gael Sanchez finished 17th and 18th overall respectively. Only one second separated the two at the finish line. Senior Adrienne Larson rounded out the top 20 when she finished 20th overall. Junior Carly Porter cracked the top 25 when she placed 24th overall. Junior Christiana Barela, junior Natalie Gomez and senior Samantha Thompson respectively placed 31st, 32nd and 33rd overall. Sophomore Victoria Trujillo placed 35th overall. Sophomore Nicole Diaz and junior Liz Mata finished 39th and 40th overall.
"The women's team is progressing quite well, especially with where our top runners are falling into place," Huff said.
The men's squad placed second to UTEP with only one point separating the two teams. UTEP finished with a score of 29 points and NM State finished with 30. UNM finished third with a score of 30 and EPCC finished with 89.
"It was unfortunate to miss by one point," Huff said, "but we still saw strong performances from our runners today."
The Aggies finished with two of the top five overall finishes. Five Aggies finished in the top 10, and all top seven runners for the Aggies finished in the top 15 overall.
Senior brothers Jonah and Ian Ruybalid finished third and fourth overall with only one-tenth of a second separating the two. Jonah finished first for NM State with a time of 25:33 and Ian finished second for NM State with a time of 25:34. Ian improved on his time from last season by over 12 seconds. Anthony Rotich and Elphas Maiyo from UTEP finished first and second overall in the event.
Fellow senior Terry Williams finished sixth overall and third for NM State with a time of 25:52. This was Williams' best finish of the season since finishing fifth overall and second for NM State at the Lori Fitzgerald Invitational. Senior Anthony Ellis finished eighth overall and fourth for NM State with a time of 25:59. Freshman Paul Raymond finished close behind with a placing of ninth overall and fifth for NM State with a time of 26:03. Raymond's finish in the Kachina Classic is his best finish of the season since finishing 15th overall at the Lori Fitzgerald Invitational.
Freshman Christopher Silva and senior Kevin Hemphill cracked the top 15 overall when Silva finished 11th overall and sixth for NM State with a time of 26:14 and Hemphill finished 13th overall and seventh for NM State with a time of 26:21.
A trio of Aggies finished 19th-21st overall. Senior Robert Selph finished 19th, sophomore Ramon Rueda finished 20th and junior Bryan Simison finished 21st. Nine seconds separated the three Aggies at the finish line.
Senior Ryan Fenton and sophomore Armando Rueda placed in the top 30 when Fenton finished 26th overall and Rueda finished 27th overall. Freshman Andres Gonzales finished 31st overall right above former Aggie Kevin Taft. Junior Kevin Palmer finished 33rd overall. Freshmen Jason Saiz and Carlos Ortega respectively placed 40th and 41st overall.
"This meet signifies the opening chapter of our season coming to a close," Huff said. "We will be leaving our local meets and heading to the bigger bulk of our season now."
The Aggies have the next week off before traveling to Lawrence, Kan., for the Rim Rock Collegiate Invite on Saturday, Sept. 29.