Gutierrez Leads Women's Cross Country To Back-To-Back Titles

Written by: NMSU Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State women's cross country squad ran away with their second consecutive Kachina Classic Title, tallying an almost perfect score of 18. The men posted a solid fifth place finish Saturday, Sept. 22, at the University Golf Course, in Las Cruces, N.M.

"The woman ran really well today and I am excited about the score," assistant coach Paul Harkins said. "We wanted to make a statement on our home course and I believe we did that."

Freshman standout Brandi Gutierrez (El Paso, Texas) crushed the competition with a first place finish and a time of 18:54.1 in the 3.2-mile race.

"I am really impressed with Brandi's race today," Harkins said. "Her goal was to win today and she did."

Sophomores Precious Nelson (Whittier, Calif.) and Brittany Hurtado (Albuquerque, N.M.) claimed the second and third place spots, respectively. Nelson crossed the line at 18:59.8 and Hurtado at 19:00.4.

Senior Beth Sandoval (Sauk Rapids, Minn.) placed fifth with a mark of 19:07.7 and teammate Christina Herrera placed seventh with a time 19:22.3. Sophomore Caprice Bradshaw (Fairfield, Calif.) stopped the clock at 19:32.2, a mark good enough for eighth place.

Freshman Amy Arenas (Las Cruces, N.M) placed 12th with a time of 20:00.7 and right on her heels was sophomore Ingrid Flores (El Paso, Texas) with 13th place finish and a time of 20:01. Senior Andrea Leitner (Kamuela, Hawai'i) placed 16th with a time of 20:09.7, sophomore Tara Gardenhire (Farmington, N.M.) placed 18th with a time of 20:14.9 and freshman Rayanna Fernandez (Las Cruces, N.M.) placed 36th, stopping the clock at 23:23.5.

NMSU's women placed first with a total of 18 points and second place went to El Paso Community College with 46 points. Western New Mexico was third with 86 points, New Mexico was fourth with 110 points, Dine College was fifth with 177 points and the University of Texas- Permian Basin was sixth with 168 points.

On the men's side, freshman Michael Hart (Santa Fe, N.M.) led the Aggies for the third consecutive week. Hart placed 11th overall with a time of 24:21.4 in the 4.6-mile race. Freshman Austin Barckeen (Chickasha, Okla.) was the second Aggie to cross the line and placed 30th overall with at time of 25:28.9.

Freshman Patrick Hernandez (Chamberino, N.M.) placed 33rd with a time of 25:33.7. Seniors Justin Mapula (Santa Teresa, N.M.) and Daniel Waldo (Alamagordo, N.M) and junior Guillermo Alvarez (El Paso, Texas) claimed the 35th, 36th and 37th place, respectively. Mapula crossed the line at 26:18.5, Waldo crossed at 26:18.7 and Alvarez crossed at 26:32.5. Sam Clemens fished in 49th with at time of 32:49.4.

"Michal ran tough as always and Austin ran a really strong race as well," Harkins said. "We have a solid group of guys, we just need to put it all together on the same day."

El Paso Community College brought home the gold with 51 points. New Mexico claimed second place with 60 points, Western New Mexico was third with 66, Dine College was fourth with 71, NMSU was fifth with 101 and the University of Texas- Permian Basin was sixth with 144 points.

The Aggies will be back in action Friday, Oct. 3 as they travel to Tempe, Ariz. to compete at the Arizona State Invitational.