UCCS men, women each finish eighth at RMAC Cross Country Championships

By Matt Rigby published October 24, 2009

DENVER - The University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Men's Cross-Country Team placed eighth in the team standing with a score of 201 at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Cross-Country Championship. The UCCS Women's Cross-Country also placed eighth in the team standing with a score of 213 at the RMAC Cross-Country Championship.

It was a beautiful day on at Washington Park in Denver for running of the 2009 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Cross-Country Championship. The wind even settled down as the races began and most runners would consider the weather conditions to be near idyllic for racing. Colorado Mines had a clear home-like advantage with the Mines track and field and soccer teams moving their respective practice/training sessions from Golden, Colo. to Washington Park.

The first race of the day was an open race that also drew runners from Colorado-Boulder, Air Force Academy, Colorado State-Fort Collins, U. of Denver, Northern Colorado and Johnson and Wales, in addition to several club runners from through out the surrounding area.

The Women's open race winner was six-time All-American and 2009 UCCS graduate Shannon Payne with a 6,000m winning time of 22:04. Payne would have won the Women's Championship race, if she could have only had another year of eligibility. Payne placed second last year. It was her first race in almost seven months. This race began Payne's move toward the U.S. National Championship this coming February.

The Mountain Lion women did not have as good a day as Payne. They got buried right off the start line and the individual runners had a hard time working their way back into the race. Tavia Hammond led the UCCS runners through the 2,000m mark at a time of 7:47 with Kailtin Fryer about 10 seconds back. At the 4,000 mark Hammond came through at 16:18 and Fryer came through at 16:32. Fryer had a great final 2,000m to finish the 6,000m race with a time of 25:00 and 30th place with Hammond coming in at 25:01 and 31st place overall.

There was a great dual between Kristen McGlynn (Adams State) and Alexis Skarda (Mesa State) for the individual championship. It was a dead heat through 5,000m, then McGlynn turned on a big final kick and won with a time of 22:25 and Skarda finishing at 22:35

The other Mountain Lion women placed as follows; Kelsey Berry 25:46 (46th), Christy Severy 26:16 (58th), Alicia Del Pardo 26:33 (63rd), Sara Kettlecamp 27:06 (71st), Kassie Mazzocco 28:07 (80th) and Tracy Falsetto 28:08 (81st).

The women's team scores were; 1) Adams State 29, 2) Western State 78, 3) Mesa State 83, 4) Colorado Mines 102, 5) Metro State 114, 6) Fort Lewis 158, 7) New Mexico Highland 207, 8) Colorado-Colorado Springs 213 9) Regis 237, 10) Nebraska-Kearney 250, 11) Colorado State-Pueblo 348, 12) Western New Mexico 373, 13) Colorado Christian 380

"The women's team under preformed today", said UCCS Coach Mark Misch, "There is no reason for us to not be in the top six. About 50% of them ran well today. The women practiced way superior to how they raced. I was very disappointed/"

That sentiment was equal by runners on the UCCS women's team, "I was looking for better", Christy Severy "I was disappointed, but the regional course two weeks from now fits my running strength, so I need to run better there/"

"Today was not what I wanted," Kaitlin Fryer. "It all felt really slow and having a bad start hurt my race a lot."

"I did ok", Tavia Hammond "the conditions were good. The course was not as fast as I thought it would be. The hilly regional course fit my running strength better and so I need to run a better race in two weeks."

The 8,000m Men's Championship race was the last race of the day. The Mountain Lion men were able to stick fairly close with the race plan. They had a pack of six runners within 20 seconds of each other at the 2,000m point. Five runners were still within 20 seconds of each other at the 4,000m point with Mike English coming through at 13:21 and the fifth runner coming through at 13:41. That pack broke into two packs during the second half of the race. English was the first UCCS runner to finish the 8,000m race with a time of 27:39 and 37th place with Olivier Williams close behind at 27:43 and 39th place. Rueben Mwei (Adams State) won the Men's 8,000m race with a time of 24:42.

The rest of the Mountain Lion men placed as follows; Sam Feldotto, 27:59 (45th), Joel Klenitz 28:02 (46th), Michael Johnson 28:13 (48th), Josh Jones 29:37 (68th), Allan Browne 30:07 (72nd) and Ted Shultz 30:19 (73rd)

The men's final team scores were; 1) Adams State 20, 2) Western State 47, 3) Colorado Mines 100, 4) Metro State 114, 5) Nebraska-Kearney 159, 6) Fort Lewis 169 7) New Mexico Highlands 175, 8)Colorado-Colorado Springs 202, 9) Western New Mexico 291 10) Colorado Christian 291, 11) Regis 322

"The guys ran well", said Misch, "They followed the race plan. They are a young and inexperienced team. I honestly believe they have a good shot at placing in the top ten at the regional race with some improvement from their race today."

The runners on the Mountain Lions Men's team were also encouraged from their race today, "Pretty much what I expected", said Allan Browne "it would have been easier for me if it weren't so hot."

"The conditions were great, but I went out a little too fast", said Josh Jones "I cramped up a little at about 2,000m point. The course was not as fast as it looked."

"I did as well as I think I could have with my injury problems this year", said Olivier Williams, "The pack we ran in drove me. We were able to push each other very well today."

"It felt rough at first", said Micheal Johnson, "but I finished much better and got stronger during the race. The hilly regional course will be a much better one for me and will help me a lot. I should be able to run better then I did today."

Both Cross-Country teams are young teams that we will see many better performances from in the next couple years. Many of the UCCS runners competed in their first collegiate championship race. They found the going is a lot tougher in college then it was in high school.

Next for the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Cross-Country Teams will be the Regional Qualifier on Nov. 7 in Wayne, Neb. The regional determines who will have the opportunity to race at the 2009 NCAA Division-II National Championship.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

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