Mountain Lions Take Eighth in Large Field at Spokane Meet

By Matt Rigby published September 24, 2011

SPOKANE, Wash. - The University of Colorado Colorado Springs men's cross-county team placed eighth among a strong field Saturday at the Erik Anderson/Runners Soul Invitational.

There were three NCAA Division-II nationally-ranked teams in the field as well as a strong Division I team in Gonzaga. The D-II ranked teams were Colorado Mines, ranked fourth, Western Washington, ranked 19th and Western Oregon, ranked 20th.

Those four all were the top four teams on Saturday. The top 10 men's teams and scores were: 1) Colorado Mines-27, 2) Gonzaga-95, 3) Western Washington-181, 4) Western Oregon 184, 5) Lewis and Clark State-185, 6)Northwest Nazarene-199, 7) California-San Diego-228, 8) UCCS-249, 9) Lipscomb-250 10) Whitworth-313

It was by far the best team effort on the season for UCCS and one that will go a long way toward building the confidence needed to get through the toughest region in Division-II. The region in which UCCS runs has produced 15 of the 19 men's team national champions and 18 of the 19 women's team national champions. Successfully advancing through the regional qualifier will earn the Mountain Lion men a second run on the same cross-county course, since the Plants ferry Soccer Complex in Spokane will also be the site of the 2011 national championship meet.

"They had a really good day," said UCCS coach Mark Misch. "It was very, very hot. Spokane had a record high temperature today. The heat index was about 90 degrees at the start of the men's race."

The UCCS men ran in their first race at the full-length, 8,000 meter distance this season. Mike English paced the Mountain Lion men, finishing 18th overall in a time of 25:14. The captain, Michael Johnson, in what Misch said was his best collegiate race, finished 45th overall in a time of 25:50. The other three team scorers for UCCS were Oliver Williams at 56th overall with a time of 25:59, William Edwards at 77th overall with a time of 26:13 and Sam Feldotto at 88th overall with a time of 26:24.

There were five other Mountain Lions who made this trip to Spokane. The first of those was Matt Winfrey, in only his second ever race longer then a mile, came in 92nd overall with a time of 26:27. Ted Schultz placed 111th overall with a time of 26:42 along with Ian Penn at 145th overall in a time of 27:13, John Jones at 148th overall in a time of 27:46 and David Marino at 157th overall and a time of 27:54.

The next race will have both the men's and women's teams involved. The date will be October 8th at Washington Park in Denver for the Metro State Invitational. This race will be the preview for the all-important cross-country regional and will be run at the same course.

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