Men's cross country preview
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs cross country coach Graeme Badger doesnâ€TMt like the term â€˜rebuilding.â€TM
Thatâ€TMs why he wonâ€TMt use that word to describe the 2006 Mountain Lions menâ€TMs cross country team. Also, he really doesnâ€TMt think the term applies.
â€œTheyâ€TMre good enough that I donâ€TMt see this as a rebuilding situation at all,â€ said Badger about his team. â€œOur goal is to qualify for nationals.â€
That said, Badger is well aware of the challenge before he and assistant coach Sandra Badger. To reach nationals, UCCS must finish among the top five teams in the North Central Region. Since Adams State, Western State and Colorado School of Mines are virtual locks, the Mountain Lions will grapple with the likes of Minnesota-Mankato, Minnesota-Duluth and South Dakota for the remaining two spots.
Thatâ€TMs a tall order indeed. Especially since going into Fridayâ€TMs Wyoming Invitational UCCS has only two runners that could be considered sure things. Hill specialist Aaron Rubalcaba-Lopez, who took eighth at Laramie a year ago and went on to finish 17th in the regional meet, has the talent and experience to break into the regionâ€TMs top ten this season. Junior Gabe Small has improved steadily and appears poised to take his place among the regionâ€TMs elite.
A third runner, Englishman David Harmer, should make it a trio as the season progresses.
â€œDavid Harmer is just coming back to altitude so thereâ€TMs going to be an adjustment period,â€ said Badger.
That leaves two spots open to competition and 15 runners to compete for them. For the Mountain Lions to achieve their goals, some younger runners are going to have to step up.
â€œWe have a very strong freshman class,â€ said Badger, who then offered a qualification. â€œWith freshmen, itâ€TMs a good thing yet itâ€TMs a bad thing. They donâ€TMt have a lot of experience. Some of them are coming from low-volume programs so itâ€TMs going to take them a while to adjust to the training.
â€œThe good thing is they bring a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. Thereâ€TMs a lot of camaraderie with our freshmen. I think they feel like they could be pretty good. Some of them will be contributing members to the varsity.â€
That makes the real question â€œhow long?â€
Badger, who has been training collegiate freshmen for 11 years now, has a timetable in mind.
â€œI see this as a real challenge for us,â€ said Badger, â€œto train them right, bring them along and to be real competitive at the end.â€
UCCS Players/Staff Featured
|Additional News Stories|
|September 9, 2009||Mountain Lions Place Fourth in Lobo Invitational||Aaron Rubalcaba-Lopez finished ninth among a field of 110 runners at the Lobo Invitational in Aluquerque on Saturday. The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Mountain Lions finished fourth out of 13 teams including Division I LSU.|
|November 4, 2006||UCCS Men Finish Eighth at Regionals||Aaron Rubalcaba-Lopez narrowly missed qualifying for nationals as the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs menâ€™s cross country teamâ€™s season came to an end Saturday with an eight-place finish at the North Central Regional Cross Country Meet at Wayne, Neb.|
|October 21, 2006||Untapered UCCS Men Grab Fifth at RMAC Championship||PUEBLO â€“ Cross country coaches face a tough decision this time of year, especially those with a young team.|
|September 30, 2006||UCCS Men Have Strong Showing in Boulder||Aaron Rubalcaba-Lopez finished 10th among Division II runners and 21st overall to lead the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs menâ€™s cross country team to a third-place finish in its Division at the Rocky Mountain Shootout in Boulder on Saturday.|
|September 27, 2006||Rubalcaba-Lopez named RMAC runner of the week||University of Colorado at Colorado Springs runner Aaron Rubalcaba-Lopez was named the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference runner of the week, the conference announced Wednesday.|