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Ex-Lobo Kelati turns U.S. citizen, to compete in Eugene

University of New Mexico’s Weini Kelati, shown winning won the NCAA individual championship on Nov. 23, 2019 at the Division I Women’s Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana, is competing at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials. (AJ Mast/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Weini Kelati, the most decorated track and field athlete ever for the University of New Mexico, has become a naturalized U.S. citizen, UNM reports, and will compete for a spot on the American Olympic team.

Kelati, born in Eritrea, runs professionally for the Dark Sky Distance team based in Flagstaff, Ariz.. She was a two-time NCAA national champion and 13-time All-American for the Lobos. She and former Lobo teammate Ednah Kurgat will run the 10,000 meters Saturday at the U.S. Trakc and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore. Kelati’s personal-best time of 31 minutes, 10.08 seconds would make her the seventh seed.

Two former Lobos are competing in Trials action Thursday. Abdirizak Ibrahim will compete in the first round of the men’s 1,500 at 7:04 p.m., and Courtney Frerichs will run the final round of the 3,000 steeplechase at 9:47 p.m. MT.

Eldorado High grad Lauren Martinez, recently of the University of Arkansas, also is entered in the women’s pole vault, which begins at 6 p.m.

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