UCCS men take 10th, women 16th at NCAA Division II Central regional

By Matt Rigby published November 7, 2009

WAYNE, Neb - Despite a 10th-place overall finish, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs was a part of history Saturday.

Thanks in part to the Mountain Lions' finish, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference had eight men's team in the regional top ten. No single conference at the NCAA Division-II level has ever dominated a regional qualifier like the RMAC Men's teams did during the 2009 Central Regional.

The previous record was seven on the top 10 teams from one conference at an NCAA regional qualifier.

The UCCS women's team took 16th in their race. No Mountain Lion runner qualified for the NCAA Division II National Cross Country Championship.

The Mountain Lions men's team completed the 10,000-meter course with six guys finishing within 43 seconds. Joel Kienitz, the lone senior, ran the best race of his cross-country career at UCCS, placing 58th with a time of 34.12.1. The spread for the Mountain Lion placers was 34:01.7 to 34:43.1.

"I am excited about this team," said UCCS coach Mark Misch, "they followed the race plan perfectly.

"A 43-second spread over a 10k distance is amazing. From the 2,000-meter mark to the finish, the top six guys passed 152 places."

It is highly likely, that the four RMAC teams that qualified for the men's national championship meet will also place in the top ten at there. The RMAC is the unquestioned best cross-country conference at the NCAA D-II level, and in many regards maybe even better then a few D-1 conferences.

Even though, the UCCS men's team will not be represented at the national championship this year, they will begin the 2010 season with the realistic expectation of competing at that level. Five of the seven team scoring runners were freshman or sophomores.

The men's regional top ten teams: (* indicates national qualifier)
*Adams St-20 *Western St-Colo-47 *Colorado Mines-100 *Metro St-Denver-142 *Augustana-S.D.-143 Fort Lewis-192 Minnesota St-Mankato-202 Nebraksa-Kearney-254 New Mexico Highland-283 UCCS-298

The UCCS Men: 49th Mike English, Fr (34:01.7), 54th Sam Feldotto, Fr (34:07.9), 58th Kienitz, Sr, 68th Oliver Williams So (34:37.2), 69th Chris Reynolds, Jr (34:37.6), 72nd Michael Johnson So (34:43.1) and 96th Josh Jones Fr (35:54.6)

For the UCCS women, it was another disappointing day. Just like the conference championship they got buried off the start line. The going was tough from 400-meter point and on. None of the Mountain Lion runners were able to really work their way into the competition over the course of the 6,000 meter race.

"The women's program is rebuilding", said Misch, "it is going to be a long road but it will get there."

The women's regional top ten: (* indicates national qualifier)
*Adams St/36 *Western St-Colo./88 *Augustana-S.D./90 *Mary-S.D./169 *Metro St-Denver/175 *Minnesota-Duluth/179 Mesa St/184 Colorado Mines/213 Wayne St-Neb/265 Winona St/276 ... 16th UCCS/400

The UCCS Women: 55th Alicia Del Pardo Jr (23:53.7), 69th Tavia Hammond Sr (24:16.5), 85th Kaitlin Frier Jr (24:42.3), 95th Kelsey Berry Jr (25:03.8), 96th Christy Severy Sr (25:04.3), 113th Tracy Falsetto Sr (25:44.8) and 125th Sara Kettlecamp Fr (26:24.5)

UCCS now turns its attention to the track, as is the nature of distance running. Distance runners flow form one race to another, whatever those races may be, let them come as they come year round. There is only one track and field competition before New Year's Day of 2010. It is an indoor track meet on Dec. 5th ,hosted by Colorado Mines in Golden, Colo.

Additional News Stories
October 24, 2009UCCS men, women each finish eighth at RMAC Cross Country ChampionshipsThe 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.
October 10, 2009UCCS men take first, women second at Tom Strandt Memorial RunThe University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Men's Cross-Country team won the team competition at Tom Strandt Memorial Run on Saturday.
September 19, 2009Youthful Mountain Lions get first taste of full-length collegiate raceThe University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Cross-Country teams raced at the Woody Greeno Invitational at Pioneer Park in Lincoln, Nebraska.
September 4, 2009Air Force women, Colorado Mines men take titles at Rust Buster InvitationalNine women's and eight men's cross country teams gathered at Monument Valley Park Friday afternoon to do exactly what the name of the race implied - shed themselves of some offseason rust.
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