UCCS Men's Cross Country Climbs to No. 15 in National Poll

By Carla Genao and Doug Fitzgerald published November 9, 2011

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs men's cross-country team is ranked 15th on the USTFCCCA division II national rankings for week seven, which was announced on Wednesday.

The Mountain Lions' rise into the national rankings was a result of the team depth far more than star power. None of the UCCS athletes finished in the top thirty at the NCAA Central Region Championships, which was held Saturday, but instead the overall performance of the team led them to be ranked in the top 25 for the first time this season.

The top UCCS finisher at the regional was Ryan Derrick with a time of 34 minutes, 31 seconds. Just 55 second later, Casey Weaver crossed the finish line as the fifth UCCS runner - which also made his the final scoring spot. That tight pack time gave the Mountain Lions a huge advantage in the third, fourth and fifth scoring spots and made the difference in their successful bid to qualify for the NCAA Division II National Championship.

The nationals will be held on Nov. 19 in Spokane, Wash.

In qualifying for nationals, the Mountain Lions beat Minnesota State, Metro State and New Mexico Highlands at the regional. Those teams came into the regional ranked Nos. 14, 15 and 16 respectively.

UCCS is a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, which is well known as the best cross country conference in the country at the Division II level.  Three out of the top four teams are in the RMAC (No. 1 Adams State, No. 2 Western State and No. 4 Colorado Mines). Add UCCS and No. 16 Metro State and five of the nation's top 16 teams are RMAC members.

 

For the complete poll, click here.

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