UCCS Men Sixth, Women Eighth at RMAC Cross Country Championships

By Matt Rigby published October 22, 2011

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs men's cross-country team placed sixth in the team standings with a team score of 159 points, completing their best team finish at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship since 2008.

The UCCS women also performed well, with an eighth place team finish. The result far exceeded their preseason expectations, where the Mountain Lion women were voted in the 12th placed position.

The UCCS men are in prime position for the all-important regional qualifying race on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Washington Park in Denver after a strong conference championship meet showing. The Mountain Lions are a main contender for one of the top six team spots that qualify for the 2011 NCAA Division II National Championship Meet. The cross-country regional includes all the teams from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and the Northern Sun Conference.

"The men ran about a B race as a team," said UCCS coach Mark Misch. "We wanted know that we are there and that we can compete as a team in the men's race. I am also pleased with the women's conference team result."

As the 8,000-meter men's race started, UCCS got off the line well and into a good pack position that they wanted in the pre-race plan. Mike English and Ryan Derrick were in the top 30 area and the rest of the team was in a pack in the 60's through the first mile. At the halfway point, English and Derrick moved a little up in race position and the other pack had jumped into the 50's.

At the finish line, Derrick led the Mountain Lions in with a 27th place finish overall with a time of 26 minutes,42 seconds. English faded some during the last 1,000 meters and came in at 34th overall with a time of 27:08. The next four men finished within ten overall positions and they were: team captain Michael Johnson at 37th with a time of 27:16, Ted Schultz at 39th with a time of 27:19, Ian Penn at 41st with a time of 27:24 and Oliver Williams at 46th with a time of 27:35. There were two other Mountain Lion men running the conference championship that didn't factor into the team score, Matt Winfrey at 51st in a time of 27:53 and William Edwards at 54th in a time of 28:02.

The UCCS women began the 2011 season with only eight runners on the roster, four of which were freshman. Only two runners had collegiate cross country experience and the Mountain Lions endured some injury problems before the first race of the season.

Despite those challenges, the Mountain Lion women placed eighth out of 13 teams with a score of 234 points.

Ashley Benfield, running in her first collegiate cross country race, led the Mountain Lions through the 6,000-meter course with a 29th place finish in a time of 24:25. Samantha Bauer was not far behind at 44th in a time of 25:08, along with Veronica Sandoval at 46th overall in a time of 25:11. The rest of the UCCS women were: Amber McAfee at 55th overall in a time of 25:40, Alexa Urban at 60th overall in a time of 25:50, Sarah Treese at 62nd overall in a time of 25:54 and Sara Kettelkamp at 68th overall in a time of 26:13.

In two week in is the big one. The regional qualifying race action will begin after 9 a.m. at Washington Park close to Denver South High School off of Interstate 25 exit 206.

 

For men's race results, click here.

For women's race results, click here.

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

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Ashley Benfield Ashley Benfield Hurdles/Sprints So
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