Mountain Lions Rewrite Record Book at Boulder

By Christi-Marie Butler published October 4, 2003

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs record book is in need of some heavy editing. That's because the women's cross country team just shredded it.

The Mountain Lions validated their new No. 5 national ranking, the highest ever achieved by any team at CU-Colorado Springs, by placing third among Division II teams at the Rocky Mountain Shootout on Saturday in Boulder. CU-Colorado Springs finished third, behind only No. 1 Adams State and No. 2 Western State.

The Mountain Lions also defeated Division I Northern Colorado and Wyoming, although that was not acknowledged in the official race results because the NCAA divisions were separated.

"Considering the level of competition, we are very pleased with our score," said Badger.

For the Mountain Lions, a meticulous training regimen that keeps runners improving throughout the season proved pivotal.

"We knew that this was the point in the season when even the best teams can feel run down," said CU-Colorado Springs captain Kelly Smith. "We wanted to take advantage of that and step it up."

And step it up they did beating out their times from last year by an average of one minute. In the process, they turned the school's top-ten list for six-kilometer race upside down.

Megan Lund is now number one on the list and took the top spot on the team at the race, 11th overall. Kelly Smith was .41 seconds behind her, holding on to her second place position in the record book. Tina Gray came in third on the team with under a second separating her from Lund and now holds the fourth spot on the school's 6-K list.

"I got boxed in at the beginning as the course narrowed and all the runners vied for position," said Gray. "But in the end it was my best race this season."

"The girls got seriously boxed in with the lid shut on tight," agreed coach Graeme Badger. "Most still ran their best race to date, but they are going to need to get in there and use their elbows."

Sarah Shepard, came in fourth on the team had an eight-minute improvement over last year's race.

"Every meet has been an improvement with no plateaus," said Badger. "Saturday's race was easily the toughest race against the most competitive teams running in the nation. Our times at altitude beat out most races run at sea level.

"We've stepped it up every week."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

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