LAS CRUCES — For one day at least, Eastern New Mexico University cross country coach Joel McMullen said the Greyhounds had the top men’s collegiate team in the state.
Redshirt freshman Felix Boit finished eighth in 24 minutes, nine seconds to lead the Hounds to a second-place finish Saturday behind powerful Texas-El Paso in New Mexico State’s Kachina Classic.
Last week, the Hounds were eighth in New Mexico’s Lobo Invitational in Albuquerque, trailing fifth-place UNM by more than 100 points. This time, they finished with 80 points to 91 for the third-place Lobos.
“(Lobos coach Mark Henry) came up to me after the meet and congratulated us, and said, ‘If anyone wonders if we brought all our top runners, tell them that everyone that we ran needed to do well today to qualify for Stanford,” McMullen said.
Boit, from Kenya, was in position to finish as high as sixth, but McMullen said he stopped short of the not-clearly-defined finish line and a couple of runners passed him.
Jason Garcia, Derek Henio and Orlando Sanchez also finished in the top 20 for ENMU in the unusual 4.6-mile men’s race. UTEP (19 points) took the top four places in running away with the team title in a 10-team field that included five New Mexico schools.
ENMU’s women were fifth with 106 points, 70 behind team champion UTEP.
The Zias were led by freshman Stacy Salazar, who covered the 5K course in 20:30 to finish 14th. Sophomore Joyce Doan and freshman Krista Monaghan were right behind her in 15th and 16th place.
“We feel really good,” McMullen said. “The guys ran the race of their lives, and the girls ran real well. Stacy Salazar ran a hell of a race; our first three girls just ran fantastic.”
Women’s soccer — At Shawnee, Okla., sophomore Kara Henderson scored from just outside the penalty area in the 103rd minute and the Zias escaped with a 2-1 double-overtime victory over St. Gregory’s, completing a 2-0 sweep of a non-conference trip to the Sooner State.
ENMU (4-3) blanked University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma 2-0 on Friday at Chickasha, Okla.
The winning goal was set up by senior midfielder Valerie Noriega after the Zias won the ball in midfield. Noriega moved past a defender and sent a pass to Henderson, who put the ball inside the far post for the game-winner.
The Cavaliers (0-4) scored midway through the first half and maintained the lead until ENMU junior Anna Funck scored the tying goal from near the end line in the 70th minute, getting an assist from Jennifer Goodrum on the play.
Sophomore Amy Holtman was in goal for the Zias for the second day in a row, and improved to 3-0.
Volleyball — At Abilene, Texas, ENMU nearly pulled off a weekend sweep after coming into the Lone Star Conference crossover tournament winless for the season. Cameron, though, pulled out a 28-30, 30-28, 30-32, 30-28, 15-4 squeaker to drop the Zias to 2-7 for the season.
On Friday, Eastern beat Southwestern Oklahoma in three games and Texas Woman’s in five.
Senior outside hitter Kristi Britain had 18 assists and only four attack errors for the Zias, and the Fort Sumner grad added 17 digs, three aces and two block assists. Senior middle blocker Lindsay Schiely compiled 17 kills, while sophomore middle blocker Grace George and freshman outside hitter Rhea Wortman each had 12 kills.
The Zias erased a 28-23 deficit to pull out the third game, getting kills from Schiely and Wortman for the final two points. They had a 27-26 lead in the fourth game, but the Lady Aggies (8-5) squared the match with four of the next five points.