The New Mexico State men's and women's cross country teams wrapped up an outstanding 2009 season with strong performances at the NCAA Regional meet in Albuquerque, N.M. on Saturday. The women's team finished 9th out of 20 teams while the men's team finished 14th out of 17 teams. "The men ran tough and the women ran tough and we were better than we were a year ago. That's what we're hoping for, continued, steady improvement," said assistant coach Paul Harkins after the meet.
The women's team finished seven spots better than last season highlighted by a 24th place finish by WAC Freshman of the Year Courtney Schultz. "They're definitely a better team than they were a year ago. Courtney Schultz getting an All-Region honor was awesome also," said Coach Harkins. The Aggies had five runners cross the line in the Top 75 runners. Freshman Camille Schultz crossed the line in 38th while the Aggies' lone senior, Ingrid Flores, crossed the line 54th.
The men's team finished in 14th place in a larger field than last year's NCAA Regional meet and finished 49 points better than last season. Sophomore Ian Ruybalid led the Aggies to the line with a 41st place finish. Freshman Jonah Ruybalid was second across the line for the Aggies with a 58th place finish.
The NCAA Mountain Regional meet featured four top-15 teams in No. 4 Northern Arizona, No. 5 and defending regional champion Colorado, No. 12 New Mexico, and No. 14 BYU. Only the West Region (four) has as many top-15 teams in its field. The Mountain Region also has two squads - UTEP and Utah State - currently receiving votes in the national poll.
The women's race featured four top-25 squads in No. 6 Colorado, No. 8 and defending regional champion Texas Tech, No. 20 New Mexico, and No. 22 BYU. Northern Arizona and UTEP are receiving votes in the national poll.
"There's a shot at five teams qualifying out of the Mountain Region for the National Meet. If that happens, it definitely shows the strength this region has," said Coach Harkins. "Being able to improve seven spots in a that's as good as it is is exciting and bodes well for our future."