ALBUQUERQUE — Sophomore Ricardo Hernandez finished 31st on Saturday to lead the Eastern New Mexico University men’s cross country team to an eighth-place finish with 276 points in the Lobo Invitational, hosted by the University of New Mexico.
Hernandez posted a time of 27 minutes, 23 seconds over the 8-kilometer course.
UNM, with freshman Biowtt Shadrack and senior Matt Gonzales finishing 1-2 in identical times of 24:44, won the team championship with 35 points. Texas A&M was second with 67.
“Most of the guys ahead of him were Division I guys,” first-year ENMU coach Joel McMullen said. “He probably beat in excess of 20 Division I runners.”
In women’s competition, ENMU was 11th out of 12 teams with 323 points. Texas Tech, with five runners in the top 10, won the team title with 26 points to 47 for runnerup Texas A&M.
Junior Lynnae Chavez led the ENMU women, running 60th in 27:14 over the 6K course. The other Zias runners finished between 69th and 85th in a field of 100 competitors.
McMullen noted that Chavez, Laura Rivera and Lisa Lopez all posted times of anywhere from 10 to 45 seconds better than they did in this meet last year.
McMullen said some of the women’s runners are nursing nagging injuries.
“Once everybody gets healthy, I think we’ll do better,” he said. “They ran about what I thought they would today as far as time.”
Texas Tech’s Irene Kimaiyo was the individual winner in a time of 22:01.
ENMU runners return to action on Sept. 25 in a meet at New Mexico Highlands.
ENMU blanked twice — At San Antonio, the Greyhounds and Zias couldn’t find the scoreboard and St. Mary’s broke through in the second half of both matches for a pair of shutouts.
The first-year ENMU men’s program lost its Southwest Soccer Conference opener 1-0 to the Rattlers when SMU’s Scott Kilpatrick scored on his own rebound in the 89th minute of play.
Meantime, in non-league women’s play, the Zias kept the match scoreless for 60 minutes before St. Mary’s registered a 2-0 win.
The ENMU men (2-2-1, 0-1 SSC) outshot St. Mary’s 15-14 but couldn’t get anything past St. Mary’s goalkeeper Allen Perkins. St. Mary’s improved to 2-2 (1-1).
“Defensively we played our best game, but we had a few opportunities on the net and didn’t convert when we should have,” ENMU assistant coach Carlos Elizondo said. “It was a pretty even game.”
St. Mary’s women got unassisted goals from Kelly Felts in the 62nd minute and Kyle Hyslop with less than four minutes to go to improve to 2-1.
“It was like the game against (Colorado State-)Pueblo (also a 2-0 loss last weekend) in that it was a very physical, rough game,” ENMU coach Travis McCorkle said. “We’re still building and getting toward where we want to be.”
ENMU (2-3) had six shots on goal in the match, including three by sophomore Anna Funck.
The Hounds and Zias play again on Sunday in San Antonio, this time taking on Incarnate Word.
Faith Triumphant falls — Injuries took their total on the Faith Triumphant Conquerors Friday night in an 80-40 six-man football loss to Gateway Christian in Roswell.
Senior quarterback Luis McCain went out late in the half with a dislocated right elbow, while junior Eric Cathey came out due to hyperventilation and junior Seth Pearson sustained a broken collarbone early in the first quarter.
Faith Triumphant (0-3) does not play again until Oct. 8, when it visits Logan. Coach Shawn Kelly hopes to have all his players back by then, including Pearson.
“All my young guys played great,” Kelly said. “(The break from games) will help us at least heal our wounds and get some of our younger guys worked into the program.”
Prior to his injury, McCain rushed for one touchdown while throwing two scoring passes to Caleb Richards and one to Evan Luna. Richards took over at quarterback and tossed TD passes to Luna and Geraldo McCain.