Stevens: UNM's Josephine Moultrie Likes Blue Skies & Green Chile

May 31, 2013

New Mexico Lobos Outdoor Track & Field - 2013 NCAA D-I Championships

When/Where: June 5-8 - Eugene, Oregon
Lobos Competing: Josephine Moultrie (1500), Charlotte Arter (1500), Chloe Anderson (1500), Floyd Ross (triple jump), Django Lovett (high jump), Luke Caldwell (5000)

By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/

Lobo Josephine Moultrie likes green chile breakfast burritos from Winning Coffee and other eateries around the University of New Mexico campus. The Glassgow, Scotland native also is a meat eater. She likes to hit Tucanos Brazilian Grill in Downtown Albuquerque.

"It took a while to get used to the green chile. If I got into a hot batch, I would sit and suffer," said the New Mexico track star. "But now I enjoy the food here a lot. I really love meat."

At a glance, you wouldn't label Moultrie as a food lover or a carnivore. She is slender, lean. She looks more salad than steak. But that's more a product of her sport than it is her appetite.

Moultrie is a runner and she found out long ago that one of the things she likes best about New Mexico is running under a sky that she can look up and see. Blue is a nice color for a sky.

It wasn't always that way back home.

"I love the weather here," said Moultrie. "In Scotland, the weather is a major factor in running."

Scotland is way North of England. It can be cold and windy. It can be rainy. It can be gloomy.

The weather was a factor when Moultrie was deciding where she would run as an American collegiate. She took a hard look at several schools, but New Mexico and Iona were among the finalists.

Iona is in New Rochelle, N.Y. The skies above the running tracks in Iona are more like the skies in Scotland. The seasons in New York have a different bite than the seasons in New Mexico.

"I decided I didn't want to go to Iona. The weather was worse than Scotland," said Moultrie. "I love New Mexico."

Which has been New Mexico's gain. But let's get one thing straight. Moultrie does not set a New Mexico record every time she runs a race.

It just seems that way.

She is one of only two Lobos (men or women) to own four school records. In April, Moultrie ran a blistering 4:14.44 in the women's 1500 meters to set a personal best and a UNM program best. She broke her own record in that run.

In 2012, she broke five Lobo records indoors. At the NCAA D-I Outdoor Championships set for June 5-8 in Eugene, Ore., Moultrie hopes to set a New Mexico record at 1500 meters.

She will be joined at the national finals by five other Lobos: Charlotte Arter (1500), Chloe Anderson (1500), Floyd Ross (triple jump), Django Lovett (high jump) and Luke Caldwell (5000).

Moultrie's race has an unusual twist. It's the first time in the history of the UNM women's program that three athletes have qualified for nationals in the same event. The trio went 1-2-3 at 1500 meters in the Mountain West Outdoor Championships. Moultrie also was the MW champion at 800 meters.

Moultrie said she began running in Scotland at the age of eight. She said she dabbled in soccer and "net ball" (Scotland's form of basketball), but "I was always pretty good at running."

She also thought that coming to America was her "chance to give it a real go."

Lobo Coach Joe Franklin was offering Moultrie a ticket to Albuquerque. He saw her run in a meet in Europe and liked what he saw. "He was very persistent," Moultrie said of Franklin.

Obviously, Franklin was the first key in getting Moultrie to look at New Mexico. Then the blue skies sealed the deal. The mile-high altitude that comes with the deal isn't always an immediate favorite.

"My first attempt at 5000 was a bit rough," said Moultrie, who finished fifth in the MW Cross Country Championships in October. "I went out with too quick a pace and I died at the end. But It was my first ever (5000). I think I have the right pace now and I plan to do one when I go home."

In Eugene, Moultrie might need to throw out another personal best in order to crack All-American status. She is listed No. 17 in the 24-women field with a clocking of 4:19.03, behind No. 1 Natalja Piliusina of Oregon and her 4:13.73 time.

But remember, Moultrie has a 4:14 personal best and she is used to running at altitude.

"Everything is good. I'm healthy," said Moultrie. "I'm hoping I can have a good run."

Moultrie already has had more than a few good runs for New Mexico. When she returns from Eugene, she'll probably have a few good meals, a few more bouts with not-too-hot green chile and a few long looks at that New Mexico sky.