Women's Cross Country Comes Up Short in National Bid

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 5, 2005

A promising season came to a disappointing end for the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs women's cross country team Saturday at Hays, Kan.

The Mountain Lions, who had been ranked as high as seventh nationally this season, finished fifth at the North Central Regional Championships, one spot away from qualifying for nationals.

The Mountain Lions top three runners all did their jobs. Shannon Payne covered the 6-kilometer course at Fort Hays State University in 21 minutes, 24.51 seconds to finish fourth overall. Sarah Shepard took 13th with a time of 22:18.20, while Ashley Birger was 20th at 22:40.92. Both Payne and Shepard will qualify for nationals as individuals.

While UCCS' top three all bettered the times of their South Dakota counterparts, the Mountain Lions' No. 4 finished, Megan Lund, took 31st which surrendered two points of UCCS' 13-point lead back. The difference came at No. 5, where South Dakota's Kelsey Maloney took 38th and UCCS' Addie Devine took 51st. The 13-point swing tilted the decision to the Coyotes.

That's not to pin any blame, though. The fact is if any UCCS runner other than Payne had run the course eight seconds faster, the Mountain Lions would have picked up the missing two points or more. UCCS was faster than South Dakota in both total time (1:52:25.75 to 1:53:25.75) and average time (22:41.15 to 22:43.23), but was beaten the only place it counts, the final score.

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.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardDistanceFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardDistanceFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardDistanceFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardFr.
Sarah ShepardSarah ShepardFr.
Shannon PayneShannon Payne
Shannon PayneShannon Payne
Shannon PayneShannon Payne
Shannon PayneShannon Payne
Shannon PayneShannon Payne
Shannon PayneShannon Payne
Shannon PayneShannon Payne
Shannon PayneShannon Payne
Shannon PayneShannon Payne
Shannon PayneShannon Payne
Additional News Stories
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?
October 22, 2005UCCS Women Take Fourth at RMAC ChampionshipsShannon Payne finished fourth to lead the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs to a fourth-place finish at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Women's Cross Country Championships Saturday at Chatfield State Park in Denver.
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