AUSTIN, Texas – New Mexico’s Weini Kelati missed out in the elusive sweep of the distance events, but she helped the University of New Mexico women to finish a program-best eighth place at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which concluded Saturday.
Also providing big assists were Charlotte Prouse and Adva Cohen.
Kelati finished fifth Saturday afternoon in the women’s 5,000 meters to wrap the Lobos’ participation at the meet. UNM scored 27 points to finish eighth. The previous best by the women was 18 points and 15th place in 2016.
UNM’s men in 1965 set the previous record of 25 points, then good for a fifth-place finish.
For the second straight year and the third time in four years, New Mexico’s women finished as the top non-Power Five school.
Arkansas took the team title with 64 points, followed by USC (57), LSU (43), Texas A&M (38), Oregon (34), Florida (32) and Alabama (29) ahead of the Lobos.
Earlier Saturday, Lobos Prouse (with a personal best 9 minutes, 44.50 seconds) and Cohen (9:46.36) finished second and fourth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase behind conference nemesis and first-place Allie Ostrander (9:37.73) of Boise State. And for a moment, New Mexico had 23 points and shared the final-day team standings lead.
Kelati ran 15:54.46 in the 5,000, won by Colorado’s Dani Jones (15:50.65). Prouse finished 15th and Ostrander 16th. Cohen, who had posted the fourth-best time this regular season at 15:31.01, didn’t finish the 5,000, which was scheduled about 75 minutes after the conclusion of the steeplechase on a day temperatures in Austin reached the high 90s.
Kelati was trying to become only the sixth woman in NCAA history to win the 5,000 and 10,000 at the same championship meet.
Jones also had thwarted the Lobos in the fall, winning individual honors at the NCAA cross country meet and leading Colorado to the team title. New Mexico finished second.
The men’s portion of the NCAA outdoors concluded Friday, with Texas Tech claiming the title.