Second place for both teams at Colorado College Invitational

By Christt-Marei Butler published September 13, 2003

At Sunday morningâ€TMs practice, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs cross country coach Graeme Badger started passing out note cards and pens to many of hie team's runners. The cards were personal time goals for the season each athlete had written three weeks ago. When goals are met or surpassed, new goals are written. The day after the second race of the season, the Colorado College Invitational, it was time for new goals.

On Saturday, despite unfavorable weather, even the brand new, never before seen, and yet unnamed school mascot showed up to cheer for the CU-Colorado Springs cross country teams.

With the biting wind and near-freezing temperature, it hardly seemed a likely day for making personal goals or breaking records. Womenâ€TMs captain Kelly Smith wasnâ€TMt worried about conditions. Finishing in 18.33 (17.59 when adjusted for altitude) she was fourth overall, first on the team and broke the school record for the womenâ€TMs cross country five-kilometer race.

“I really wanted to have a collegiate win, but then Adamâ€TMs (State University) showed up.” Smith said, referring to the national powerhouse Grizzlies who took the top three spots Saturday. “It was better though. I know that they made me run faster.”

In fact, everyone ran faster.

“This was a fast race,” explained Badger, “It was the fastest CC race and the fastest our teams have ever run here.” It was a second place finish for the menâ€TMs and womenâ€TMs teams compared to last yearâ€TMs first place, “but the times are much better.”

Along with Smith, sophomores Megan Lund, Sarah Shepard and Ashley Birger did their part and turned the universityâ€TMs Top 10 list for the womenâ€TMs 5K upside down. Lundâ€TMs time of 19.03 (18.29 alt) put her eight on the list with Shepard coming in at 19.06 (18.34 alt) and Ashley at 19.12(18.38 alt) rounding off the ninth and tenth spots.

“I just wanted to break 20,” Birger said, “I canâ€TMt believe I ran that fast.”

Shepardâ€TMs goal was to break 19.30 and she did by placing third on the team and eleventh overall.

“There was a girl I ran against in high school and I just had to beat her,” said Shepard.

Beat her she did… along with a few others.

Both teams revealed their strength as a team by reducing their pack times from last year. Pack time is the time between the top scoring runner and the last scoring runner. In cross-country, like golf, the lowest points wins. A low pack time means a lower score and shows an overall competitive teamânot just a team with a couple fast runners.

The womenâ€TMs pack time at this meet last year was 19.53 compared to their 19.01 on Saturday. The menâ€TMs team packed up at 27.09 last year and came in at 26.42 this year.

“Iâ€TMve never run on a really good team before,” said Phil Harrison, a transfer from Phoenix. “As far as the raceâit was cold, really, freakinâ€TM cold.”

Apparently he has never raced in Colorado before either.

Individually the men were competitive with Levi Brathall and Moses Tum getting third and eleventh respectively. “The Most Tremendous Improvement Award” went to sophomore Brad Winn whose 26.29 beat last yearâ€TMs time by over a minute and placed him fifth on the team.

Matt Chavez bested his time by two minutes over last year.

“We all worked hard over the summer,” said Chavez. “Weâ€TMre ready for this.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Moses TumMoses TumDistance
Moses TumMoses Tum
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSteeplechaseSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSteeplechaseSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSteeplechaseSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSo.
Levi BrathallLevi Brathall
Levi BrathallLevi Brathall
Levi BrathallLevi BrathallDistance
Levi BrathallLevi BrathallDistance
Kelly SmithKelly SmithSr.
Kelly SmithKelly SmithDistanceSr.
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