Expectations met at RMAC championship

By Lewis Hoffman published October 23, 2003

It was another classic battle between Western State College and Adams State College at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships on Saturday â€" a battle in which the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men's team doesn't mind finishing third.

"We are the third-fastest team in the conference â€" that's what we expected," said coach Graeme Badger. "We are fine with that, because we run in the fastest conference you can find in (NCAA) Division II."

The meet, which was hosted by the dominant Adams State team, was held at the Cattails Golf Course in Alamosa, CO in perfect racing conditions.

"It was a great day for racing," said Badger. "The conditions were about as good as you can ask for."

For the race, the men got sophomore Levi Brathall back. Out with a foot injury, Brathall had not seen competition since the Colorado College Invitational in early September.

"It felt good to get back and compete, even though my fitness level wasn't where I would have liked it to be," said Brathall, who finished 16th overall and second on the Mountain Lions' team. "I know that if I was healthy all season, I could have probably finished in the top five."

Brathall finished the course, which was under 8,000-meters (to compensate for altitude) in 25 minutes, 1 second.

Finishing 15th in the race, junior Moses Tum was the team's top runner. Hampered by a hip injury suffered the previous week in practice, Tum dropped off the lead pack after three miles.

"I wanted to stop, but just pushed through," said Tum, who managed to finish the course in 24 minutes, 51 seconds.

Coming in at the third spot for the Mountain Lions and 25th overall was freshman Aaron Rubalcaba-Lopez. A man of few words, Rubalcaba-Lopez felt he "had a good race" and "was happy for the team."

Finishing fourth through seventh for the Mountain Lions were Paul Mann, Brad Winn, Phil Harrison, and Jay Luna taking overall places of, 26th, 28th, 30th, and 31st respectively. By running as a tight group, the team finished with a low pack time of less than one minute.

"We have some depth this year and that's really helping us out," said Badger. "We will have our top guys run a little better at the regional meet, and stay strong behind them."

If the team can perform comparably to the way they did at the conference championships, they should feel confident about their chances to qualify for the national meet.

Nonetheless, it will be a battle.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jay LunaJay Luna
Paul MannPaul MannDistance
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Moses TumMoses TumDistance
Moses TumMoses Tum
Levi BrathallLevi Brathall
Levi BrathallLevi Brathall
Levi BrathallLevi BrathallDistance
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
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