Cross Country Aims High at Preeminent Wisconsin adidas Invite

Oct. 10, 2012

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The University of New Mexico’s nationally ranked cross country teams are competing at the highly competitive Wisconsin adidas Invitational this weekend as they look to bolster their credentials heading into the postseason. The No. 19 women will compete at 11 a.m. MT on Friday, and the No. 28 men at 11:40 a.m. MT.

The fourth-annual Wisconsin adidas Invitational has quickly become one of the nation’s best mid-season cross country meets. The men’s 8-kilometer race features 21 nationally ranked teams, including five top-10 squads, while the women’s 6K has 20 teams in the national polls, including three from the top five.

“Wisconsin is one of the biggest meets that has ever put on in the United State in terms of runners of this level,” said New Mexico head coach Joe Franklin. “[It is] competitive from top to bottom, so kids are going to have to keep their composure, work hard, have faith in themselves and represent the state of New Mexico and the University of New Mexico well.”

Looking to represent the women at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course in Madison, Wis., is senior Josephine Moultrie, the Lobos’ top runner so far in 2012.

Moultrie, who placed fourth at the premier Notre Dame Invitational in late September, will be joined by a stalwart bunch of runners that includes Lacey Oeding, Charlotte Arter, Imogen Ainsworth, Kirsten Follett, Joanne Harvey and Shawna Winnegar.

Along with Moultrie, Oeding and Arter own the top three 5K times in the Mountain West in 2012. The trio should guide the Lobos to another strong finish after leading the women to a third-place team finish at Notre Dame.

On the men’s side, letterwinner Sean Stam and transfers Luke Caldwell, Adam Bitchell, and Patrick Zacharias aim to lead the Lobos in Madison.

New Mexico is also counting on strong performances out of Sam Evans, and freshmen Donovan Torres and Elmar Engholm.

The Lobo men took sixth as a team at Notre Dame.

“We should have a good learning curve going from Notre Dame to here as Notre Dame was the first race for most of the team,” Franklin said. “We’ll see what happens.”

If the Lobos can capitalize on the learning curve and post a strong showing at Wisconsin, New Mexico would be in a good position come postseason.

Since the national championship selection process values wins over ranked teams, defeating ranked teams at Wisconsin would benefit the Lobos when it comes time to pick the 31 teams for the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky.

“This meet will define who gets the at-large bids at the national championship,” Franklin said. “It did last year and it will this year.”

Check back Friday evening on for meet results and a New Mexico recap.