CROSS-COUNTRY star Nicky Archer set a season’s best time and broke several records by leading her American university team to a top-20 finish at the NCAA Championships.
The 22-year-old former Weaverham High School pupil finished 56th in a time of 20 minutes 53 seconds at the showcase event at Terre Haute, Indiana.
Her time over the Lavern Gibson course was the best by a New Mexico Lobo runner at the national championships since 1988.
Leading the Lobos out for the fourth time this season, Archer, who transferred to New Mexico from the University of Birmingham earlier this year, was the quickest of the female Lobos athletes and helped secure 18th position overall.
The Vale Royal Athletics Club star, who is studying for a master’s degree in sports administration, earned praise from Lobos head coach Joe Franklin for her display that was ranked the best ever by a Lobo runner over six kilometres at a national meeting.
He said: “We had a very solid day and to finish 18th – three spots above where we were ranked – is a step in the right direction for our cross- country and track programmes.
“Nicky had a decent day, but we didn’t all hit it like I think we could have today.
“The NCAA Championship meet is a different beast though. There are no bad teams here.”
The showcase event was screened live on the CBS network to hundreds of thousands of viewers across the United States.
It was only the third time in the Lobos history that the women’s team had qualified for the national championships which this year was won by top-ranked Washington.