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Hnida boots her way into the record book

8/31/2003

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Katie Hnida knelt under the south goal
posts at University Stadium, silently reflecting on her journey
into the record book.

Hnida, a senior walk-on from Littleton, Colo., became the first woman
to score in a Division I game, booting a pair of extra points in
New Mexico's 72-8 win over Texas State-San Marcos on Saturday
night.

Minutes after the game was over, Hnida emerged from the Lobos'
locker room, rested her hands on one knee and put her head down.

"I was just kind of taking it all in,'' Hnida said. "It's been
a long time that I've been waiting for this.''

Hnida, a 5-foot-10, 140-pound senior, entered the game with 5:05
left in the fourth quarter after New Mexico scored on a 20-yard
touchdown pass from third-string quarterback Tali Ena to Hank
Baskett.

Hnida, her long blond hair protruding from the back of her
helmet, split the uprights with her kick to give the Lobos a 65-8
lead, then waved her hands in the air.

Hnida also kicked a low extra point after the Lobos' final
touchdown with 1:21 left.

"I've been kicking for a long time and this is something I've
been working for since my freshman or sophomore year in high school
when I knew that I wanted to go to Division one and kick,'' Hnida
said. "It's never been about making history or records. It's just
about kicking. I love football so much.''

Hnida made history last December by becoming the first woman
ever to play in a Division I game when she entered the Las Vegas
Bowl to attempt an extra point against UCLA with 8:20 left in the
first quarter. That kick was blocked by the Bruins and Hnida had to
wait eight months to get another chance.

Hnida was on Colorado's roster in 1999 as a walk-on, but never
got into a game. Earlier this month Hnida alleged she had been the
target of verbal abuse by some of the Colorado players in her time
there. She alluded briefly to that again Saturday night.

"I'm sometimes humbled by how wonderful my teammates (at New
Mexico) are after I had such a negative experience elsewhere.''

DonTrell Moore ran for four touchdowns and Casey Kelly threw for
three more, but had to share the stage with Hnida's late-game trot
into the record book.

By the time Hnida entered the game, only a fraction of the
kickoff time crowd of 35,331 remained.

New Mexico scored on all six of its first half possessions, with
Moore scoring three TDs in the first quarter on runs of 16, 2 and
14 yards. Kelly took over in the second quarter with scoring passes
of 14, 32 and 6 yards.

Moore and Kelly both left the game in the third quarter. Moore,
who rushed for 1,134 yards last season, had 109 yards on 20 carries
and Kelly was 12-for-16 for 165 yards.

Kelly made it 27-0 with a 14-yard scoring pass to tight end Mike
Augustyniak on the first play of the second quarter and Texas State
then got its only score of the night when Barrick Nealy threw a
70-yard touchdown pass to John Tyson.