Boulder Finish Shows UCCS Closing on Big Two
Little by little, the Mountain Lions are turning the big two into the big three.
Led by three runners in the top 10, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs took third place among non-Division I teams Saturday at the Rocky Mountain Shootout in Boulder.
Shannon Payne (third), Sarah Shepard (eighth) and Ashley Birger (ninth) led the No. 6-ranked Mountain Lions to 57 team points, just six behind the No. 4-ranked Western State Mountaineers. No. 1 Adams State won the meet with 38 points.
Adams State and Western State have not only dominated the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, but also the national polls for over a decade. The two schools have won every national championship since moving from the NAIA to NCAA Division II in 1992.
The Mountain Lions will get another shot at the big two when they face them at the RMAC Championships in Pueblo on Nov. 4.
Host Colorado won the Division I portion of Saturday's race, with Colorado State second and Wyoming third.
Payne's time of 21 minutes, 38 seconds was ninth overall, placing her ahead of 40 Division I runners. Shepard and Birger clocked times of 22:1 and 22:23 respectively.
Jenna Dorsey-Spitz (13th) and Christy Severy (24th) also posted scoring finishes for UCCS.
Whitney Lund was barely off the pace, finishing 26th, while Tavia Hammond (37th) and Lisa Short (38th) were close behind.
Other UCCS competitors were Leslie Bennett, Karly Fischer and Diana Aqra.
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