Men's team disappointed with sixth-place finish at regionals

By Lewis Hoffman published November 8, 2003

This was supposed to be the year that the menâ€TMs cross country team at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs qualified for the NCAA Division-II national meet.

Unfortunately, things donâ€TMt always work out the way they are supposed to.

Finishing sixth at the North Central Regional Championships, which was hosted by Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb., the menâ€TMs team posted a score of 159 points, 13 behind the fifth-place finisher Minnesota-Duluth. The top five teams qualified for the national competition.

Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams took the first two spots. Adams State won the meet, defeating the defending national champions, Western State.

“It was a long, hard weekend that was full of heartbreak,” said sophomore Levi Brathall. “The guys really thought that this was the year. We were a little too sure maybe.”

Brathall finished 21st overall with a time of 31 minutes, 55 seconds on the ten-kilometer course. Ahead of Brathall, leading the Mountain Lions was junior Moses Tum. Running with the lead pack for seven kilometers, Tum appeared strong and capable of earning All-Regional honors, which includes the top 15 finishers.

It was not to be, though. Tum fell out of the lead pack, and finished 18th overall, posting a time of 31:30.

After Tum and Brathall, sophomore Jay Luna (32:25) was the third man on the team and 30th overall. Coming in 43rd overall, and fourth on the team was sophomore Brad Winn.

“It was a rough weekend,” said Winn, who completed the course in 32:42. “The only thing I have to be happy about is the fact I still have a couple years to get stronger and help this team.”

Freshman Aaron Rubalcaba-Lopez was the fifth runner on the team to finish, taking 47th place overall. Behind him were senior Paul Mann and sophomore Phil Harrison.

“It is a tough situation,” said coach Graeme Badger. “There are so many good teams into our region, and it hurts deserving teams. Teams from other regions going to nationals wouldnâ€TMt have finished in the top 15 in our region.”

But Badger holds himself responsible more than anything.

“I did a poor job of coaching this year,” said Badger. “Everyone is real disappointed and I have to take some responsibility for that. Yet, hopefully this disappointment will make us stronger.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jay LunaJay Luna
Paul MannPaul MannDistance
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Moses TumMoses Tum
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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-Lopez
Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-LopezDistance
Aaron Rubalcaba-LopezAaron Rubalcaba-Lopez
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