UCCS men win Colorado College Invitational

By Doug Fitzgerald published September 24, 2005

With as many as 100 University of Colorado at Colorado Springs boosters in attendance at Monument Valley Park Saturday, the Mountain Lions menâ€TMs cross country team had, for the first time this season, the benefit of a large and vocal cheering section.

They rewarded their fans with a dominant victory. UCCS runners took five of the first 11 scoring spots to give the Mountain Lions an easy win at the Colorado College Invitational.

Held just a few miles south of the UCCS campus, it was as close to a home meet as the Mountain Lions will have this season.

“Itâ€TMs nice,” said UCCS senior Jay Luna of competing so near home. “You get families out to watch. It makes us feel supported.”

Garden City Community Collegeâ€TMs Dane Steward finished first individually Saturday, followed by UCCSâ€TM Brad Winn and Aaron Rubalcaba-Lopez. The Mountain Lionsâ€TM other scoring runners were Luna (finished seventh but charged only six points due to unattached runners), Jason Braun (12/10) and Gabe Small (13/11).

That only 1 minute, 0.8 seconds separated the five UCCS scorers was by design. Coach Graeme Badger instructed his team to run a paced, disciplined race so as not to completely spend themselves in this, the second of four consecutive weekends of competition.

But while the design was to save fuel for the next two weeks, it also had the effect of wearing down Saturdayâ€TMs field. Halfway through the race, the Mountain Lions were plodding along in the main pack. By the stretch run, their steady, unflinching pace had driven much of the field into the parkâ€TMs gravel paths.

Host Colorado College finished second with 51 points, 19 behind UCCS. Garden City CC was third with 77. The only other Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference school competing, Regis, finished fifth.

Next Saturday, UCCS will run in the Boulder Shootout, where the will compete against many of the best NCAA Division I and II teams in the nation. There, the Mountain Lions will see where they stack up in preparation for the RMAC Championships on Oct. 22. Adams State and Western State are the top-two ranked Division II teams nationally. Colorado Mines and UCCS are scrambling to reach that level of accomplishment.

“Weâ€TMre going to be just fine,” said Luna. “Itâ€TMll be tough at RMAC with Mines stepping up, but weâ€TMll do well.”

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Jay LunaJay Luna
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
Jason BraunJason BraunDistance
Jason BraunJason BraunDistance
Jason BraunJason Braun
Jason BraunJason Braun
Gabe SmallGabe Small
Gabe SmallGabe Small
Gabe SmallGabe Small
Gabe SmallGabe Small
Gabe SmallGabe Small
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