NEW ORLEANS — New Mexico women’s cross country and track and field placed 14th in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association’s Terry Crawford Program of the Year award standings for the 2014-15 academic year.
The Lobos combined to gain 99 points in the final standings, which combine the teams' finishes from the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships, 2015 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships and the 2015 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
It’s the second time in program history that the Joe Franklin-coached women earned the award, after placing 16th in 2012.
The women’s cross-country team got New Mexico in the standings first as the Lobos took third place at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in November.
It is the highest finish at the NCAAs in program history and the highest among the current programs in the Mountain West.
All-American runs by Alice Wright (20th place) and Charlotte Arter (22nd) spurred New Mexico to its superlative finish, along with strong supporting performances from Calli Thackery (43rd), Tamara Armoush (73rd) and Heleene Tambet (93rd).
Sammy Silva continued the trend of scoring performances during the indoor season, as she took sixth-place in the mile run at the 2015 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
Her All-American performance merited New Mexico a scoring finish at the national indoor championships for the first time in three years as the Lobo women placed 46th by dint of Silva’s run.
Thackery and Wright capped off the season with a pair of All-American performances at the NCAA Outdoor Championships last weekend at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.
Thackery placed sixth in the 5,000-meter run, while Wright was eighth in the 10,000. Together, the duo scored four points to secure 48th place for the Lobo women.
It’s the first time in three years that the women scored at the outdoor championships.
Presented annually since 2009, the NCAA Division I Program of the Year Award recognizes the most outstanding cross country and track & field programs in Division I based on the institution's performance through the academic year. Final standings are predicated on the institution's combined finishes at the NCAA Division I Championships in cross country, indoor track & field, and outdoor track & field.
To be eligible for the award, teams must qualify for all three NCAA Championships. Scores for award are calculated from the team's each finish at those championships (i.e., first place earns one point, second place two points, 31st place 31 points, etc.). The team with the lowest total score for all three championships receives the award.
17 women’s teams scored at all three 2014-15 championships. Leading the final standings was NCAA outdoor champions Oregon (nine points), with Arkansas (10) and Stanford (35.5) rounding out the top three.
The New Mexico men's cross country and track & field program also finished ranked in the final standings of the award, as they placed a program-best seventh. UNM is one of just seven schools with both the men’s and women’s programs in the final rankings (Oregon, Arkansas, Florida State, Wisconsin, Michigan State and North Carolina).