Sanchez Galaz, Egan Noble and Cuellar To Be Inducted Into First Community Bank/NM State Athletics Hall of Fame

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State Athletics Department together with First Community Bank announced Monday, January 4, that former women’s basketball standout Mari Sanchez Galaz, women’s golfer Jane Egan Noble and track & field/cross country great Rachael Cuellar will be inducted into the First Community Bank/NM State Athletics Hall of Fame.

The ceremony is set to take place at halftime of the men's basketball game, Saturday, February 27 against Boise State in Las Cruces. The NMSU Hall of Fame, which is located in the Pan American Center, honors outstanding student-athletes, coaches, teams and benefactors from Aggie past.

When Aggie fans hear the name Mari Sanchez, images of a prolific shooter from behind the three-point arc come to mind. Now married to Las Cruces native Adrian Galaz, Sanchez Galaz is just as accomplished off the court as she was on the hardwood.

The NM State all-time leader in three-point field goals made in a game, season and career graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. A recipient of several academic awards during her time in Las Cruces, Sanchez Galaz returned to campus to complete a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering in 2008. She currently works as an electronics engineer for the United States Department of Defense at the Center of Countermeasures located nearby at the White Sands Missile Range.

Sanchez Galaz made an immediate impact on the NM State women’s program, leading the team in assists during each of her four years on campus. From beyond the three-point arc, she was a constant threat to opposing defenses. In the NM State record books, each of her four seasons in the Crimson and White rank among the top nine all-time in three-point field goals made, led by 84 makes in 29 games during her junior year.

It was during that third season that Sanchez Galaz knocked down an NM State record 10 field goals from behind the three-point line against Louisiana-Lafayette en route to a career-high 30 points. Her 10 three-point buckets against the Ragin’ Cajuns is a feat that currently stands tied for the seventh most in NCAA single-game history.

A four-year starter, Sanchez Galaz captained the Crimson and White during her final two seasons in Las Cruces. She started 111 career games in an Aggie uniform, the second-most in school history, while averaging over 34 minutes per game. Sanchez Galaz ended her four years at NM State as the 13th player in school history to score 1,000 points in a career with 1,196 total tallies, an average of 10.8 points per game. She also ranks second all-time in NM State history in free throw percentage, connecting on 83.5 percent of her shots from the line.

After her senior season on the court, Sanchez Galaz worked with current NM State women’s basketball head coach Darin Spence for a semester while finishing her bachelor’s degree.

Head coach Darin Spence said this about Sanchez Galaz’ time at NM State: “Mari is proof that hard work and efficiency on the basketball court pays off. She was a high-IQ player who could shoot the ball, handle the ball and understood how to play the game. Mari is a first-class person who represented NM State, the Aggie women's basketball program and Las Cruces in a first-class manner. I'm very happy for Mari; she is very deserving of this honor."

Jane Egan Noble played for the New Mexico State University women’s golf team from 1987-1991 helping the team to consecutive High Country Athletic Conference titles in 1989 and 1990.

The 2010 Hall of Fame inductee also led the charge to a total of eight team victories including wins at the Aggies’ home tournament in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Egan was a two-time Wilson All-American earning honorable mention honors in 1990 and first team honors in 1991. She also tabbed all-High Country honors in 1990 and first team all-Big West honors in 1991.

One of only two players to win at least four tournaments in her collegiate career, head coach Paul Brilliant mentioned that she is the epitome of hard work. She won the Roadrunner Invitational in 1989 and 1990 in Las Cruces while taking home the individual medal from the High Country Championships and the Southern Methodist Classic in 1990.

Egan Noble was the top finisher for the Aggies at the NCAA Tournament in 1990 and 1991 when she finished tied for 57th and tied for 11th respectively. She still holds the school record for the lowest score in a three-round tournament when she fired a 7-under-par 209 at the Southern Methodist Classic in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 20, 1990.

Head coach Paul Brilliant said this about Egan Noble’s time at NM State: “Jane was one of those types of players who didn’t play golf very much because she lived in South Dakota and when she got here she played 12 months out of the year. Jane was one of those student-athletes who showed up to practice an hour early and left an hour late. She was a really hard worker. She was a part of the team I called the ‘Street Fighters’ because they weren’t going to let anybody beat them. That team, led by Egan, started as a mediocre team, but worked hard for a No. 1 ranking in ‘89. She was a great leader and we are very proud of her and what she accomplished here at New Mexico State.”

Rachael Cuellar ran cross country and track for the Aggies from 2000-04. She earned her first of many Sun Belt Conference titles during her freshman track season as she led the pack in the 10,000-meter run in a time of 37:08.36, breaking the school record by :45 seconds.

During her sophomore season on the track, she finished the indoor season at the top of the SBC in the 10,000-meter run for the second year in a row. She also set the current indoor school record in the 3,000-meter run (10:06.06) and outdoor record for the 5,000 (17:14.82) and 10,000-meter (35:52.49) races. These feats helped NM State to its first Sun Belt Conference Championship in school history.

Cuellar finished her junior cross country season second in the conference, helping the team to a third-place finish. That stood as the best conference finish for the Aggie women until 2009. In that season, Cuellar became the first cross country runner in NM State history to qualify for the NCAA Cross Country Championships. She finished 129th in that race. She was named to the Verizon Academic All-District VI Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country Team in 2002 as well.

Cuellar finished her Aggie career by marking her name in the NM State record books once again as she clocked a time of 10:56.24 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She also won three conference titles in 2004 including the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 5,000 and 10,000-meter races. She was the top point scorer at the championships and was named Track Athlete of the Year. She finished the season by being named to the second team CoSIDA Academic All-District VI.

Head coach Orin Richburg said this about Cuellar’s time at NM State: “It's a great addition to have another female athlete inducted into the NM State Hall of Fame. Rachael is one of our former star distance runners and we hope to continue in the same tradition she set forth for the Aggie program."