NM Tech Rugby comes up brief at championships

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In this edition of the Sports Desk we start with an update on the Isotopes. The ‘Topes lost their third-straight game to the Sugarland Skeeters on Monday, 3-2. The ‘Topes and Skeeters will wrap up their 6-game series on Tuesday, at 6:05 p.m. The Isotopes will then return home to host Las Vegas in a 6-game homestand starting on Thursday.

The New Mexico Tech Rugby Team made it to this year’s Collegiate Rugby Championships, and this very young team would make a solid run but they would fall short in the “Survivor Final” losing to McKendree Nazareth 26-17. “I only started at Tech two years ago, two seasons ago, and if you look at it only technically a full season ago, because of COVID. So, within a season to get to the national championships and to make it to a final in your bracket, that’s how much we were able to do in such a little amount of time. So, yeah we lost. But at the end of the day, we get on with it and go to the next one,” said NM Tech Rugby Coach Gearoid Dunbar.

NM Tech lost in their first game of this CRC tournament, but the Miners were able to battle back to make it to the Survivor Final, and they did all this while playing teams that were a division higher than them. Coach Dunbar says that this loss hurts, but that this program is headed in the right direction.

“As I have told the lads, I have played in four national championships in Ireland. I have four medals, three of them were silver and it took me four years my last year to get a gold medal. So, you are not going to come out your first year. You know, this isn’t a Disney movie, that’s not how it’s going to be written. So, I am happy with it, but I do want to say to everyone at the college: thank you all so much for the support,” said Coach Dunbar.

New Mexico Tech Rugby hopes to make the move from Division III to Division II next season. Coach Dunbar says that his team will be back in practice this summer and hope to have a better finish at the Collegiate Rugby Championships next year.

ENMU Women’s Basketball is now in search of a new Head Coach, as Josh Prock announced that he is stepping down as head coach. Prock will now become the next Head Coach for the West Texas A&M Women’s Basketball Team, which like ENMU is apart of the Lone Star Conference.

Prock coached eight seasons at ENMU and led his Women’s Program to three NCAA Division II Tournament appearances.

Ray Birmingham said goodbye to Lobo fans on Saturday. The longtime New Mexico coach is retiring from his position as head coach of UNM Baseball. It was a bittersweet day on Saturday, as Birmingham said goodbye to fans on horseback at Santa Ana Star Field, but while he is leaving he says this program will not take a step back.

“This program is not going to take a step back, NMJC didn’t move back, college of the southwest didn’t move back, and this one is not either. The next guy is going to be set up to be very successful right now, and it’s all here and more is coming, because now I am going to be in a position hopefully with Eddie that he lets me continue to do this and this stadium becomes a place where the state tournament is every year and our high school kids go ‘wow, I got to play at Lobo Field,’” said Ray Birmingham.

Stick with KRQE Sports for the latest on the coaching search for UNM Baseball.

Lastly, the return of the Ultimate Fighter TV Show will be on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Season 29 of “TUF” will feature an Albuquerque-trained fighter, Dan Argueta. Argueta is 5-0 as a professional and this Jackson and Wink MMA Academy-trained fighter believes that he will make some noise in this competition.

“I am having so much fun coming into this, where it’s like I am going to summer camp for a little bit. We got to compete against each other, but I am going to have fun doing that. I do my best competing when I am in a good mood and I am having fun. The bigger the lights, the brighter I shine. So, I think with the cameras, it’s going to be fun. It’s going to be money, ha,” said Dan “The Determined” Argueta.

The first episode of The Ultimate Fighter season 29 will air on Tuesday at 7pm on ESPN+.

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