UCCS Scores Rare Win Over Western State

By Doug Fitzgerald published October 1, 2005

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs scored a first in four years by defeating Western State en route to a second-place finish in the non-Division I portion of the University of Colorado Rocky Mountain Shootout Saturday in Boulder.

The win over the No. 3-ranked Mountaineers should positively impact the No. 17 Mountain Lionsâ€TM national ranking in next weekâ€TMs polls.

The UCCS women's cross country team hadn't beaten Western State since 2002. The Mountain Lions haven't beaten No. 1-ranked Adams State, which won Saturday's event, in five years.

"The strength of our conference always shows up at this meet," said UCCS coach Graeme Badger. "Adams State beat Colorado if they hadn't been scored separately, and Colorado won the Division I national championship last year."

Sarah Shepard was UCCS' top runner, covering the 5.8-kilometer course in 21 minutes, 52 seconds, good for sixth among non-Division I runners. Shannon Payne, who has won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference runner of the week award three times this season, was next, one second behind Shepard. Megan Lund was 13th (22:35), Ashley Birger was 17th (23:02) and freshman Addie Devine was 22nd (24:08).

Birger's sprint at the finish to overtake Adams State's Laura Zeigle by two seconds was crucial. Had their finishes been reversed, UCCS would have ended up in a tie with Western State. As it was, UCCS narrowly edges the Mountaineers 63-64.

"There were a couple of places where we edged Western and there were a couple of places where they edged us," said Badger. "There was a lot of potential for the places to be changed."

Western State had not lost to a Division II school other than Adams State in more than a year.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

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November 20, 2005Two UCCS Runners Named All-AmericanShannon Payne and Sarah Shepard were both named All-American at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships Saturday at Pomona, Calif.
November 19, 2005Payne Takes 10th at NationalsUniversity of Colorado at Colorado Springs runner Shannon Payne finished 10th at the NCAA Division II National Cross Country Championships.
November 15, 2005North Lake Tahoe Bonanza Article on Addie DevineHow do you follow three state cross country championships in your last three years of high school?
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