Men's cross country passes test in Boulder

By Christi-Marie Butler published October 4, 2003

In perhaps the most telling race to date, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs menâ€TMs cross country team tested itself against the toughest runners in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, and indeed the Rocky Mountain region, at the Rocky Mountain Shootout Invitational in Boulder on Saturday, October 4th.

The Mountain Lions passed the test by placing third among Division II competitors behind only Western State and Adams State, which are ranked first and second in the nation. CU-Colorado Springs, which came into the race sporting a No. 24 national ranking of its own, outpaced conference rivals Fort Lewis, Colorado Mines and Regis, plus non-conference competitors Wheeling Jesuit, Dickinson State and Montana State-Billings.

In fact, the Mountain Lions outscored Division I Air Force, which had its JV squad participating.

To increase the challenge, CU-Colorado Springs would have to compete without its top runner, Levi Brathall, who was out with an injury.

"We knew what we were up against. We'd been waiting all season to prove ourselves against top runners," said team captain Kyle Reno. "Here was our chance."

Taking the lead in place of the injured Brathall was Moses Tum, who finished 10th overall and sixth among Division II competitors.

"We all have opponents who make us better runners and faster when we race against them," explained Reno. "Moses was neck to neck with his rival (Will Banks from Western State College, a three-time national champion) for the whole race, but smoked him in the last 400 meters."

Paul Mann placed second on the team, 23rd in D-II, and had what he considered his best race of the year.

"I was running next to last yearâ€TMs 5-K national champion and I almost beat him," said Mann. "I ran strong all the way and still had enough for a good kick at the end."

Less than 30 seconds behind Mann were Jay Luna, Phil Harrison, Aaron Rubalcaba-Lopez, Brad Winn and Reno, giving the Mountain Lions an impressive pack.

"Our men's times were better than at the CC Invitational, but we were on a much harder course (at Boulder)," said Reno. "I'm very pleased with the men's performance."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jay LunaJay Luna
Paul MannPaul MannDistance
Paul MannPaul Mann
Moses TumMoses Tum
Moses TumMoses TumDistance
Levi BrathallLevi Brathall
Levi BrathallLevi BrathallDistance
Levi BrathallLevi Brathall
Levi BrathallLevi BrathallDistance
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
Kyle RenoKyle Reno
Kyle RenoKyle Reno
Kyle RenoKyle Reno
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