Nationally-Ranked Women's Team Beaten at Regionals

By Lewis Hoffman published November 8, 2003

Ranked in the Top-10 throughout the season, the women's cross country team at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs won't even have the chance to validate that ranking. That's because they won't be competing at the national meet.

Ranked third in the North Central region and fifth nationally coming into to the race, the women's team finished sixth at the Regional Championships at Wayne, Neb., which was hosted by Wayne State College.

"All the girls felt really tired," said junior Kari Samuelson who finished sixth on the team and 57th overall covering the six-kilometer course in 23 minutes, 30 seconds. "We left it all on the course, but still came up short."

Leading the team was redshirt freshman Sarah Shepard. Taking 22nd overall, Shepard fell just short of qualifying for the national meet as an individual.

"The girls' team is really depressed - it's like someone died," said Shepard, who finished with a time of 22:20. "We have definitely run better as a team this season, but I can't believe it was (the Colorado School of) Mines who beat us for the last spot."

It's a reality that will likely take some time for the team to accept.

"It was a fairly hilly course and it was really cold, but not as windy as it can be in Nebraska," said coach Graeme Badger. "Things didn't work out the way we had hoped - that's how it goes sometimes."

Finishing second on the team was junior Tina Gray, whose time of 22:38 placed her 27th overall. Team captain Kelly Smith (22:43), a senior this season, was 28th.

Finishing fourth and fifth for the Mountain Lions were sophomores Ashley Birger (40th) and Megan Lund (54th). Junior Sarah Cowhick was seventh for the team and 82nd overall.

"The girls should keep their head up," said Badger. "They did the best they could on that day."

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSteeplechaseSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSteeplechaseSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSteeplechaseSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSo.
Ashley BirgerAshley BirgerSo.
Megan LundMegan LundDistanceSo.
Megan LundMegan LundDistanceSo.
Megan LundMegan LundSo.
Megan LundMegan LundSo.
Megan LundMegan LundSo.
Kari SamuelsonKari SamuelsonDistanceSr.
Kari SamuelsonKari SamuelsonSr.
Kari SamuelsonKari SamuelsonSr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardDistanceFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardDistanceFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardDistanceFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardFr.
Kelly SmithKelly SmithDistanceSr.
Kelly SmithKelly SmithSr.
Tina GrayTina GraySteeplechase
Tina GrayTina GrayJr.
Tina GrayTina GrayJr.
Tina GrayTina GraySteeplechase
Additional News Stories
November 19, 2003Shannon Payne Signs Letter of IntentUniversity of Colorado at Colorado Springs cross-country coach Graeme Badger announced on Wednesday that Shannon Payne had signed a letter of intent.
November 2, 2003Cross Country Teams Brace for RegionalsOn Saturday, the men's and women's cross country teams from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs will either compete in their final meet of the season, or earn the right to race one more time at the NCAA Division II National Championships.
October 25, 2003Women's Team Takes Third at RMAC ChampionshipsThe University of Colorado at Colorado Springs women's cross country team, currently ranked number seven in the nation, fought for a convincing third place finish at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday morning at Cattails Golf Course.
October 14, 2003UCCS Women Win the Dan Libera MeetThe University of Colorado at Colorado Springs women’s cross country team claimed first place, taking five out of the top ten spots, at the Dan Libera Memorial Invitational, which was hosted by the University of Northern Colorado. The Mountain Lions finished with 26 points Senior Kelly Smith led the team by placing second overall. Tina Gray, Megan Lund, Sarah Shepard, and Ashley Birger rounded out the top five for the Mountain Lions.
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