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No. 4 UNM cross country women dominate first meet

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The No. 4-ranked University of New Mexico women’s cross country team was so impressive in its opener on Friday that coach Joe Franklin gave the team high praise.

The Lobos won the Battle Born Collegiate Cross Country Challenge in Las Vegas, Nev., with a total of 60 points and a spread of only 16 seconds from first runner until last.

No. 6 Stanford, the runner-up, finished 25 points behind the Lobos.

“It’s been 11 months since our last race and, wow, the women ran great. It is such a wonderful group of women that all want to be very good,” said Franklin. “The 16-second spread, one to five, reminds us a lot of our 2015 NCAA Championship team — the lowest scoring team in modern history.”

Senior Adva Cohen led the Lobos, finishing in sixth place (19 minutes, 59.3 seconds). In 10th place was sophomore Gracelyn Larkin, finishing the race in 20:05.1. Both runners helped the Lobos to a fourth-place finish at the 2019 NCAA championship meet. It was the last meet the Lobos have run; the pandemic put off the cross country season from the fall until now.

Three Lobo newcomers rounded out the scoring: sophomore Amelia Mazza-Downie (12th, 20:13.7), senior Annamaria Kostarellis (15th) and Andrea Engesaeth (17th). Redshirt freshman Elise Thorner was the sixth Lobo to cross the line, finishing in 34th place overall (20:42.0).

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