Cross Country Continues Solid Performances

Written by: NMSU Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State men's and women's cross country teams finished an impressive fourth and second place, respectively, at the UTEP hosted, Lori Fitzgerald Invitational, Friday, Sept. 14, in Santa Teresa, N.M.

Assistant Coach Paul Harkins said that he believes that everyone ran a solid race and is proud of their effort.

"I think everyone ran very well," Harkins said. "Especially considering how tough and demanding the practices have been this week."

Four freshmen led the way on the Men's side. Michael Hart (Santa Fe, N.M.) was the first Aggie to cross the finish, placing 12th with a time of 25:38, this is the second week in a row he led the squad.

Fourteenth place belongs to Patrick Hernandez (Chamberino, N.M.) with a time of 26:10, six spots later freshman James Hart (Santa Fe, N.M.) stopped the watch with a time of 27:04 and rounding out the four was Austin Brackeen (Chikasha, Okla.) crossing the line at 27:17, good enough for 24th place.

For the second week in a row, freshman Brandi Gutierrez (El Paso) led the way on the women's side with a third place finish and a time of 20:00. Following her was sophomore Precious Nelson (Whittier, Calif.) with a time of 20:39 and a ninth place finish.

Brittany Hurtado (Albuquerque, N.M), Beth Sandoval (Saux Rapids, Minn.) and Caprice Bradshaw (Fairfield, Calif.) claimed the 15th (20:47), 16th (20:50) and 17th (21:02), respectively.

The UTEP men led the way with a first place team finish, accumulating only 16 points, the University of Huston claimed the silver with 69 points, El Paso Community College was third with 80 points and NMSU was fourth with 96 points.

On the women's side, the Miners claimed first with 23 points, the Aggies were second with 51 points and El Paso Community College placed third accumulating 99 points.

The cross country squads will be back in action Saturday, Sept. 22 on their home course at the Kachina Classic.