Cross country fundraiser, race

By Lewis Hoffman published August 29, 2003

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, like most public universities, was slapped with significant budget cuts this year. One of the departments hit hardest by the slashes in funding has been the athletic department.

A member of the NCAA Division-II, the CU-Colorado Springs Mountain Lions have always had to supplement its grant and merit scholarships with private donations and fundraising dollars.

Raising money through fundraising is something cross country and track coach Graeme Badger knows all too well.

Prime example, the 2nd Annual CU-Colorado Springs Stampede, a 5K race in which the proceeds are used to help pay for the costs of the season.

The race was held at North Monument Valley Park on Aug. 23, and drew around 200 participants.

“It was a good event for the team,” said Badger. “The race helps us financially, and also gives the athletes an opportunity to see where they stand at the beginning of a long season.”

Freshman Aaron Rubalcaba-Lopez was pleased with his performance, finishing second on the team. “The race went well,” said Rubalcaba-Lopez, who attended high school in Pueblo, CO. “When I can get a good workout at a race like this, I am pleased.”

Badger was pleased as well.

“Aaron ran wellâ€"itâ€TMs nice to see guys in good shape this early on,” said Badger.

The womenâ€TMs team once again appear poised to qualify for the national meet.

“Our team is highly competitive, and making the top seven is not going to be a walk in the park for anyone,” said senior Kari Samuelson, a transfer from Colorado College who didnâ€TMt compete in cross country last season.

Finishing first for the womenâ€TMs team was senior nursing major Kelly Smith, who took second overall behind her former teammate and All-American, Amanda Occhi.

After the race, there was a raffle, and race participants won everything from Mountain Lion clothing to gift certificates at local restaurants.

On Sept. 5, both teams will travel to the University of Wyoming to compete in the Cowboy/Cowgirl invitational. There will undoubtedly be teams there with more funding, but Badger believes that wonâ€TMt stop the Mountain Lions from hitting the course hard.

“In the last couple of years, our womenâ€TMs team has developed itself into a recognizable group,” said Badger. “This year, I think the menâ€TMs squad will join them.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-LopezDistance
Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-LopezDistance
Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-LopezDistance
Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-Lopez
Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-Lopez
Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-Lopez
Kari SamuelsonKari SamuelsonDistanceSr.
Kari SamuelsonKari SamuelsonSr.
Kari SamuelsonKari SamuelsonSr.
Kelly SmithKelly SmithDistanceSr.
Kelly SmithKelly SmithSr.
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