UCCS Men Take 17th at Nationals

By Doug Fitzgerald published November 22, 2008

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. â€" The University of Colorado at Colorado Springsâ€TM rise to prominence in menâ€TMs cross country continued Saturday as the Mountain Lions took 17th at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships at Cooperâ€TMs Lake Campground.

Unranked and largely unnoticed just three weeks ago, UCCS stunned favored New Mexico Highlands at regionals on Nov. 8 to become one of a record five Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference teams at nationals. Saturday, the Mountain Lions became the No. 17-ranked team in the nation.

“Three weeks ago, we werenâ€TMt even ranked in the top 10 in the region,” said UCCS coach Mark Misch by phone. “Today, theyâ€TMre 17th in the country.

“Theyâ€TMre just a bunch of hard-working guys.”

Gabe Small led UCCS, finishing 72nd overall with a time of 32 minutes, 50 seconds. Dan Pinter crossed the line eight seconds later. Carlos Ruibal and Mason Frank posted identical 33:37, followed by Casey Weaver (34:09), Alex Tiernan (34:25) and Joel Kienitz (36:24).

Chico Stateâ€TMs Sco0tt Bauhs took the individual title with a time of 30:23. Adams Stateâ€TMs Aaron Braun was second at 30:36, while Michael Crouch of Queens was third.

Adams State was the team winner, sweeping both the menâ€TMs and womenâ€TMs races. It was the sixth time that the Grizzlies have won both the menâ€TMs and womenâ€TMs championships in the same season.

Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference rival Western State took second, followed by Chico State and Abilene Christian.

The RMAC qualified five teams (UCCS, Adams State, Western State, Colorado Mines and Metro State) into the national meet. No conference has ever qualified as many schools in a single year.

Not only did the RMAC qualify more teams, each of those teams exceeded expectations based on the national rankings entering the event.

The following are the rankings of schools qualified for nationals from the Central region heading into the national meet followed by their finishing place:

Ranked 1) Adams St -finished 1st
Ranked 5) Western St - finished 2nd
Ranked 10) Minnesota St - finished 8th
Ranked 11) Co School of Mines - finished 9th
Ranked 19) Metro St - finished 14th
NR) UCCS - finished 17th

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

Gabe SmallGabe Small
Gabe SmallGabe Small
Gabe SmallGabe Small
Gabe SmallGabe Small
Gabe SmallGabe Small
Carlos RuibalCarlos RuibalDistance
Carlos RuibalCarlos RuibalDistance
Carlos RuibalCarlos RuibalDistance
Carlos RuibalCarlos RuibalDistance
Carlos RuibalCarlos RuibalDistance
Carlos RuibalCarlos Ruibal
Carlos RuibalCarlos Ruibal
Carlos RuibalCarlos Ruibal
Carlos RuibalCarlos Ruibal
Alex TiernanAlex Tiernan
Alex TiernanAlex Tiernan
Alex TiernanAlex Tiernan
Alex TiernanAlex Tiernan
Alex TiernanAlex Tiernan
Alex TiernanAlex Tiernan
Alex TiernanAlex Tiernan
Alex TiernanAlex Tiernan
Alex TiernanAlex Tiernan
Joel KienitzJoel KienitzDistance
Joel KienitzJoel KienitzDistance
Joel KienitzJoel KienitzDistance
Joel KienitzJoel KienitzDistance
Joel KienitzJoel Kienitz
Joel KienitzJoel Kienitz
Joel KienitzJoel Kienitz
Joel KienitzJoel Kienitz
Mason FrankMason Frank
Mason FrankMason Frank
Mason FrankMason Frank
Casey WeaverCasey WeaverDistance
Casey WeaverCasey WeaverDistance
Casey WeaverCasey WeaverDistance
Casey WeaverCasey WeaverDistance
Casey WeaverCasey Weaver
Casey WeaverCasey Weaver
Casey WeaverCasey Weaver
Casey WeaverCasey Weaver
Additional News Stories
December 20, 2008Pinter, Five Others Named to RMAC All-Academic TeamsDan Pinter of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was named Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference men's cross country first team all-academic, the conference announced Friday.
November 8, 2008'Depth Charge' Sinks Highlands, Sends UCCS to NationalsKEARNEY, Neb. – Mark Misch’s ‘depth charge’ sent the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs men’s cross country team to nationals for only the second time in school history.
September 20, 2008UCCS Women Take Fifth, Men Ninth at University of Nebraska MeetLINCOLN, Neb. – In the cross country community, it is widely recognized that the NCAA Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference is the equal of most, if not all, Division I conferences. Knowing that, it’s little wonder that University of Colorado at Colorado Spring coach Mark Misch is preparing his team for the RMAC championships by competing in consecutive Division I meets.
September 3, 2008Preview: Mountain Lions enter 2008 a deeper, more talented teamIt is early morning at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs campus and the first students, staff, and faculty are just filing in to meet the day when down one of the many trails that emanate from the school comes a troop of runners who are clearly “in the zone.” One of the staff turns to an other and says, “those runners, they seem to be like rabbits lately – not only are they fast but there are more and more of them every year.” This hypothetical staff member would not be far off the truth because under the careful guidance of coach Mark Misch, the UCCS cross country team has just about doubled over the past two seasons.
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