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Cross country: Lobo runners ready for challenge in Wisconsin

The No. 3-ranked University of New Mexico women’s cross country team looks to solidify its credentials for the NCAA Championships when it competes today in the Wisconsin Invitational.

The Lobo men are also hoping to pad their résumé at the meet in Madison, Wis.

The UNM women ran second behind No. 1 Colorado in the Notre Dame Invitational a couple of weeks ago. In this 6-kilometer race, the Lobos will compete with No. 5 Stanford, No. 6 San Francisco, No. 7 North Carolina State,

No. 8 Providence, No. 11 Washington and No. 13 Boise State.

Lobo Ednah Kurgat, the top finisher at Notre Dame, will be joined by senior Alice Wright (runner-up to Kurgat at Notre Dame), freshman Weini Kelati (sixth at Notre Dame) and junior Charlotte Prouse (a Washington transfer who ran fifth at Wisconsin in 2016). Wright was second in the Wisconsin race last year.

“We’re excited for the second race of the year,” UNM coach Joe Franklin said. “We’re looking to close some gaps on not only the women’s side but the men’s side.”

Alexander Palm (seventh) and Josh Kerr (18th) helped the Lobo men run 10th at Notre Dame.

No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 3 Syracuse, No. 4 Stanford, No. 6 Southern Utah are among the men’s teams competing.

“You have to place somewhere in the middle of the race,” Franklin said of his men’s team. “If you place in the middle of the race, you’re going to get done what you need to get done to have a shot to go to the national championship.”

The women’s race starts at 11:20 a.m., with the men’s 8K race set for noon.

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