UNM star earns second national honor

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By The Staff

For the second time this season, University of New Mexico cross country athlete Ednah Kurgat was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division I Women’s Athlete of the Week.
She also earned Mountain West Women’s Cross Country Athlete of the Week honors on Tuesday.
Kurgat a sophomore from Eldoret, Kenya, by way of Liberty University, helped lead the now-second ranked New Mexico women to a win at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational Presented by Under Armour last Friday, winning her second individual title of the season.
Just two weeks after capturing the individual title at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational, Kurgat won the six-kilometer race at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Cross Country Course with a time of 19:23.2
The leader from virtually the start, Kurgat led at every intermediate split before running away from the competition over the final half of the race.
Kurgat’s title also helped the UNM women to head-to-head wins over 15 other teams ranked in the USTFCCCA National Coaches’ poll, helping bolster the squad’s position for the NCAA Championships next month.
Kurgat, New Mexico’s first-ever individual winner at Wisconsin, registered the best time ever by a female Lobo runner at the meet. She just missed the course record of 19:19.5 set by Boise State’s Allie Ostrander in 2015.
With Kurgat’s victory, the Mountain West has produced the individual titlist at Wisconsin each of the last three years, with Boise State’s Brenna Peloquin and Ostrander winning the last two years.
Kurgat is also the first Lobo to win back-to-back meets since teammate Alice Wright won the Mountain West and NCAA Mountain Region championships in 2016.
Kurgat earned her first National Athlete of the Week honor after Notre Dame. She is the first female Division I athlete with two in a season since Peloquin did it last season.
The Lobos return to action next week as they host the 2017 MW Cross Country Championships at the UNM North Golf Course on Oct. 27.